Hillary Clinton likely escaped charges after an FBI investigation into her handling of classified information via email as secretary of state, but she picked up some major bruises along the way.
FBI Director James Comey recommended no charges for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.But he still detailed all the ways Clinton and her staffers were “careless” in their handling of classified information found in emails sent to the former secretary’s personal email address.
We’ve outlined Comey’s points in detail, below.
Clinton sent and received classified information via email
From Comey’s statement:
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were up-classified to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.
The public has no way of knowing what classified information Clinton sent or received on her personal server, though we do know that seven email chains detailed information concerning “Special Access Programs,” which, as the name implies, are programs only known to select individuals. That information is considered highly classified.
She’d previously said that any sensitive information she sent or received via email was only classified after the fact. Comey disputed that, and many voiced anger and concern over her judgment.
So Clinton lied about her emails for 18 months. Will she apologize now? (Lol, I’m just kidding, she doesn’t care about lying to the public.)
Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 5, 2016
Comey said Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless”
This is the line many people are talking about.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said at the press conference.
Many are scratching their heads at the phrase “extremely careless.” That phrase sounds a lot like “grossly negligent.” And in the same statement, Comey said that anyone who mishandled “classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way” would be in violation of a federal statute, meaning they would have committed a felony.
So what’s the difference between “extremely careless” and “grossly negligent?” No one seems to know, but the question is raising a lot of eyebrows.
“What happened to your arm?”
“The dentist was extremely careless.”
“Lucky you. He could have been grossly negligent.”
Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) July 5, 2016
“Extremely careless,” “should have known”…
…sure sounds a lot like “gross negligence.”
Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) July 5, 2016
Clinton may have been hacked
The FBI can’t say for sure that Clinton’s email was hacked while she was secretary of state, but it came close to saying it was likely.
It found that accounts “of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact” were hacked, and they know Clinton sent and received “work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.”
“Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clintons personal e-mail account,” Comey said.
Comey said that, despite all the evidence of recklessness by Clinton and her staff, “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against her.
“There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent,” Comey said. “Responsible decisions also consider the context of a persons actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.”
But many observers found it puzzling that Comey could lay out so much evidence that Clinton and her staff mishandled classified information, and then decide not to recommend charging her.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Comey’s decision “defies explanation.”
Others saw the announcement as the FBI shielding Clinton from prosecution.
Today Comey & Obama’s DOJ made it clear to the American people there’s no accountability no justice & the Clintons live by different rules.
Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 5, 2016
The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
The Clinton camp downplayed Comey’s comments, saying she made a mistake in using personal email, but is “pleased with FBI findings.”
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