FBI Director Defends Clinton Decision at Congressional Hearing
Two days after announcing the FBI’s recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a personal email network, Director James Comey appeared before Congress this morning to defend the decision.
With criminal case against Clinton and her aides now closed, Republicans want to know why she was not prosecuted for mishandling classified information while using a private email server as Secretary of State.
In his opening statement, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, accused Comey of setting "a dangerous" precedent that will allow officials to "sloppily" handle classified information with "no consequence."
Comey said he stands by his recommendation not to prosecute Clinton and said it follows years of precedent, but did admit that non-criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone under his purview who acted similarly.
"My conclusion was, and remains, no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case, no reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on 'gross negligence.' And so I know that's been a source of some confusion for folks: That's just the way it is, I know the Department of Justice, I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case," Comey said.
"I know a lot of my former friends are out there saying they would (bring such a case). I wonder where they were the last 40 years because I'd like to see the cases they brought on 'gross negligence,' nobody would, nobody did," he added.
At his announcement Tuesday, Comey criticized Clinton and her aides for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly-classified information.” But even still, Comey announced the FBI would recommend against charging Clinton or her aides criminally.
“The FBI's recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz said in the statement announcing today’s hearing. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the decision looked like "preferential treatment for Clinton.”
Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted that recommendation late yesterday, and the case against Clinton is closed.
Posted in General News