Wed | Jul 18, 2018

No charges in Clinton email matter

Published:Wednesday | July 6, 2016 | 12:00 AM
United States President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.


The FBI won't recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said yesterday, lifting a major legal threat to her presidential campaign.

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 contained classified information. He said Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless" and added that it was possible that people hostile to the United States had gained access to her personal email account.

Yet, he added that after looking at similar circumstances, the agency believed that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case".

The announcement came three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton for hours in a final step of its year-long investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information.




Though his recommendation apparently ends the legal threat, it's unlikely to wipe away many voters' concerns about Clinton's trustworthiness. And it probably won't stop Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for criminal charges, from continuing to make the server a campaign issue.

Clinton'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.