Shortly after it was announced that the FBI would not be bringing charges against current presidential candidate and former Secretary of State, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan took to the airwaves and vowed to bring investigators, including FBI Director James Comey, in before Congress to testify. [Scroll Down For Video]
He immediately held true to his word and earlier today Comey was in front of a congressional committee testifying on the investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified materials on her private email server.
Some parts of the interview are extremely tense. At one point, Comey was flat out asked if Clinton lied. Comey said Clinton did not lie to the FBI during their official questioning of her.
When asked if Clinton lied to the public, Comey said he was not qualified to answer that question. When asked if Clinton lied under oath, Comey said “not to the FBI. Not on any case we’re working.”
Chaffetz asks Comey: "Did Hillary Clinton lie?" pic.twitter.com/tW0vOa2yvl
— POLITICO (@politico) July 7, 2016
Comey then clarified that Clinton had not given her testimony to the FBI under oath as he had not received a referral from Congress to conduct an interview under oath with Clinton. Comey was then asked if he needed a referral to compel Clinton to testify under oath. He said, “Sure do.”
“You’ll have one,” Rep. Chaffetz replied. “You’ll have one in the next few hours.”
Then the line of questioning went into whether Clinton broke the law by knowingly setting up a private email server and sending highly classified documents through that server as well as sharing classified documents with her attorneys.
Comey responded that Hillary had not broken any law while committing those actions. This sets a dangerous precedent and seems to remove most of the teeth from the laws that are designed to protect our country’s most important secrets.
According to an Associated Press report, Comey acknowledged that Clinton did mishandle classified documents and was extremely careless:
The FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said Tuesday, lifting a major legal threat to her presidential campaign.
Comey said that although the investigation found “extremely careless” behavior by Clinton and her staff in their handling of sensitive information, the FBI had concluded that “no charges are appropriate.” He said the agency believed that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
The announcement came three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton for hours in a final step of its yearlong investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would accept the recommendations of the FBI director and of career prosecutors, meaning that Comey’s decision almost certainly brings the legal part of the issue to a close and removes the threat of criminal charges.
Lynch has been criticized for taking a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton aboard Lynch’s government plane just days before the decision not to charge Hillary was announced.