The Federal Bureau of Investigation has decided not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, although the agency found that she was “extremely careless” in handling secret information as secretary of state.
James Comey, FBI director, announced the result of the year-long investigation in a televised appearance in which he stressed that he had not informed anyone in advance about the statement he was about to make. The move marks the end of the formal investigation into Mrs Clinton, but the conclusion that she was not careful enough in the way she handled classified information will provide grist to Donald Trump as he attacks his rival over the next four months.
Mrs Clinton has repeatedly claimed that she did not send or receive any emails with information that was marked as classified at the time. But Mr Comey said the FBI had found 110 emails that contained secret information when transmitted. He also suggested that Mrs Clinton had jeopardised national security by using her personal email account when travelling overseas, including in territories of “sophisticated adversaries”.
“It is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account,” said Mr Comey.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Mr Comey said.
Donald Trump was quick to react, tweeting: “The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”
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