But as revealed during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee Thursday, as many as 1,000 State Department employees were connected to classified information sent through the unclassified e-mail system that found its way into Clinton's server-almost all of it unmarked with classification information, and some of it including information about CIA and other Intelligence Community personnel and assets overseas.
"In their (Republicans') eyes, you had one job and one job only: to prosecute Hillary Clinton", said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, to Comey. "I don't think that's for me to recommend", he said.
"They did not believe that (material in the emails) was classified, and I did not have a basis for second-guessing their conclusion", Clinton told CNN.
"But that doesn't matter, because she's Hillary Clinton".
"Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account".
"That's a harder one to answer", Mr Comey said.
"Whether they were deleted or whether, when a server changed out, something happened to them?" He said there was no evidence that she knew that anything she was doing was against the law. Rich, white people are apparently not held accountable for their crimes to the same degree as the black community.
FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
"What does it take for somebody to misuse classified information and get in trouble for it?" he asked Comey. That evidence did not exist in this case, Mr Comey said.
In lengthier comments before lawmakers on Thursday, Comey again spoke of Clinton's and her staff's carelessness and "real sloppiness", adding that it seemed she was not "particularly sophisticated with respect to classified information".
"We will aim to be as expeditious as possible, but we will not put artificial deadlines on the process", Kirby said. Such sanctions usually include the suspension of that individual's access to classified information.
But Kirby said this week that former officials could still face punishment.
Comey, a Republican who was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama and also served in the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush, has built a reputation as a straight shooter who does not bend to pressure from either party.
During more than four hours of questioning, Comey said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee did not lie to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and did not break the law - and that the decision not to proceed with criminal charges was the unanimous assessment of a group of investigators and analysts whom the director described as an "all-star team" assembled by the Justice Department.