WASHINGTON (UPI) — FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday that Hillary Clinton was not truthful in public statements about her private email system, though he continued to defend his recommendation she should not be prosecuted because she did not break the law.
Comey riveted Washington on Tuesday when he tore down Clinton’s private email system as secretary of state, calling it “extremely careless” — before announcing the FBI had found no evidence she willfully or knowingly broke the law by mishandling classified information.
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On Thursday, Comey addressed the GOP-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, many of the members of which disagreed with the FBI’s findings in the investigation.
While Comey defended the eventual determination that no criminal charges were appropriate, he did agree with assertions by GOP lawmakers that the presumptive Democratic nominee’s public assurances about her email use were not backed up by the facts uncovered in the investigation.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor, reprised his former role, walking Comey through a series of questions about the FBI’s findings much like in courtroom testimony, asking Comey each step of the way whether Clinton’s public statements were backed up by the facts.
In each instance, Comey agreed they were not:
Gowdy first asked about Clinton’s statement that “there was nothing marked ‘classified.'”
“Not true,” Comey said.
He then asked if there was any classified material on the servers.
“There was classified email,” Comey said.
He then asked whether she had turned over all her emails, as Clinton promised repeatedly she had done.
“We found work-related emails, thousands, that were not returned,” the FBI director said.
Comey stood by his department’s findings, that while Clinton’s email system was “careless” she never knowingly or willfully mishandled or released classified information as a result.
“We did not develop clear evidence of that,” he said.
Comey also defended his department’s handling of the politically charged investigation, saying their conclusion would have been reached no matter which party was in control of the White House.
“No Justice Department, whether under Democrats or Republicans, would prosecute that case,” Comey said.
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