The 800-page report by the GOP-led Benghazi Committee found no wrongdoing by the former secretary of state, but the two-year inquiry had revealed that she used a private email server for government business, triggering a yearlong FBI investigation that continues to shadow the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
In the aftermath of FBI Director' James Comey's assessment, President Obama expressed concern over the State Department's sloppy and cavalier handling of classified information during the years Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
The Republican National Committee said in an email to reporters that Clinton "continued to misrepresent the facts about her email scandal and refused to commit to cooperating with a rekindled State Department probe into her handling of classified material". But those markings were incomplete, and Clinton may not have been "sophisticated" enough to properly interpret them, Comey said Thursday.
In describing the matter, Comey said three emails on Clinton's server each had at least one paragraph "down in the body" with a "C" in parentheses at the beginning of the paragraph, indicating the paragraph contained classified information.
Clinton also said that she used only one mobile device for both government and private emails for "convenience", and turned over all emails to the State Department.
Last Tuesday the campaign committee of Clinton was pleased about the closure of the investigation and said, "As the secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again".
"In that case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information... not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but we found it in a search warrant... and then he lied to us about it during the investigation", Comey explained. "I can speak about what she said to the FBI", Comey responded.
"What does it take for somebody to misuse classified information and get in trouble for it?" he asked Comey.
The position is a striking rebuttal to Comey, who twice this week called her behavior "extremely careless", even while asserting it did not violate the law. "I don't think that's for me to recommend", he said.
Much of the hearing was spent parsing whether intent should be considered in whether to prosecute Clinton, or whether Clinton was treated differently because she was a high-profile partisan.
Though Comey's less-than-definitive remarks were interpreted by many cyber security experts as an indication that Clinton's server was indeed hacked - The New York Times ran a piece citing such experts - Clinton dismissed the idea as mere speculation on the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's part.
"My conclusion was and remains that no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case", Comey said.