In a statement made by FBI Director James Comey, the Bureau will recommend to the Justice Department that no charges be filed against Hillary Clinton in light of the FBI’s investigation into her usage of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The details revealed by Director Comey in his statement today, however, draw attention to a few inaccuracies made by Secretary Clinton regarding the email controversy since the New York Times first broke the story in March 2015.
The following is a timeline of the 5 most egregious inaccuracies, alongside Director Comey’s new information revealed today:
Date: March 10, 2015, United Nations Press Conference
LIE #1: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email.”
TRUTH: As FBI Director James Comey revealed in the press conference today, 108 of the emails in more than 52 chains she sent were, in fact, considered classified. And 8 of those chains contained a “Top Secret” classification.
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent
LIE #2: “First, when I got to work as Secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
TRUTH: The Director pointed out that Hillary Clinton used “numerous mobile devices to view and send email on that personal domain.”
Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together—to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work—has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.
LIE #3: “It [her email system] was on property guarded by the Secret Service. And there were no security breaches.”
TRUTH: It turns out, however, there might have been a successful security breach on Secretary Clinton’s email. While the FBI Director that this is “unlikely,” he states that “it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”
We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.
Date: August 8, 2015, Signed Declaration to Federal Judge
LIE #4: “While I do not know what information may be ‘responsive’ for purposes of this lawsuit, I have directed that all my e-mails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”
TRUTH: According to FBI Director James Comey’s statement today, “several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.”
The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.
Date: September 7, 2015, Interview with Associated Press
LIE #5: “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.”
TRUTH: According to an official report released in May by the State Department Office of the Inspector General, the department “found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server.”
OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server. According to the current CIO and Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs. However, according to these officials, DS and IRM did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM [Foriegn Affairs Manuel] and the security risks in doing so.
FBI Director Comey said the followed regarding the issue:
“Any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” said Director Comey in his statement today, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
He closed his statement with the following:
“I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation—including people in government—but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.”