Comey: Clinton’s Email Conduct the ‘Definition of Carelessness, of Negligence’

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday before the House Oversight Committee that Hillary Clinton’s transmission of classified information through her private email server "was the definition of carelessness, of negligence."

Comey told Rep. Tim Walberg (R., Mich.) that it would be a double standard to prosecute Clinton for "gross negligence," but Walberg noted Comey’s own statement Tuesday that "any reasonable person" in Clinton’s position should have known that her nonsecure server was no place for conversations containing classified material.

"I stand by that," Comey said. "That’s the definition of carelessness, of negligence."

"Which happened … as a result of our former secretary of state’s decisions," Walberg said.

"Yes," Comey replied.

"Is it your statement then before this committee that Secretary Clinton should have known not to send classified material, and yet she did?" Walberg asked.

"Certainly, she should have known not to send classified information," he said. "As I said, that’s the definition of negligent. I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can’t establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent."

The full exchange is below:

TIM WALBERG: So Secretary Clinton’s revised statement that she never knowingly sent or received any classified information is probably also untrue?

JAMES COMEY: I don’t want to comment on peoples’ public statements. We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information beyond a reasonable doubt, to meet the intent standard. Like I said, I understand why people are confused by the whole discussion. I get that, but you know what would be a double standard? If she were prosecuted for gross negligence.

WALBERG: But your statement on Tuesday said there is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

COMEY: I stand by that.

WALBERG: And that’s very clear.

COMEY: That’s the definition of carelessness, of negligence.

WALBERG: Which happened—

COMEY: Oh yeah.

WALBERG: As a result of our secretary of state’s—former secretary of state’s decisions.

COMEY: Yes.

WALBERG: Is it your statement then before this committee that Secretary Clinton should have known not to send classified material, and yet she did?

COMEY: Certainly, she should have known not to send classified information. As I said, that’s the definition of negligent. I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can’t establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.