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Comey: It Would Be a ‘Double Standard’ If Hillary Was Prosecuted for Gross Negligence


Thursday at a House Oversight Committee hearing on the FBI’s investigation and conclusions into presumptive Democratic presidential front nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of private unsecured email servers during her tenure as secretary of state, FBI Director James Comey said it would be a “double standard” if Clinton were prosecuted for gross negligence.

Partial transcript as follows:

REP TIM WALBERG (R-MI):  With the training we receive and certainly a secretary of state would receive or someone who lives the White House, it goes a little above and beyond just the common sense individual out there trying to determine knowing that classified information will be brought and to remove to an unauthorized site ought to cause pause there, shouldn’t it?

COMEY: Yeah, and if you’re a government official you should be attentive to it because you know the matters you deal with could involve sensitive information. So sure.

WALBERG: So Secretary Clinton’s revised statement she never knowingly sent or received any classified information is probably also untrue?

COMEY: Yeah I don’t want to comment on people’s public statements. We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information beyond a reasonable doubt to meet that — the intent standard. Like I said, I understand why people are confused by the whole discussion. I get that. But you know what would be a double standard? If she were prosecuted for gross negligence.

WALBERG: But your statement on Tuesday said 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 far conversation.

COMEY: I stand by that.

WALBERG: That’s very clear.

COMEY: That’s the definition of carelessness, of negligence.

WALBERG: Which happened.

COMEY: Oh, yeah.

WALBERG: As a result of our secretary of state — former secretary of state’s decisions.

COMEY:  Yes.

WALBERG:  Is it your statement, then, before this committee that secretary Clinton should have known not to send classified material and yet she did?

COMEY: Certainly she should have known not to send classified information. As I said, that’s the definition of negligent. I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can’t establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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