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Clinton's Email Troubles Persist as FBI Sends Notes to Congress

Image: Clinton's Email Troubles Persist as FBI Sends Notes to Congress

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Tuesday, 16 Aug 2016 06:06 PM

The FBI sent lawmakers notes on its interview with Hillary Clinton about her use of a private e-mail server, as the State Department confirmed that it will release several thousand work-related messages that Clinton failed to turn over.

The two developments on Tuesday all but ensured that the controversy over what FBI Director James Comey called the “extremely careless” handling of classified information by Clinton and her aides while she was secretary of state will persist through the 12 weeks remaining before the election.

"Another unflattering episode is always just around the corner," Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Tuesday. "The e-mail matter is a persistent, low-grade fever that won’t kill her candidacy but will weaken public trust in her during the remainder of her public career."

In a Bloomberg Politics national poll conducted August 5-8, 58 percent of likely voters said the handling of e-mails by the Democratic presidential nominee bothered them "a lot."

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that lawmakers “received the FBI witness interview reports, including that of Secretary Clinton’s interview, along with other materials from the FBI’s closed investigative file.”

Leaks Predicted

Jason Herring, acting assistant director of the FBI, confirmed in a separate letter to the House Oversight Committee that the documents were being provided on a classified basis. But Schiff predicted “their contents will simply be leaked for political purposes.”

“This is an extraordinarily rare step that was sought solely by Republicans for the purposes of further second-guessing the career professionals at the FBI,” Brian Fallon, Clinton’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement. “We believe that if these materials are going to be shared outside the Justice Department, they should be released widely so that the public can see them for themselves, rather than allow Republicans to mischaracterize them through selective, partisan leaks."

Clinton was interviewed by FBI agents and federal prosecutors for 3 1/2 hours on July 2 at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington. Comey told Congress the following week there was no evidence that Clinton lied to the FBI but said he would pursue a request from Republican lawmakers that the agency investigate whether she lied to Congress.

At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner confirmed Tuesday that the department has agreed to provide Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that has pressed for release of Clinton’s e-mail exchanges, with “any e-mails sent or received by Secretary Clinton in her official capacity during her tenure as Secretary of State” that weren’t already vetted.

Comey said last month that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found “several thousand” work-related e-mails that weren’t among about 30,000 communications turned over previously. Clinton had said those were all of her work-related messages.

Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch, which has released more than 100 e-mails from Clinton that it says the State Department didn’t previously make public, will now receive the remainder, although the government will redact classified information.

"The American people will now see more of the e-mails Hillary Clinton tried to hide from them,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

While the details of the FBI report on Clinton’s interview and the content of the additional e-mails uncovered by the agencies aren’t public, Comey said last month that "that no reasonable prosecutor would bring" a case on the issue because it would require an intent to violate statutes.

The FBI’s Herring reaffirmed in the letter to Congress that the agency found no “clear evidence of knowledge or intent” by Clinton to mishandle classified information. He said the agency also “assessed that the facts did not support a recommendation to prosecute her or others within the scope of the investigation for gross negligence.”

--With assistance from Nick Wadhams Andrew Harris and Margaret Talev To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.net, Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, Larry Liebert, Kevin Whitelaw

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The FBI sent lawmakers notes on its interview with Hillary Clinton about her use of a private e-mail server, as the State Department confirmed that it will release several thousand work-related messages that Clinton failed to turn over.The two developments on Tuesday all...
Clinton, email, FBI, Congress
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2016-06-16
Tuesday, 16 Aug 2016 06:06 PM
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