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Here's what James Comey said about Hillary Clinton's emails back in July

In firing FBI Director James B. Comey, the Trump administration cited Comey’s public statements about the FBI  investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use a private email server while she was secretary of State.

In a letter recommending Comey’s removal, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein focused on remarks Comey made at a July 5 news conference.

Rosenstein wrote that the comments were inappropriate, "derogatory" and unfair to the Democratic presidential candidate --  “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.” He said Comey should have left it to the Justice Department to decide what to make public about the investigation.

Here are highlights of what Comey said:

  • “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.”
  • Clinton’s emails included seven message chains with information classified as top secret.
  • “None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system.”
  • “The security culture of the State Department …was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.”
  • Comey acknowledged that the FBI did not normally make public its recommendations to prosecutors as to whether to bring criminal charges. He added:  “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.”
  • “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation.”

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