U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has accepted the recommendation of FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors to not pursue criminal charges against anyone in connection with Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.
Lynch announced her decision on late Wednesday afternoon after meeting with Comey, career prosecutors and agents who carried out the investigation into Clinton’s use of private servers during her tenure as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.
“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,” Lynch said in an emailed statement.
The announcement comes just a day after Comey said the agency had recommended that no criminal charges be brought in connection with the case, saying its investigation found no evidence that Clinton or her team had the intention to violate laws on record-keeping or the handling of classified information.
Nonetheless, Comey said the FBI’s investigation found 110 emails in 52 email chains that were determined to have contained classified information at the time they were sent or received by Clinton – disproving the presidential candidate’s main defense in regards to her use of a private server.
Comey also said that Clinton had failed to turn over all of her work-related emails because thousands had been deleted, though he added that there was no evidence that any of the emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them, noting that Clinton’s email system lacked proper archiving tools.
The FBI decided against pursuing criminal charges because they had found no evidence of intent – a key requirement for relevant charges. The U.S. Justice Department had the option to file charges without the FBI’s recommendation, but decided not to do so.
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