FBI recommends no charges against Clinton in email probe

FBI recommends no charges against Clinton in email probe, by Nick Gass and Nolan McCaskill.

FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday announced the agency is not recommending the Justice Department bring charges against Hillary Clinton, despite denouncing the former secretary of state and her colleagues for the way they handled classified information through private email servers.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is information that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey told reporters in Washington, D.C., noting that the probe has found that the former secretary of state used several different email servers and numerous devices during her time in office.

Even so, Comey added later, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges.”

Anyone else would have been indicted and likely have gone to jail. The rule of law is not being seen to be applied evenly. The political structure is fraying further. Richard Nixon resigned for less.

Donald Trump quickly condemned the FBI’s decision, declaring the system “rigged.” “The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, making reference to the disgraced former CIA director who resigned in the wake of an extramarital affair with his biographer with whom he had shared classified information.

Trump reiterated his claims of a rigged system in a subsequent tweet. “FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem,” he wrote.

She may have been hacked:

Comey said investigators did not find “direct evidence” that Clinton’s personal email domain, in its various configurations since 2009, had been compromised by hackers. “[W]e assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”

Claims the investigation was not influenced by politics:

Anticipating the reaction to the recommendation, Comey said, “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation as there was throughout the investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done honestly, competently and independently, no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.” …

But the announcement also comes a week after Attorney General Loretta Lynch held an impromptu meeting with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, who nominated Lynch to be U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1999.

The half-hour conclave that both said was about golf and grandchildren reignited concerns over a possible conflict of interest with a Democrat-led Justice Department investigating a Democratic White House contender. Bill Clinton and the Justice Department chief both acknowledged the poor optics of their so-called tarmac summit aboard a private plane at a Phoenix airport.