FBI Director James Comey will explain Thursday to House lawmakers his bombshell decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over her handling of sensitive emails.
Comey, who took no questions after announcing his decision Tuesday, agreed to go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after several lawmakers sought an explanation. In saying he would not press the Justice Department to pursue an indictment against the likely Democrat nominee for president, Comey nonetheless laid out a strong case that she had violated laws regulating government employees’ safeguarding of sensitive emails.
“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation.”
Comey said 110 emails in 52 email chains discovered on Clinton’s unauthorized server were classified at the time they were sent or received, including some that were “top secret.” He also said that while the probe did not prove Clinton’s server was hacked, it may have been – and he pointedly noted that she used unsecure devices while visiting countries hostile to the U.S.
In addition to Chaffetz, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., wrote the FBI director demanding to know how he justified his decision.