On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey held a press conference announcing the conclusion of his agency’s lengthy investigation into the email usage of Hillary Clinton, and it might not be what people expect.
During a 15-minute speech, Comey laid out the extensive work his agency performed to piece together what happened during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary and just how difficult of a task it was. He also laid out the burden of proof required to bring charges against someone for deliberately mishandling classified information, and while it sounded as if that burden had been met, he stunned everyone when he said he’s not recommending charges against Clinton.
Yeah, after explaining that she deliberately sent and received information that had classifications as high as Top Secret, he said that he didn’t feel it appropriate to charge Clinton for it, despite the fact that it’s reasonable to assume that our enemies were able to access her emails. What a disappointment.
Here’s more on Comey’s announcement from The Verge:
The recommendation is the result of a painstaking investigation by the bureau, which uncovered a number of new details. The investigation found 110 emails in 52 email chains were determined to contain classified information, including 8 chains contained information that was marked as top secret at the time, Director Comey said. Secretary Clinton used several different email servers and numerous mobile devices, and many of those servers were altered as they were decommissioned. “None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system,” Comey said in the announcement. “Even if information is not marked classified in an email, participants who know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”
Clinton has drawn significant criticism for conducting state department business from a privately managed email server. The practice was first revealed as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Benghazi attacks. Because the server was privately run, it wasn’t subject to requests under public records laws, a major violation of government transparency rules. As a result, many of Clinton’s emails were inaccessible to both the public and the House committee.
Hosting official emails on a private server also raised serious security concerns. Clinton’s private account was unclassified, and did not have the benefit of any of the government’s significant IT and security resources, making it a tempting target for foreign agents looking for insight into US diplomacy. Nonetheless, an inspector general review found that Clinton sent classified information through the private system a number of times. The State Department’s non-classified email system was infiltrated by digital attackers during the same period, an attack many researchers have linked to Russia.
The FBI investigation found no direct evidence that Clinton’s server was compromised, but given the sophistication of many of the actors that would target Clinton, Comey said “we suspect we would be unlikely to see such evidence.” As a result, the Bureau believes it’s entirely possible that Clinton’s server was targeted by hostile actors.
Ironically, Comey said at the end of his press conference that had it been anybody else, they would have been punished for what they did. But as we all know, Hillary Clinton isn’t one of “us,” so therefore she’s not subjected to the same rules we are.
This is absolutely unbelievable.