Days after FBI Director James Comey cleared former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of any wrong-doing when she lied about using several private servers to read and distribute classified emails, Congress takes a turn at the director himself.  In 2009, 
President Obama issued Executive Order 13526 which states

there will be penalties for mishandling classified information. As Secretary of State, Clinton acknowledged the order by signing a nondisclosure agreement.  Congress grilled Comey after he laid out the facts that Clinton had lied about the number of private servers in her possession and whether she sent highly classified intel through those unauthorized servers.  Comey addressed the nation the day after Independence Day saying Clinton mishandled the classified information, saying it was “extremely careless” or grossly negligent.  

Comey told the nation Clinton used a private email account and home-brew server without authorization when Clinton said she did have authorization.  Clinton said she never sent or received classified email, but Comey said that “was not true.”  When questioned by Congress on whether it’s a crime to lie to an FBI agent under oath, Comey shocked congress when it was revealed the FBI did not put Clinton under oath during her questioning last week.  The FBI also did not record the her testimony, as is customary, and Comey himself chose to not show during her testimony on Saturday. But Comey did admit to congress it was still a crime to lie to an FBI agent without being under oath.   He also admitted that Clinton allowed her lawyers to read classified information – intel that her lawyers were not authorized to read.

Comey said 33-thousand emails were “lost” and not recoverable. His explanation for not indicting Clinton is “she didn’t intend” to do something wrong.  However, Congress says having a private email account to conduct official business shows “intent” to keep the public out of the loop.  Over 33-thousand records have been destroyed and it is illegal to destroy public records under the The Freedom of Information Act.   
 
Meanwhile, it appears Comey’s decision falls in line under politics.  Phoenix Democrat Reuben Gallego says Comey was acting correctly by clearing Clinton for lying to the FBI.   Whereas Tucson Republican Martha McSally, who has had the highest level of clearance in the military, says Comey’s decision not to prosecute does not make sense.  She says “if anybody in any way had mishandled any classified material intentionally or unintentially, there would be consequences for that.”  


Kris Dugan

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