FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 that the FBI is not recommending criminal charges stemming from Hillary Clinton’s use of private email while secretary of state. Conservative media figures have been baselessly predicting an incoming indictment for months.
FBI Director Declines To Recommend Charges Against Clinton
Comey: “No Reasonable Prosecutor Would Bring Such A Case.” In his July 5 press conference, FBI Director James Comey summarized the FBI investigation into the email controversy:
FBI Director James Comey said today his agency is not recommending that charges be brought against Hillary Clinton after a yearlong investigation into her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said in a news conference.
“In looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he added. [ABCNews.com, 7/5/16]
Experts Said Months Ago That Clinton “Won’t Be Indicted And Shouldn’t Be”
Law Professor Richard Lempert: Clinton “Won’t Be Indicted And Shouldn’t Be.” University of Michigan Professor of Law and Sociology and former Department of Homeland Security classification expert Richard Lempert explained in the American Prospect that Clinton’s use of a personal email server was not a criminal matter. [Media Matters, 3/21/16]
ABC News: “There Doesn't Seem To Be A Legitimate Basis For Any Sort Of Criminal Charge Against Her.” In a February 1 piece, ABC News' legal analyst Dan Abrams debunked media outlets hyping the claim that Clinton will be indicted over her private server usage. Abrams added that “there is no evidence -- not suppositions or partisan allegations but actual evidence -- that Clinton knew that using a private email server was criminal or even improper at the time.” [ABCNews.com, 2/1/16]
Conservative Media Claimed Clinton Would Be Indicted
Dick Morris: “It Either Will Be An Indictment Or A Leaked FBI Memo Recommending An Indictment.” Conservative commentator Dick Morris said:
DICK MORRIS: Tom DeLay is precisely right. It either will be an indictment or a leaked FBI memo recommending an indictment. The indictment of course puts Hillary in the spot and may force her out of the race. [NewsmaxTV, Newsmax Prime, 1/26/16]
Tom DeLay: “I Have Friends That Are In The FBI And They Tell Me They’re Ready To Indict.” Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay claimed during an appearance on NewsmaxTV that FBI sources had told him “they’re ready to indict” Clinton:
TOM DELAY: I have friends that are in the FBI and they tell me they're ready to indict. They're ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they're going public. [NewsmaxTV, The Steve Malzberg Show, 1/25/16]
Charles Krauthammer: “I Think She Gets Either Indicted, Or There’s A Criminal Referral Somehow Squashed By The Higher-Ups.” On the March 31 edition of Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The ultimate irony is that the reason she embarked on all of this was to hide her communications from the world, from the Freedom of Information Act, from the Congress. That was the point. There is no other point in doing this. It's meant to evade subpoenas, inquiries, Congressional committees.
And now it's all over the -- everything is out there. We know that 22 of these were extremely highly secret. And it's, look, it's a perfect -- the word condign was invented for this kind of retribution. This is condign punishment. You want to hide your official acts in a way that nobody else has, nobody else would try to, you are going to be exposed to the word. I think she gets either indicted, or there's a criminal referral somehow squashed by the higher-ups. I can't see her getting away from this with nothing. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 3/31/16, transcript via Nexis]
John Bolton Predicted White House May Have Been “Laying The Groundwork For An Indictment.” Fox News contributor John Bolton floated the theory that the potential demotion of Gen. David Petraeus was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for an indictment against Clinton.
BILL HEMMER (HOST): Quickly, in 20 seconds. Petraeus might be demoted? What's that about?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think this has to come from the White House. I can't see the Pentagon raising this issue again. And it leads me to wonder whether this is an effort to show that a harsher penalty against Petraeus may be laying the groundwork for an indictment against Secretary Clinton. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 1/19/16]
Joseph DiGenova: Hillary Clinton Will Not “Be Able To Complete Her Campaign” After Indictment For Committing “Numerous Federal Crimes” With Private Email Use. Conservative activist Joseph DiGenova claimed during an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show that Hillary Clinton and her staff “have committed numerous federal crimes involving the negligence and improper handling of classified information” through her use of a private email account and server. DiGenova asserted that the FBI is “not going to be able to walk away from this,” claiming that the evidence is “so overwhelming” and stating that the FBI would “revolt” and “intelligence community will not stand for” it if Clinton is not indicted. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 1/5/16]