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Chaffetz: If An Average Joe Did What Clinton Did, He’d Be in Handcuffs

• July 7, 2016 8:35 am

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House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) said Thursday that if an "average Joe" did what Hillary Clinton did with classified information, he would probably be wearing handcuffs.

Chaffetz appeared on The Today Show to preview the hearing later on Thursday where FBI Director James Comey will testify about the investigation into Clinton and her use of a private email server at the State Department. Chaffetz said Comey was a man of integrity but was confused by the pattern of facts he laid out in his statement on Tuesday, where Comey slammed Clinton for being "extremely careless" with classified material in a statement Tuesday but did not recommend charges.

"I'm mystified. There seems to be a double standard," Chaffetz said. "If the average Joe had gone through that, they'd probably have handcuffs on him and probably be in jail. But if your name is Clinton, if you happen to be part of the powerful and elite, there seems to be a different set of standards."

Chaffetz said the Department of Justice had prosecuted people for far less. However, Attorney General Loretta Lynch officially wrapped up the case Wednesday, announcing that no charges would be brought against Clinton or anyone else within the scope of the investigation.

NBC host Willie Geist asked Chaffetz if he felt Clinton had committed a crime.

"I do believe that there are statutes on the book, there are laws on the book that were clearly broken," he said. "You cannot put classified information in a non-secure format. She did it for years. It put people in jeopardy. It may have been hacked. She lied and misled the American people."

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said Tuesday that Clinton should not be allowed access to the classified material provided to presidential nominees and their running mates. Chaffetz said he agreed with Ryan on that front.

"Classified information is classified for a reason," he said. "It puts people's lives in danger if you mistreat it, and she had done this over a pattern of years. This is not some innocent mistake. She knows better."