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FBI releases summary of Clinton email inquiry

September 2, 2016

The FBI has released notes of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's email. The former senator's presidential campaign has been dogged by revelations that she conducted State Department business via a personal account.

Hillary Clinton mit Handy
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/R. Drew

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has published a summary of interviews with Hillary Clinton and others over the presidential candidate's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. The FBI's investigation concluded that Clinton, a former senator, had never sought permission to use a private email address during her tenure at the State Department, which violated federal records policies.

Upon taking office in 2009, Clinton directed aides to create a private email account and move it to a system maintained by employees of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as "a matter of convenience." Clinton said no one had raised concerns during her tenure and that everyone with whom she exchanged emails knew that she used a private email account.

The former first lady said she did not set out to hide historical records and that she had instructed aides to return any potentially public information to the State Department in 2014. Clinton told the FBI that a concussion she suffered in 2012 made it difficult for her to recall briefings she received on sensitive information as she transitioned to civilian life in 2013.

After a yearlong investigation, in July the FBI recommended against prosecuting Clinton for violating records law. FBI Director James Comey called Clinton's use of the account "extremely careless," but said the agency had found no evidence that the former first lady and her aides had intentionally mishandled classified information.

Clinton said she hadn't thought about classifying emails she had exchanged on a future military drone attack. State Department employees told the FBI that emails from Clinton arrived marked H and did not indicate that they had originated on a private server.

'Tremendously bad judgment'

The spokesman for Clinton's opponent, billionaire Donald Trump, said the redacted summary was further evidence of "her tremendously bad judgment and dishonesty."

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican like Trump, said Clinton had engaged in "reckless and downright dangerous handling of classified information." The summary, he added, "cast further doubt on the Justice Department's decision to avoid prosecuting."

In July, FBI Director Comey said the government had found no direct evidence that hackers had broken into Clinton's private server, but added that foreign governments would not likely leave evidence of a break-in with such a high-value target.

mkg/bw (Reuters, AP)