WASHINGTON - FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday that 110 emails sent or received on Hillary Clinton’s server contained classified information, but that the agency won't recommend charges against the former secretary of state.
The FBI referred the case to the Justice Department for a prosecutorial decision, though Comey said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring criminal charges upon Clinton.
"Although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case," Comey said.
Comey said that the FBI read all 30,000 emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department back in 2014, and the government agency also unearthed an additional 7,000 work-related emails that had not been returned to the State Department. The FBI found that 110 emails in 52 email chains contained classified information, and 2,000 additional emails have been “up-classified” to become confidential. Three emails contained sensitive information, he said.
Comey explained that there was no “intentional misconduct” by Clinton’s lawyers, who sorted her emails, but that there was evidence of “extremely careless handling” of Clinton’s emails. He said the State Department's security culture was lacking and added that Clinton's staff “should have known” that the server was an improper place for her emails.
Donald Trump took to Twitter shortly after Comey's news conference, tweeting, "The system is rigged ... As usual, bad judgment." He wrote in a second tweet, "FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem"
The FBI has been investigating whether Clinton broke the law as result of a personal email server kept in her Chappaqua home while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. One of the questions is whether she mishandled classified information on the server.
The investigation has dogged Clinton's campaign for the past year as she and her staff struggled to respond to accusations that her use of the server in violation of State Department protocol indicated she was untrustworthy and considered herself above the law.
The Clinton campaign issued a statement saying it was "pleased" with the FBI decision.
"As the secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved," spokesman Brian Fallon said.