Former FBI Director James Comey considered Hillary Clinton’s handling classified information on her private email account to be “grossly negligent,” according to a May 2016 draft of a memo he sent to other FBI officials last year.
But that language was watered down by the time Comey gave a July 5, 2016 press conference in which he announced that he was recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be prosecuted in the case.
Comey called Clinton’s email habits “extremely careless” during that press conference.
The change, first reported by The Hill, is significant because gross negligence in the handling of classified information can be punishable by jail time.
“There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information,” reads a May 2, 2016 statement prepared by Comey.
Comey also wrote in the draft that “the sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email…supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.”
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