At the Democratic National Convention later this month, Hillary Clinton will make history -- twice. She'll be the first woman ever nominated by a major party. And she'll also be the first presidential nominee investigated by the FBI while running for office.
So exactly what was Clinton being investigated for? And why wasn't she indicted? Jules Suzdaltsev explains in today's Seeker Daily brief.
On July 5, FBI director James Comey announced that he would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of private email servers while secretary of state. But he also criticized Clinton and her aides for being "extremely careless" in the handling of classified information.
Although it was concluded that Clinton did not break any laws, a previous State Department report made it clear that Clinton did not ask permission to user her own server, and would not have received permission if she did ask. The report also included testimony that established the Clinton team did not report hacking attempts. Also, staffers who brought up the server's insecurity were instructed to "never to speak of the Secretary's personal email system again."
All of this suggests that Clinton and her aides knowingly skirted the law and put classified materials at risk of being compromised. The official statement by FBI reported that 110 emails in 52 email chains stored on the private server contained classified information.
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Why would Clinton choose to use a private email system in the first place? The government regularly archives the communications of officials from its email accounts, both for record keeping and accountability. With a private server, Clinton had the option of choosing which emails were archived, which defeats the point of public record-keeping.
Indeed, when asked to turn over her emails, Clinton and her staff deleted more than 30,000, claiming they were too personal to share and not related to government matters.
However, the FBI found that there was not enough evidence to bring charges. The agency's mandate was narrow and specific, Comey said: The probe was tasked with examining whether Clinton or her aides had mishandled classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way.
The bureau found no evidence of "clearly intentional and willful" mishandling of classified information.. As such, Clinton was not disloyal to the United States nor guilty of obstructing justice. Although no charges were handed down, the FBI probe -- and Comey's pointed remarks -- promise to further complicate matters in the upcoming election.
-- Glenn McDonald
USA Today: 'Extremely careless,' but FBI advises no charges for Clinton's emails
FBI: Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton's Use of a Personal E-Mail System
New York Times: Hillary Clinton Is Criticized for Private Emails in State Dept. Review
Politico: Clinton server faced hacking from China, South Korea and Germany