Comey had disappointed some Republicans by only rebuking Clinton, not recommending charges against her, in a Tuesday announcement for what he called “extremely careless” handling of classified information while using private email servers.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, said FBI Director James Comey should have recommended that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be prosecuted for mishandling State Department emails.
During a lengthy House committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, called for the FBI to investigate whether Hillary Clinton lied about her private email servers while under oath in congressional testimony last October. Under questioning from the Utah Republican, Comey said his agents had not reviewed Clinton’s testimony in October before a select House committee investigating a 2012 terror attack on the USA diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
FBI Director James Comey is emphatically denying that he coordinates his decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton with the White House or anyone else.
Although Clinton’s FBI investigation found that Clinton and her aides mishandled information, it didn’t uncover evidence that they meant to break the law.
Comey said the agency tried hard to make a case against Hillary Clinton but ultimately concluded there was no case.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday that the Justice Department would accept Comey’s recommendation and would not file charges in the case.
Comey did say that his employees in the Federal Bureau of Investigation would face discipline for the same behavior.
Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House committee, made it clear someone should be punished for Clinton’s email use but struggled to come up with a compelling culprit.
If Clinton wins the presidency, she will be expected to swear an oath to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States”, and will to the best of her ability, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
“Before this investigation, I probably would have said, ‘yes, ‘” Comey acknowledged.
Questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy before the House Oversight Committee, Comey agreed that a litany of Clinton’s statements about her e-mail were simply “not true”.
“I guess I read “criminal intent” as the idea that you allow someone without security clearance access to classified information”, Chaffetz responded.
“There’s more to this story that we know”, the congressman said.
He said the Justice Department has applied that 1917 law only once over the years; and knowing the Justice Department as he does, “No reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence”, Comey said.
[Hillary Clinton] has so much contempt for law, for any kind of process of law that seeks to hold her responsible as if she were a normal citizen.
Comey added that because those emails were not marked at the headers, it might have been reasonable for Clinton not to know that those parts were classified.
The committee’s 7-4 vote Friday was split along party lines, reflecting partisanship that emerged even before the panel’s creation in May 2014 and only escalated since then.
Democrats on the panel largely backed Comey despite the tough remarks about her “careless” handling of classified information.
“Director Comey is a man of impeccable integrity, ” said Plaskett, who once worked with the director during a previous tenure at the Justice Department.