FBI recommends no charges against Hillary Clinton in email probe

L-R: Hillary Clinton, FBI Director James Comey | AP file photos, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said Tuesday, lifting a major legal threat to her presidential campaign. But Comey called her actions “extremely careless” and faulted the agency she led for a lackadaisical approach to handling classified material.

FBI Director James Comey makes a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. District of Columbia, July 5, 2016 | AP Photo/Cliff Owen; St. George News
FBI Director James Comey makes a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. District of Columbia, July 5, 2016 | AP Photo/Cliff Owen; St. George News

Comey’s decision almost certainly brings the legal part of the issue to a close and removes the threat of criminal charges. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would accept the recommendations of the FBI director and of career prosecutors.

“No charges are appropriate in this case,” Comey said in making his announcement.

But Comey made that statement after he delivered a blistering review of Clinton’s actions, saying the FBI found that 110 emails were sent or received on Clinton’s server containing classified information. He added it was possible that people hostile to the U.S. had gained access to her personal email account.

“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,” he said.

Yet after criticizing Clinton, her aides and the department for their actions, he said that after looking at similar circumstances in past inquiries, the FBI believed that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Comey made the announcement just three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton in a final step of its yearlong investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information.

He said he shared the FBI’s findings with no one else in the government before making his announcement, which came just hours before Clinton was to travel with President Barack Obama on Air Force One to campaign together for the first time this year.

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. The State Department is under fire in courtrooms over its delays turning over government files related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. In one case, the department warned it needed a 27-month delay, until October 2018, to turn over emails from Clinton’s former aides. | AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File; St. George News
FILE – In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. The State Department is under fire in courtrooms over its delays turning over government files related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. In one case, the department warned it needed a 27-month delay, until October 2018, to turn over emails from Clinton’s former aides. | AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File; St. George News

The declaration from Comey is unlikely to wipe away many voters’ concerns about Clinton’s trustworthiness, especially since the FBI director so thoroughly criticized her actions before delivering his verdict.

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position … should have known that an unclassified system was no place” for sensitive conversations, Comey said.

Nor will the recommendation stop Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for criminal charges, from continuing to make the server a campaign issue or suggesting Clinton was helped by a Democratic administration. After Comey’s announcement, Trump tweeted, “The system is rigged … Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”

Clnton’s personal email server, which she relied on exclusively for government and personal business, has dogged her campaign since The Associated Press revealed its existence in March 2015.

She has repeatedly said that no email she sent or received was marked classified, but the Justice Department began investigating last summer following a referral from the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community.

The scrutiny was compounded by a critical audit in May from the State Department’s inspector general, the agency’s internal watchdog, which said that Clinton and her team ignored clear warnings from department officials that her email setup violated federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers. Clinton declined to talk to the inspector general, but the audit said that she had feared “the personal being accessible” if she used a government email account.

The Clinton campaign said agents interviewed her this past Saturday for three and one-half hours at FBI headquarters. Agents had earlier interviewed top Clinton aides including her former State Department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin, a longtime aide who now is the vice chairwoman of Clinton’s campaign.

Lynch on Friday said that she would accept whatever findings and recommendations were presented to her. Though she said she had already settled on that process, her statement came days after an impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton on her airplane in Phoenix that she acknowledged had led to questions about the neutrality of the investigation.

Written by ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press, and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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16 Comments

  • RealMcCoy July 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

    The problem isn’t that Hillary Clinton is a scandelous, self-serving criminal… we all know that.
    The problem is that there is a voting base trying to elect her, and they don’t care about her track record.

    • ladybugavenger July 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

      LOL! What is wrong with those people? I don’t comprehend it. She’s crooked as all get out.

      • .... July 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

        Ladybug she’s a lot more crookeder than that ! L0L

    • .... July 5, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      they must changed the script on your meds. yore acting goofy this week !

  • ladybugavenger July 5, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Of course, Obama wouldn’t allow it. #neverhillary Hillary gets funding from terrorists. Hillary loves radical Islamic terrorist #saynotohillary

  • sagemoon July 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Republicans and Democrats are both insane. I’m voting for Gary Johnson.

  • Henry July 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    FBI Director Comey is incorrect in calling Hillary’s actions “extremely careless”. All actions and words by the Clintons are calculated.

    Hillary knew exactly the personal benefits and potential repercussions involved – and determined that it was an acceptable level of risk. Based upon the results from Comey and others in the Obama administration, Hillary (sadly) was right.

  • Bob July 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    the whole thing is basically a way to distract from her war crimes record. When u reach that level of the political elite u are immune from prosecution. Take a look back at the Bush II regime’s war crimes with 0 reprocussions for the criminals , and why are you people at all surprised. Either way, Hilary is just a puppet for ZOG, so it makes no difference either way.

  • 42214 July 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Great legal question for Comey. What is the difference between extremely careless and gross negligence? Gross negligence is a specific phrase used in US Code 18 that satisfies “intent”. She got away with it today, big time. Silver lining is Trump has a chance to defeat Hillary, I don’t think he would have a prayer against another ticket that would probably be headed by Uncle Joe.

    • Henry July 5, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      42214 – very perceptive and incisive observation. Anyone who has held an SCI/TS security clearance has seen careers ended because of a single violation of what Hillary has done literally dozens of times. It is truly disgusting.

  • Real Life July 5, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    So, according to the FBI, Hillary is not a criminal. She is just very, very stupid.

    • ladybugavenger July 5, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      And yet people will still vote for her to be President. LOL! The FBI is only doing what Obama wants. And that attorney general that met with Bill? Just another stupid thing?!lol they are calculated criminals

    • .... July 6, 2016 at 3:33 am

      No..according to the FBI you’re stupid ! and Hillary is a criminal ! Ha ha ha ha ha ha lmao !

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