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FBI Says No Criminal Charges for Hillary Clinton Over Emails

The FBI has recommended that no criminal charges be brought against Hillary Clinton over her use of private email while she was Secretary of State.

FBI Director James Comey said that although she was "extremely careless" with classified information, "no reasonable prosecutor" would pursue a criminal case against the Democratic presidential hopeful. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that she would follow the recommendation—meaning that Clinton is officially in the clear.

FBI agents interviewed Clinton for more than three hours over the long US Independence Day weekend, grilling her about her email habits. The FBI said that it found more than 100 emails that were classified on her private server, which showed up in multiple email chains. However, the information hadn’t been flagged as classified, and the FBI concluded that the information was not sent intentionally. If there had been intent, then there would have been grounds for criminal charges.

The recommendation concludes an investigation that began a year ago and which involved the detailed examination of multiple servers, 30,000 emails and dozens of people. It all started with a request by the House Select Committee on Benghazi to see correspondence between Clinton and other officials surrounding the September 2012 attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. In the course of that process, it was discovered that Clinton had used a personal email address for some communications, routing the messages through private server at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Comey did chastise the presumptive Presidential nominee, saying that “There is evidence to support a conclusion” that she “should have known an unclassified system was no place” for handling sensitive information, and that she should have known better.

His comments echoed the tone of an independent audit by the Inspector General which found that Clinton and her team ignored “clear guidance” from the State Department about email security while she was Secretary of State.

Predictably, Republican presidential contender Donald Trump characterized Clinton as compromising national security, and called the decision "unfair."

For anyone interested in drawing their own conclusions, WikiLeaks has launched a searchable archive of 30,322 emails and email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547 pages of documents span from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014, and include 7,570 documents that were sent by Hillary Clinton herself. The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the US State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. The final PDFs were made available on February 29.

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