Comey: Not Disputing Clinton’s Emails Could’ve Damaged National Security

July 14, 2016

FBI Director James Comey was back on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to testify at a hearing on the threat that the Islamic State poses to the United States.

Michael McCaul (R., Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked Comey during the hearing about the national security implications of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Clinton frequently used her personal email server in foreign countries that are known to be actively working to obtain U.S. security secrets. Comey had said in a previous hearing that it was possible for hostile actors to gain access to her personal email account, and possibly gather classified material.

"As I’ve said publicly, we don’t have direct evidence that the server was successfully hacked," Comey said. "We wouldn’t, though, expect to see that evidence from sophisicated adversaries given the nature of the adversary."

"And given the nature of the system," Comey continued, "the definition of classified information is information that an intelligence agency assesses the improper release of which would cause some damage to the United States."

McCaul said that he remembers being told by security officials that lawmakers could not bring their devices into certain countries because of the high risk of them being hacked.

The FBI and the Department of Justice have both decided that they would not pursue criminal charges against the former secretary of state for mishandling classified information over her private server.