Hillary Clinton may avoid criminal charges, but the searing rebuke of her “extremely careless” email practices by FBI Director James Comey is likely to reverberate through the November election and, if she wins, well into her presidency, says the Washington Post. In a methodical, 15-minute statement ending the investigation of Clinton’s personal email system while she was secretary of state, Comey laid bare a litany of facts that amounted to a stern admonishment of her judgment, management, and stewardship of state secrets.
Comey systematically obliterated many of the key defenses Clinton and her advisers have offered in the 15 months since the discovery that she used a private email system. Clinton had insisted that she did not send or receive classified materials, but Comey said the FBI found that 110 of her emails contained classified information.
For weeks now, Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has been arguing that her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, is unfit to be president and cannot be trusted in the Oval Office. She had hoped that a rally yesterday in Charlotte with President Obama would underscore that contrast with Trump. Instead, the remarks by Comey — a Republican with a sterling reputation among leaders of both parties — cast fresh doubt on Clinton’s own fitness and trustworthiness.
“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,” Comey said. The Clinton campaign had no advance warning of the timing or contents of Comey’s announcement. Comey said he had not coordinated or reviewed his statement with any part of the government.