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Comey’s Statement on Clinton

FBI Director Comey announced the findings of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server earlier today. While he won’t be recommending criminal charges against Clinton, he did say this:

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

It has been said many times already, but it bears repeating that almost anyone else in or around the government that mishandled classified information in this way would not be let off the hook so easily. There are clearly two standards of conduct for high-ranking officials and everyone else, and because Clinton is one of the former she is able to get away with behavior that would be career-ending for almost anyone else.

The picture Comey paints is one of an irresponsible Secretary of State:

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.

Clinton won’t be indicted for breaking any laws, but Comey’s statement is nonetheless an indictment of her poor judgment, negligence, and recklessness. This should be very damaging for Clinton, and maybe it still could be, but it can hardly come as a surprise to anyone that remembers how the Clintons have operated over the years. The sloppiness, sense of entitlement, and disregard for consequences are all only too familiar. We can expect several more years of this sort of behavior from a future Clinton administration.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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