Hillary Clinton will not face charges for her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State, with the FBI’s investigation coming to a close with a big sigh of relief for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The announcement came on Tuesday from FBI Director James Comey, who noted that the investigation looked into whether classified information was improperly stored.
Comey noted that Clinton used numerous mobile devices to send and receive email across a number of different email servers. As a new server was added, the former one was decommissioned, Comey noted. This made for a difficult task for FBI investigators to put the puzzle back together as they read all of the 30,000 emails that Clinton provided to the FBI.
“It has been a painstaking undertaking requiring thousands of hours of efforts,” he noted.
The investigation found that more than 100 emails contained classified information when sent from Clinton’s private email server. Comey noted that while Clinton did not intentionally share this classified information, the actions of Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless.”
But Comey noted that the FBI “cannot find a case” that would support bringing criminal charges. The FBI itself could not bring charges, but would make a recommendation to the Department of Justice about whether she should face charges.
Hillary Clinton had met with the FBI on Saturday, a meeting of roughly three and a half hours that was believed to be one of the final pieces of the agency’s investigation. At the time, there was speculation that it could still take several more weeks before the FBI came to a conclusion and possibly recommended that the Department of Justice indict Clinton.
Her opponent wasted no time jumping on the issue.
“It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “What she did was wrong!”
Clinton also stoked controversy last week when her husband met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in an unplanned encounter at the Phoenix airport. The two spoke for a short time, leading to accusations that Bill Clinton may have been interfering with the investigation.
Even as some Clinton supporters defended the meeting as having no connection to the investigation, many called for Lynch to step down or appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.
Lynch ultimately announced that she would honor whatever recommendation the FBI made against Hillary Clinton, whether it was to indict or not.
As the FBI investigation moved toward its conclusion, Hillary Clinton kept her focus on the campaign and even scheduled what is to be her biggest and most important rally to date; an event on Tuesday that has her campaigning together with President Barack Obama for the first time.
The two were scheduled to appear together in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obama looks to be a major strength for Clinton as the campaign nears its most important stretch as the president’s popularity has continued to rise and approach a level not seen for an outgoing president since Ronald Reagan left office.
Obama has also been a staunch defender of Hillary Clinton throughout the FBI investigation, NBC News noted. In April, Obama said that he continues to believe “that she has not jeopardized America’s national security” through her use of an unauthorized private email server.
As NBC News noted, Obama was expected to give Clinton a much-needed boost across demographics of voters she will need to win in November.
“And Obama is popular with virtually every Democratic constituency in the country. Eighty-two percent of Sanders voters approve of the job Obama is doing, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, along with 64 percent of young people, Clinton’s major demographic weak spot.”
“NBC News exit polls over the course of the primaries showed that most Democrats — 53 percent — want to continue Obama’s policies, while only 30 percent want the next president to be more liberal.”
“Meanwhile, Obama is also reasonably popular with more up-for-grabs groups, like suburban women, whom Clinton’s campaign is heavily courting.”
Even amid her FBI investigation, Hillary Clinton maintained a steady lead in polls against Donald Trump, with polling aggregates Pollster and Real Clear Politics each putting her between five and seven points in the last few weeks.
With Hillary Clinton not facing charges after the FBI investigation, she has cleared what is believed to be the biggest hurdle in her campaign and the most likely stumbling block against Donald Trump.
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