Paul Ryan Formally Asks DNI to Deny Classified Information to Hillary Clinton

House Speaker Paul Ryan / AP
July 7, 2016

House Speak Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has formally asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to withhold classified information from Hillary Clinton during the remainder of her presidential campaign.

Ryan sent the request to Clapper on Thursday in response to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement this week that Clinton and her former State Department aides were "extremely careless" in their use of a private email server.

Clinton is set to begin receiving classified briefings after the Democratic National Convention, where she is expected to clinch the party’s formal nomination. Presidential candidates have traditionally received intelligence briefings as the race moves into the general election.

"There is no legal requirement for you to provide Secretary Clinton with classified information, and it would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation’s secrets if you provide her access to this information despite the FBI’s findings," Ryan wrote in the letter dated Wednesday. "I firmly believe this is necessary to reassure the public that our nation’s secrets are secure."

Comey said during a press conference Tuesday that while his agency would not recommend criminal charges be brought against Clinton, individuals who engage in similar actions often face security or administrative sanctions.

Ten Republican senators, including former presidential candidate Marco Rubio (Fla.), sent a separate letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday demanding he suspend security clearances for Clinton and her aides.

"There is simply no excuse for Hillary Clinton’s decision to set up a home-cooked email system which left sensitive and classified national security information vulnerable to theft and exploitation by America’s enemies," they wrote.

Comey will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday regarding the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s email practices. The hearing comes one day after Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement that the Department of Justice would accept Comey’s recommendation to not press charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information, effectively closing the case.