FBI Director Gives Congress A Four-Hour Lesson On Clinton's Email

Jul 19, 2016, 00:32

Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey will forgive Americans who perceive a double standard - reference former CIA Director David Petraeus, prosecuted for mishandling classified information and convicted past year, if under different circumstances - who find this outcome predictable and wonder what's so independent and apolitical about an FBI that answers to a White House where the boss has endorsed Clinton as his successor, who conclude that in a nation where the rule of law is supposed to be paramount, some are nonetheless above it.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he would refer Clinton's October 22 testimony to the FBI to investigate whether she lied to Congress.

He told Congress on Thursday: "We don't want to put people in jail unless we prove they knew they were doing something they shouldn't do".

Pelosi spoke as Comey testified before the oversight panel on why he did not recommend charges against Clinton over use of her home email server.

Hillary Clinton sought to move past the email controversy dogging her presidential campaign on Friday, placing some of the blame on other officials for sending her classified information.

"What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly and independently, " Comey said Tuesday.

Asked if he was referring to Clinton, Gowdy said, "She's one of 100 witnesses".

Comey said only once in 99 years has someone been prosecuted for mishandling classified information due to gross negligence, and that case involved espionage.

Clinton, who was the department's most senior classifying authority during her four-year tenure at its helm, did not address the FBI's conclusion that she herself sent information on topics classified as "top secret", the highest level, through the private server she kept in her basement.

Comey, also a lifelong Republican, responded: "We try very hard to apply the same standard whether you are rich or poor, white or black, old or young, famous or not known at all".

"There is no end in sight for this partisan Benghazi Committee", Cummings said.

As he had on Tuesday, Comey left no doubt about the FBI's contention that Clinton's email practices were careless and left government secrets exposed to hostile nations. Such actions would have included "clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information", exposure of material suggesting intentional misconduct, signs of disloyalty to the US or efforts to obstruct justice.

But he also said it was possible Clinton didn't even understand what the classification markings were, saying the investigation suggested she was not "particularly sophisticated with respect to classified information".

Comey, a registered Republican for years though he said he now is not registered in a political party, served as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration. He would still be on the job if Clinton were elected president.

Petraeus, he said, retained a "vast quantity" of classified information - hiding some under the insulation in his attic - and then lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about it. "In my mind, it illustrates importantly the distinction to this case".

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that she accepted the recommendations and findings of Comey and of her career prosecutors and would not file charges against Clinton.

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