FBI releases Hillary Clinton email report

FBI releases Hillary Clinton email report

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Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton repeatedly told the FBI she couldn’t recall key details and events related to classified information procedures, according to notes the bureau released Friday of its July interview with the Democratic presidential nominee, along with a report on its investigation into her private email server.
Clinton told the FBI she “could not recall any briefing or training by State related to the retention of federal records or handling classified information,” according to the bureau’s notes of their interview with Clinton. The documents indicate Clinton told investigators she either does not “recall” or “remember” at least 39 times — often in response to questions about process, potential training or the content of specific emails.Much of the report reiterated what FBI Director James Comey testified in open hearings before Congress, including that more than six dozen email chains contained classified information at the time they were sent and that there appeared to have been hacking attempts on her server, though there is no evidence they were successful. Still, the report added fuel to the criticisms of Clinton and the narrative that her team acted “extremely careless,” as Comey said.
GOP nominee Donald Trump and other Republicans have stepped up their attacks connecting the emails to questions over whether Clinton gave preferential treatment to donors to her family’s foundation. The release of the documents Friday comes as Clinton’s lead over Trump has been cut in half since her post-convention bounce last month, according to CNN’s Poll of Polls released Thursday.
The bureau is making the information public in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, including from CNN.
“Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016 interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure,” the agency said in a statement. “We also are releasing a factual summary of the FBI’s investigation into this matter.”
Presidential campaign ramifications
The publication of the FBI report is likely to give a new burst of political life to the controversy over Clinton’s private server.
The episode plays directly into Republican claims that Clinton is dishonest, abhors transparency and lacks the ethical standards required of someone who sits in the Oval Office. It also allows Trump’s campaign to suggest to voters that they will be setting up a repeat of the cycle of scandals, controversy, and investigations that dragged on through the entire presidency of Bill Clinton and which tainted Hillary Clinton at the same time.
“Hillary Clinton’s answers to the FBI about her private email server defy belief,” Trump said in a statement. “I was absolutely shocked to see that her answers to the FBI stood in direct contradiction to what she told the American people. After reading these documents, I really don’t understand how she was able to get away from prosecution.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, meanwhile, called the release a “devastating indictment” of Clinton’s honesty and judgment.
Clinton’s campaign, however, said it was “pleased” by the release.
“While her use of a single email account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case,” Clinton’s national press secretary Brian Fallon said in a statement.
The FBI report also provided detail on mass deletions of Clinton’s email server by the company maintaining her server, Platte River Networks, after the existence of it came to light.
According to the investigation report, top Clinton adviser Cheryl Mills told a PRN worker whose name was redacted in December 2014 that Clinton wanted her email to only be retained for 60 days, and instructed him to reset the retention policy on her email account.
But the individual told the FBI he realized that he had failed to do so until after The New York Times published its bombshell story revealing Clinton’s private server and email use, prompting an “‘oh s***’ moment.”
“In a follow-up FBI interview on May 3, 2016, (name redacted) indicated he believed he had an ‘oh s***’ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015, deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s emails,” the report stated.
The mass deletion occurred after the March 2, 2015, Times story and after a March 3, 2015, preservation order from the House Benghazi Committee to retain and produce documents related to her email accounts.
Mills had sent this request to PRN and this individual on March 9, 2015, and under repeat questioning by the FBI, the individual admitted he was aware that the request existed and meant he shouldn’t disturb the files on PRN’s server.
Both Mills and Clinton told the FBI they were not aware of the mass deletion that March.

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