FBI originally said Hillary Clinton was 'grossly negligent' in the handling of her emails
The FBI originally planned to say that Hillary Clinton was “grossly negligent” in her handling of her secret emails, a top senator said Monday, revealing early drafts of the statement former FBI Director James Comey drew up.When I handled classified materials it was made clear to me that using anything other than protected communication channels would be a violation of the law. Comey's excusing of her conduct is still inexplicable.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, demanded the FBI detail why Mr. Comey nixed that phrase in later drafts.
Gross negligence would seem to be a high enough standard to have prosecuted Mrs. Clinton — though Mr. Comeyended up not recommending charges, saying that while the former first lady, senator and top diplomat was clueless, he couldn’t prove she knew how badly she was risking national security.
“Although Director Comey’s original version of his statement acknowledged that Secretary Clinton had violated the statute prohibiting gross negligence in the handling of classified information, he nonetheless exonerated her in that early, May 2nd draft statement anyway, arguing that this part of the statute should not be enforced,” Mr. Grassley said in a letter demanding answers from new FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Mr. Grassley said the law governing mishandling of classified information uses a gross negligence standard.
In his original statement he drafted, Mr. Comey said there was “evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified material.”
He also wrote in that draft that “the sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the ‘up classified’ emails) supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.”