WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey made five extremely damning claims in his Tuesday press conference about Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Though Comey found “evidence of potential violation” of classified information laws on Clinton’s part, and though Comey noted that people who did similar things would be punished, Comey nevertheless told the American people that the FBI does not recommend an indictment against Clinton.
Comey confirmed numerous details of the email scandal including the fact that Clinton had information on her private server that was classified when sent, which Breitbart News first reported in August 2015, nearly a full year ago. But Comey said that no reasonable prosecutor would take on the case.
Comey’s harsh criticisms of Clinton’s conduct, paired with his inexplicable decision not to call for an indictment, suggest that Comey might have torn sympathies regarding the case. But the FBI director said that the investigation was apolitical, despite Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s recent secret meeting with Bill Clinton.
Here are the worst things Comey said about Clinton:
Evidence of violations
“In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order. Although there is evidence of potential violation of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said. “Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent, responsible decisions, and to also consider the context of a person’s actions and how similar situations have been handled in the past.”
“In looking back at our investigations, into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.”
A magnitude of classified information on her server, and she did not hand over some emails
Comey confirmed the existence of vast amounts of information on her private server that was classified when sent. Comey also confirmed that Clinton did not hand over some of her emails, even though she signed a sworn affidavit that she had done so. Whether or not Clinton will be charged with perjury is still up to the Department of Justice. Even the Washington Post left the door open for a possible “making false statements” charge, though it seems unlikely considering the political implications here.
“From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department in 2014, 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 of those chains contained secret information at the time, and eight contained confidential information at the time. That’s the lowest level of classification,” Comey said.
“Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were up-classified to make them confidential. Those e-mails had not been classified at the time that they were sent or received. The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not among the group of 30,000 e-mails returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014…”
“…With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to the State Department, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received; one at the secret level and two at the confidential level. There were no additional top secret e-mails found. And finally, none of those we found have since been up-classified.”
She was careless
“Now, let me tell you what we found. Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said.
“For example, seven e-mail chains concerned matters that were classified at the top secret special access program at the time they were sent and received. Those chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails about those same matters.”
“There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation…
…None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system. But their presence is especially concerning because all of the e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers, not even supported by full-time security staff like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government or even with a commercial e-mail service like Gmail,” Comey added.
Intelligence sources kept threatening that the Russian government was prepared to release intercepted Clinton emails, which would prove that Clinton’s email account was hacked and that information was “lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed” through “gross negligence.” But the Russians did not release that information in time, possibly so as not to open themselves up to international legal and foreign policy pressure when they knew the Obama administration wasn’t going to indict Clinton, anyway. The hacker Guccifer also claimed that he breached Clinton’s private server, but he was convicted on hacking charges during this election cycle.
“With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e- mail domain in its various configuration since 2009 was hacked successfully. But given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence,” Comey said.
“We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent,” Comey said.
“She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside of the United States, including sending and receiving 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 Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”
Somebody else would get punished
Would Clinton get off if she was somebody else? Probably not. It’s weird that Comey admitted that.
“To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who gauged this activity would gauge no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions but that is not what we are deciding now,” Comey said.
“As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to the justices our view that no further charges are appropriate in this case.”