Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Well, on Friday the FBI delivered to the Congress internal memos on the decisionmaking process that led former FBI Director James Comey to conclude that pilfering highly classified satellite imagery from a SCIF and storing it on your private server was no big deal. Today we get the first leak from those documents.
An early draft of former FBI director James Comey’s statement closing out the Hillary Clinton email case accused the former secretary of State of having been “grossly negligent” in handling classified information, newly reported memos to Congress show.
The tough language was changed to the much softer accusation that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information when Comey announced in July 2016 there would be no charges against her.
The change is significant, since federal law states that gross negligence in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines.
Spokesmen for the FBI and Clinton did not immediately return phone calls or emails seeking comment.
The draft, written weeks before the announcement of no charges, was described by multiple sources who saw the document both before and after it was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee this past weekend.
“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 the statement, one of Comey’s earliest drafts.
The article goes on to say that there is no record of who recommended the changed language but Charles Grassley is very interested in putting a name and face to that decision. And, naturally, one of the guys involved in the evolving memo was deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.
The more of this that unfolds, the more likely I am to think that we might actually see a special counsel appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Robert Mueller.