Federal Bureau of Investigation director defends Hillary Clinton email probe outcome

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman, chose to focus on another matter.

House Republicans plan to request a second FBI investigation into whether Hillary Clinton lied under oath, they announced Thursday during a grilling of FBI Director James Comey.

Comey said investigators found no evidence that Clinton or her aides meant to break the law, even though they mishandled classified information. Comey said the FBI's investigation found no "direct evidence" of such intrusion, but concluded that hostile actors did gain access to the private commercial email accounts of people Clinton contacted regularly via her personal account.

"I guess I read "criminal intent" as the idea that you allow someone without security clearance access to classified information", Chaffetz responded.

"His conduct to me illustrates the category of behavior that marks the prosecutions that are actually brought", Comey said.

Jordan, a leader in the conservative House Freedom Caucus who also aggressively questioned Comey on Thursday, further said the lack of prosecution showed average Americans that there is a double standard for politicians who commit crimes.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland told Comey "there is absolutely no evidence that you made your recommendation for political reasons" and asked him to "close the gap" by explaining the steps of the investigation.

"The "reasonable person" test is not what you look at for perjury or false statements", Comey said.

"It's unbelievable some Republicans were praising you just days ago for your independence, for your integrity and your honesty, instantly turned against you because your recommendation conflicted with their predetermined outcome they wanted, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said". Such actions would have included "clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information", exposure of material suggesting intentional misconduct, signs of disloyalty to the USA or efforts to obstruct justice.

But without a transcript of what Clinton said, it would be hard to prove her words were false.

Maloney also asked whether it was true he was bribed to let Clinton escape, as she said GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed.

Democratic members of the committee holding the hearing said Republicans were using it as way to hurt Mrs Clinton politically. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommendation and was to appear at another hearing next Tuesday. Only three of the 30,000 FBI-reviewed emails were explicitly marked as classified and those were marked with a "C" in the body of the email, not in the header, Comey said.

Many Republican representatives who questioned Comey expressed their discontent with the FBI's decision not to recommend charges against Clinton.

Comey called her and her staff "extremely careless" and said that any "reasonable" government employee should have recognized that such information should not be aired in emails.

WALBERG: Is it your statement, then, before this committee that secretary Clinton should have known not to send classified material and yet she did?

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