Clinton could’ve been fired for email use at FBI

Getty Images

If she were at the FBI instead of running for president, Hillary Clinton might have lost her job for using a private email server to communicate about classified matters.

A current FBI employee who used a personal email setup similar to Clinton’s would not face criminal indictment for their activities, FBI Director James Comey told members of the House Oversight Committee on Thursday. But they could be subject to a range of penalties, up to and including an unceremonious firing.

{mosads}“I’m highly confident there would be no criminal prosecution, no matter who it was,” Comey said. “There would be some range of discipline.

“You could be walked out or, depending on the nature of the facts, you could be reprimanded,” he said.

The director also said sitting FBI officials might lose their security clearances, have their clearances reviewed or be subject to some other “adjudication” for the same matter.

But for a former employee, such as Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the options for punishment are virtually nonexistent.

“An average employee still in government service would be subject to a disciplinary process,” Comey said. “Now if they left, you’d be in the same boat.”

Comey was forced into the uncomfortable position on Thursday of defending his decision not to recommend federal charges be filed against Clinton, despite accusing her of being “extremely careless” with sensitive information.

The evidence did not mount to a case that Clinton or her senior aides intentionally mishandled government secrets, the FBI chief said, making a case impossible to prosecute.

Comey’s comments could be troubling for current officials at the State Department who communicated with her over the private email system, such as Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy. The concerns might also rear their head if Clinton wins the presidential election and her aides follow her into the White House. Those staffers might receive extra scrutiny if they apply for security clearances again.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and others have asked for Clinton to be penalized even before the election.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence should refuse to deliver classified briefings to Clinton, Ryan formally requested on Thursday, due to concerns about her ability to safeguard the information.

Tags

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video