The Cable

Attorney General Says Clinton Will Face No Charges for Email Scandal

Loretta Lynch says she will accept the FBI's recommendation and won't prosecute the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.


A tongue-lashing from FBI Director Jim Comey — and its possible political fallout — is the worst that her use of a private email system will cost Hillary Clinton.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will face no criminal charges for her use of an email system that Comey described as “extremely careless.”

In a statement, Lynch said that she had met with Comey and the prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Clinton’s email system. “I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation,” she said.

On Wednesday, Comey delivered an extraordinary rebuke from an FBI director to the future nominee of a major American political party. Comey said that thousands of hours of investigation had uncovered no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but he castigated Clinton and her aides for using a system that he said put classified information at risk of theft and may have allowed hackers working on behalf of foreign governments to read her messages.

Comey’s description of Clinton’s use of a private email system during her time as secretary of state as reckless may come to haunt her as the presidential election kicks into full gear, and Republicans are already putting the attack line to use.

Since Tuesday, Trump has been railing against the FBI’s recommendation against filing charges. “Crooked Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI and to the people of our country,” he wrote on Wednesday. “She is sooooo guilty. But watch, her time will come!”

While Lynch’s decision not to press charges in the case spells the end of Clinton’s federal legal troubles, her aides may still face scrutiny over the episode if she wins the White House. Aides implicated in the improper handling of classified information may have difficulty in gaining security clearances, legal experts say, and this may result in key Clinton advisers getting shut out from plum posts.


Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering cyberspace. @EliasGroll

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