The FBI will not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State, Director James Comey announced in a press conference on Tuesday. The agency spent a year investigating whether Clinton broke any laws by sending and receiving State Department email through an account hosted by a personal server set up in her home. Comey said that following the conclusion of the investigation, which included a 3.5 hour interview with Clinton on Saturday, “no chargers are appropriate” and “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” against her in court.
Despite the lack of criminal charges, Comey said that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in sending classified material over an unprotected server and exposing her own email and that material to foreign hackers. He said the FBI had found more than 100 emails from Clinton that had classified information on them, in addition to emails that her team had not turned over to the State Department for the investigation. But Comey said it could have been an oversight that the emails were missed by Clinton’s lawyers, and that there was no evidence that Clinton or her team intended to violate laws.
The threat of an indictment had been hanging over Clinton’s presidential campaign since news of the private email server came to light in early 2015. The Department of Justice will make the final decision over whether to prosecute Clinton, but will likely rely on the FBI’s guidance to not prosecute.