FBI Recommends "No Charges" Against Hillary Clinton

Tyler Durden's picture

In a surprising statement which concluded moments ago, FBI director James Comey announced that Federal officials have decided not to pursue federal charges against Hillary Clinton for her private email setup, an announcement that will send a shockwave throughout national politics.

In a press briefing at the bureau's headquarters in downtown Washington, Comey said investigators and prosecutors had concluded there was not sufficient evidence to push forward with an indictment against Clinton, clearing her of a federal investigation that has loomed over her presidential campaign for nearly a year. Comey’s announcement comes just three days after the former secretary of State sat for a 3.5-hour interview with the FBI on Saturday, and just a few hours before President Obama is set to campaign with Clinton in Charlotte, N.C.

The punchline of Comey statement is that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t face charges over her e-mail practices while serving as Secretary of State because there was no "intentional misconduct" and there was "no clear evidence" of intentional violation of the laws.The FBI's conclusion will now be referred to the Justice Dept for a decision.

He adds that the decision, if agreed to by the Justice Dept, would remove one of the biggest remaining obstacles to Clinton’s presidential bid, putting an official end to questions about penalties for her use of a private e-mail server, though the issue may continue to resonate on the presidential campaign trail

Still, the FBI director admitted that Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” with e-mail and that it’s “possible” hostile actors gained access to Clinton e-mail system however no direct evidence of it found though.

What is shocking is Comey's admission that Clinton used not one but several different email servers, adding that 110 emails contained classified information and 8 contained top secret information, he also reported that Clinton did not turn over "several thousand" emails to the FBI and added that due to Hillary's sloppy set up, it is possible that "hostile actors" got access to Clinton's emails.

Yet, despite all these "facts", the FBI has decided not to proceed with recommending charges.

It appears that the FBI is implying that the only reason why no charges will be filed is because there was no "intent", and yet according to the US criminal code, specifically U.S. Code Section  793 - "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" subsection (f), intent in this case is not required for prosection:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As the Hill adds, the juxtaposition is likely to inflame White House critics, who have insisted that political pressures would prevent any chance of an indictment for Clinton, regardless of the damage to national security.  Obama has previously weighed in to dismiss concerns about the investigation — to the ire of Republicans and federal investigators.

Last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that she would defer judgment to the FBI and career Justice Department prosecutors, following a private and extremely controversial 30-minute meeting with former President Bill Clinton. The decision left Comey as the public face of the investigation, in what some viewed as an opportunity for the hard-nosed maverick to buck political pressures and act against Clinton. 

“It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton,” her presumptive general election opponent, Donald Trump, said on Twitter this weekend. “What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!”

The FBI began its probe connected to Clinton last summer, when inspectors general at the State Department and federal intelligence agencies referred Clinton's "homebrew" email arrangement to the Justice Department for review. The bespoke setup might have jeopardized sensitive national secrets, investigators warned.

Roughly one-in-15 of the work-related messages that Clinton sent or received on the private server have been classified at some level, according to the trove of 30,000 emails that she handed over to the State Department. Twenty-two emails were classified as top secret — the highest level of secrecy.

In May, the State Department's inspector general released a scathing report claiming that Clinton had never asked to use the unconventional setup while in office, and that the request would have been denied if she had. Comey has been under the gun to finalize the investigation before the presidential nominating conventions later this month. 

While the FBI director has insisted that he had no deadline to complete the probe, a delay past the end of the month would have been interpreted as a sign of trouble for her campaign.

Some of the initial reactions were less then excited by the FBI's admission that while Clinton may have been "extremely careless" she did not commit a crime:

Expect much more on this in the coming days.

* * *

Below are Comey's full prepared remarks:

Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.

After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.

This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.

I want to start by thanking the FBI employees who did remarkable work in this case. Once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why I am so grateful and proud of their efforts.

So, first, what we have done:

The investigation began as a referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General in connection with Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State. The referral focused on whether classified information was transmitted on that personal system.

Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.

Consistent with our counterintelligence responsibilities, we have also investigated to determine whether there is evidence of computer intrusion in connection with the personal e-mail server by any foreign power, or other hostile actors.

I have so far used the singular term, “e-mail server,” in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together—to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work—has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.

For example, when one of Secretary Clinton’s original personal servers was decommissioned in 2013, the e-mail software was removed. Doing that didn’t remove the e-mail content, but it was like removing the frame from a huge finished jigsaw puzzle and dumping the pieces on the floor. The effect was that millions of e-mail fragments end up unsorted in the server’s unused—or “slack”—space. We searched through all of it to see what was there, and what parts of the puzzle could be put back together.

FBI investigators have also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014. Where an e-mail was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the FBI referred the e-mail to any U.S. government agency that was a likely “owner” of information in the e-mail, so that agency could make a determination as to whether the e-mail contained classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify the e-mail now, even if its content was not classified at the time it was sent (that is the process sometimes referred to as “up-classifying”).

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.

This helped us recover work-related e-mails that were not among the 30,000 produced to State. Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.

With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been “up-classified.”

I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account—or even a commercial account like Gmail—there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.

It could also be that some of the additional work-related e-mails we recovered were among those deleted as “personal” by Secretary Clinton’s lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her e-mails for production in 2014.

The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related e-mails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server.

It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.

We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.

And, of course, in addition to our technical work, we interviewed many people, from those involved in setting up and maintaining the various iterations of Secretary Clinton’s personal server, to staff members with whom she corresponded on e-mail, to those involved in the e-mail production to State, and finally, Secretary Clinton herself.

Last, we have done extensive work to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.

That’s what we have done. Now let me tell you what we found:

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 evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.

With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

So that’s what we found. Finally, with respect to our recommendation to the Department of Justice:

In our system, the prosecutors make the decisions about whether charges are appropriate based on evidence the FBI has helped collect. Although we don’t normally make public our recommendations to the prosecutors, we frequently make recommendations and engage in productive conversations with prosecutors about what resolution may be appropriate, given the evidence. In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.

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 bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

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

I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation—including people in government—but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.

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MANvsMACHINE's picture

Before she puts out a hit, you must acquit!

BLOTTO's picture

Seriously thou, wtf did everyone expect?

The most epic turnaround the Universe has ever scene? Come on man.


A 10,000 year plan in the making is not going to be snuffed out by a bunch of 'emails.' In fact, those emails carry the agenda on for their benefit - not ours.


Remember, they hate our guts.


At this point we need a divine intervention to turn this planet around...


BaBaBouy's picture


robertsgt40's picture

I swear I saw Slick Willey standing by the teleprompter. 

Tarzan's picture

Odd indeed,

I just watched the whole thing and it's clear to me the FBI just gave a big fuck you to the Clintons.  How you say?

The FBI was FORCED to publicly declare she should not be prosecuted.

So they said fine bitch we'll say it, right after declaring you are an incompetent BITCH, who deserves to be PROSECUTED!


froze25's picture

OK hackers of the world, release all the emails and throw egg on all the faces of these criminals. Trump 2016

Bumpo's picture

Yes, Mr. Trump, the System is Rigged.

ThaBigPerm's picture

"Surprising" - this word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

nope-1004's picture

Can someone tell me how Crime Doesn't Pay, when all I see is the exact opposite?

The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a modern day racketeering organization.


RedDwarf's picture

The Government itself is nothing more than a modern day racketeering organization.  What is your point?

froze25's picture

Let the leaking of the emails begin.

AVmaster's picture

An excerpt of what was said between Comey and Hillary during the three hour "interview":


Comey: "... and I want half of it in unmarked 20's and 50's, the rest in 100's"


Hillary: "Sure!"


Comey: "And I want a All Season pass to "Orgy Island", and please tell Bill to bring his saxophone cause that makes all the chicks hot n ready for action!"


Hillary: "I know right!"


Comey: "And Huma is MINE..."


Hillary: "Wait a minute..."

mtl4's picture

The Just-US system is certainly alive and well, iceberg straight ahead for that Titanic.

Obviously the snakes on a plane were really just discussing grandchildren like they told us.

WordSmith2013's picture


Keyser's picture

It'd official, 3rd world shithole it is...

jcaz's picture

You know what?  Let her have the Presidency.  And when the shit breaks for real in about 24 months,  she'll be the focus of the blame.

Careful what you pay for,  Hillary......

santafe's picture
santafe (not verified) jcaz Jul 5, 2016 11:43 AM

Amazing! Did any of you all actually think the outcome was gonna be any different? And if Trump ever becomes President - very doubtful - he'll do the same crap, as he's already shown his dictator streak. And all his fans will say, "Heil Trump!"

mtl4's picture

Ironically it's clear from all this that not only was the entire thing staged well before any plane meetings, but Obozo (way back in June) greaed the skids before he even announced he would campaign for Hillary. 




TheAntiGov's picture

Santa fem, let me guess, your a demonbrat?

Dick Buttkiss's picture

I have long said that I wanted Hillary to win, so that THE most Establishment politician will be in office when the shit finally hits the fan for good, prompting the "devolution revolution" — http://www.infowars.com/the-transition-to-a-free-society — to kick into into high gear.

jeff montanye's picture

that is a possible silver lining in the towering thunderhead that is the prospect of a hillary clinton administration.

actually the pattern is not that favorable for her.  typically, over many elections in the u.s. and other "advanced democracies", elections without incumbents alternate between leading parties, particularly if the prior chief executive was not clearly popular and obama wasn't (about 45% average approval level).  http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/10/14/forget-what-you-saw-las...

also i would not count hillary as a particularly gifted politician, as her husband certainly was.  while donald trump is not my real cup of tea in terms of style (though i will vote for him over the gorgon without doubt), he must be a pretty good politician to slap down that gaggle of experienced republican politicians so effortlessly.  he still manages to get a lot of free publicity that doesn't include, for better or worse, the word indictment.

stinkypinky's picture

I recall people saying essentially the same thing for the past 6 election cycles or so: " Go ahead, let EVIL_PUPPET be president! Then when things fall apart while he is in the White House people will finally wake up!"

CaptainAmerica2k12's picture

I used to think the same - that after the fall, people would finally wake up.  From what I've seen over the past few years, I'm thinking now people still won't wake up after the fall.  They'll just be finger pointing and blaming someone else. (It will probably be Bush's fault).

NotApplicable's picture

No she won't, as all accusations will be labeled as sexist attacks.

azusgm's picture

Yesterday, someone put out a new video surveying current events that had transpired in the previous week or so. He made the astute observation that looney liberalism has advanced from a political leaning to an outright religious cult.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Utah_Get_Me_2's picture

I'd prefer not to reside in a Hillary 'Fun Camp' for my thought crimes jcaz..

your alarm bells.. your alarm bells.. they should be ringing..


WordSmith2013's picture




Massive Betrayal of the American People: FIRE FBI Director James Brien Comey, Jr. — NOW ! ! !
Amalgamated Tang's picture

The actual data said she was guilty as sin, but then the FBI added a "seasonal adjustment," thus clearing her of all charges.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

F.B.I. - Famous But Incompetent

Socratic Dog's picture

And that would surprise you?  There's good evidence the FBI carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, we know it did Waco,  it seems pretty clear it was behind Orlando, we know it, at the least, covered up the two Kennedy assassinations and 9/11,  no doubt many others.

Treason in the FBI?  Tell us something we don't know.

That said, it still shocks me every time it happens.  Motherfuckers have no shame, just rubbing our faces in it.

USA...the most corrupt nation on earth.  Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Manthong's picture

Tar, feathers, pitchforks, torches, clubs, OSW’s come to mind

This is a nation of reptiles, not of laws.

The renegade executive branch is pissing all over the American people.

The house and senate (no caps for low characters) are complicit.

The tree of liberty seems pretty thirsty.


When I was a kid and first read about the French Revolution, Robespierre, “A Tale of Two Cities” and all, I couldn’t understand how things could be so bad that 32,000 aristocrats were taken to the guillotines for what seemed like vengeful, barbaric behavior.

Now I know why.


Killdo's picture

and I used to wonder why so many people hated Jews until not so long ago

MsCreant's picture

Had a similar thought, but with Hitler. If things are this bad, Hitler's wanting to kick ass starts to look pretty reasonable to the voters. He's pissed, you are pissed, hunt them all down in an orgy of violence. 


Socratic Dog's picture

If you're thinking along those lines, it's worth looking deeper into the guy.  David Irving's writings are a very good place to start, available on Amazon.  He has the credibility of having been jailed for "holocaust denial", how many historians do you know who've been jailed for what they wrote?  Well, outside the USSR.  He doesn't deny the holocaust, by the way, he questions the official narrative and the numbers.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So now ALL politicians will have their own personal servers, and can delete emails at their whim.  FOIA requests??  Who needs em.  Everything the government does now, will be buried.  Obama might be correct when he said he would have the most transparent administration, because from here on out, there won't be any information from anyone in government, unless they WANT you to see it.

There is a reason this information is "supposed" to be kept on government servers---its NOT supposed to be deleted.  They can now hide anything illegal that they want.

Bush Baby's picture
Comey - "'Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way".
Comey then goes on to state that she improperly stored and sent top secret emails and intentionally mishandled it. Yet no charges ? What a a farce
jeff montanye's picture

i'm curious what the evidence was for the errors being unintentional, irrelevant as that may be to the law as written.

they look pretty intentional to me.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) mtl4 Jul 5, 2016 1:21 PM

After subversion of a nation all that is needed is a crisis, then we have "normalization" the only way to change this at this stage is military intervention.

That happened a long time ago.


N2OJoe's picture

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) froze25 Jul 5, 2016 1:47 PM

My Chinese mailman just said "Obama did this"

even he knows

They told you sorta, kinda on the weekend so you would

be used to this treason.


Jethro's picture

Exactly my point.  It is truly everyman for himself for anybody drawing logical conclusions.  Everybody should aspire to be "pirates" now.  Letters of marque and Reprisal for everyone!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Way ahead of ya hoss; I've already set all my credit cards to warp factor 9; come next year my creditors will learn the meaning of "unsecured credit."


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) nope-1004 Jul 5, 2016 11:03 AM

So, he outlines the evidence, he then states the law that shows the actions were a felony, then he recommends no inforcement action should be taken.  What???

BarkingCat's picture

On a global scale.

They very well might have also sold state secrets,  which is treason. 

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) BarkingCat Jul 5, 2016 1:00 PM

Attack the Obama voters, he did this.

sun tzu's picture

It only pays if you are politically connected to coerupt politicians and their minions. Anyone else would be in prison by now

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

She has SATAN at her side, or maybe... hmmm.

ersatz007's picture

Crime doesn't pay if you're worth less than a certain amount...