FBI Director James Comey surprised many today with an unconventional press conference about the outcome of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal thus far. Comey’s fellow government officials were not made aware of what Comey would say at this press conference, which was highly unusual.
Checking email servers and mobile devices after a referral came in was how this case came about. Approximately 30,000 emails were provided by Clinton to the FBI in 2014. Did her personal email contain classified information? Exactly 152 emails had classified information, 8 had top secret, 36 had secret and 8 had confidential. Approximately 2,000 were up-classified to make them confidential. Several thousand work-related emails were not returned to the FBI by Clinton. Some had been deleted over the years and others were in archives, but none were intentionally hidden. Some were deleted by lawyers while doing sorting.
The FBI did not find clear evidence of intentional violations of classified information but did show that Clinton and her correspondents were careless. There were 7 email chains that consisted of top secret information. There was evidence that anyone in Clinton’s position should have known that up-classified emails are no place for these. All emails were sent on personal unclassified servers, which is concerning. Clinton and her correspondents are obligated to protect classified and secret information. No direct information has been found to show Clinton’s account had been hacked over the years, but outsiders could have accessed those she corresponded with. Hostile actors may have gained access to her emails.
Although there is evidence of potential violations, no reasonable prosecutor would bring up charges. Mishandling and carelessness is the main culprit.
Any further charges are still up to the Department of Justice.