Jul 06 2016
WASHINGTON – In response to FBI Director James Comey’s press conference regarding Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) sent a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Justice warning that following the FBI’s recommendation to not prosecute Clinton “could set a dangerous precedent for not holding a public official accountable for reckless actions.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch had previously said the DoJ would follow the recommendation of the FBI.
“Many in Alabama and America believe that some powerful public officials act as if rules and laws do not apply to them,” Shelby wrote. “As John Adams said, ours is a ‘government of laws, and not of men.’ The nation is counting on your application of this principle.”
FBI Director Comey conceded during his press conference that “110 e-mails in 53 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information… Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were ‘up-classified’ to make them Confidential.”
Shelby wrote to the DoJ that “these statement confirm Secretary Clinton mislead the American people and was extremely reckless in her handling of classified information both sent and received on her private e-mail.
“If a lower-level government employee with access to classified information had behaved in this manner, including at the Top Secret level, they would loser their security clearance immediately and would almost certainly lose their job,” he continued. “If that same employee had previously established their own personal unsecured email server in their home for the purpose of evading government oversight, they would rightly be charged with a crime.”
After sending the letter, which can be read in full here, Sen. Shelby released the following statement titled “Hillary Clinton is not above the law:”
Today the FBI confirmed that Hillary Clinton misled the American people and was ‘extremely careless’ with classified information both sent and received on her private e-mail server. While I appreciate and respect the hard work of the FBI, I have serious concerns with their recommendation after uncovering that Hillary Clinton grossly mishandled matters relating to national security. If the DOJ follows the FBI’s recommendation, it could set a dangerous precedent for not holding a public official accountable for reckless actions.
I strongly believe that all Americans should be held to the same standards and that the Department should take a hard look at the FBI’s strong rebuke of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail practices. From former President Bill Clinton visiting Attorney General Lynch’s aircraft for a secret meeting to Hillary Clinton’s attorneys deleting e-mails, it is clear that the Clintons believe that they do not have to play by the same rules. It is now up to DOJ to ensure that Hillary Clinton is not treated as though she is above the law.
A staffer for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, dismissed the concerns of Shelby and others and said the matter has now been put to rest.
“We are pleased that the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the Department is appropriate,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. “As the Secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved.”