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FBI Director: Clinton 'extremely careless' but no charges for personal email system

FILE -In this file photo combo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, and FBI Director James. Comey. (AP Photo/File)

FBI Director James Comey called Hillary Clinton and her staff "extremely careless" in their handling of sensitive emails sent and received over a personal system used during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Although he concluded, "our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

Comey said investigators combed through 30,000 emails sent and received over the system in 2014. He said they found eight emails containing top secret information, 35 that were considered "secret," and about eight that were deemed "confidential."

He said investigators also found Clinton's system could've been hacked.

"There is evidence that they were extremely careless of very sensitive, highly classified information," Comey said.

From the Associated Press:

The announcement came three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton for hours in a final step of its yearlong investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would accept the recommendations of the FBI director and of career prosecutors, meaning that Comey's decision almost certainly brings the legal part of the issue to a close and removes the threat of criminal charges.

However, it's unlikely to wipe away many voters' concerns about Clinton's trustworthiness. And it probably won't stop Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for criminal charges, from continuing to make the server a campaign issue.

Clnton's personal email server, which she relied on exclusively for government and personal business, has dogged her campaign since The Associated Press revealed its existence in March 2015.

She has repeatedly said that no email she sent or received was marked classified, but the Justice Department began investigating last summer following a referral from the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community.


The scrutiny was compounded by a blistering audit in May from the State Department's inspector general, the agency's internal watchdog, which said that Clinton and her team ignored clear warnings from department officials that her email setup violated federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers. Clinton declined to talk to the inspector general, but the audit said that she had feared "the personal being accessible" if she used a government email account.

The Clinton campaign said agents interviewed her this past Saturday for three and one-half hours at FBI headquarters. Agents had earlier interviewed top Clinton aides including her former State Department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin, a longtime aide who now is the vice chairwoman of Clinton's campaign.

Lynch on Friday said that she would accept whatever findings and recommendations were presented to her. Though she said she had already settled on that process, her statement came days after an impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton on her airplane in Phoenix that she acknowledged had led to questions about the neutrality of the investigation.

This story will be updated.

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