Leading Republicans from the Central Valley sought to highlight what they claim is irresponsible behavior by presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her tenure as the nation’s highest diplomat in the wake of Tuesday’s announcement that the FBI would not recommended filing charges against Clinton for her handling of classified information.
“The FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton has revealed ‘extremely careless’ handling of classified information by Clinton and her aides, and their communications may have been intercepted by hostile actors,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, in a written statement. Nunes chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is the primary House committee charged with overseeing the intelligence community.
“This sort of irresponsibility can directly jeopardize U.S. national security and put people’s lives at risk,” Nunes added. “I hope the irresponsible handling of classified information documented by the FBI will be considered if any of these individuals currently possesses a security clearance or applies for one in the future.”
The controversy over Clinton’s handling of classified information has remained an issue during the 2016 presidential election ever since it was disclosed last year that Clinton had maintained a private email server, which she relied on for both her personal and work-related communications. A review of her emails by federal authorities showed that scores of them contained classified information.
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This sort of irresponsibility can directly jeopardize U.S. national security and put people’s lives at risk.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare
Since Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said she will accept whatever the FBI and career prosecutors recommend, Tuesday’s announcement likely means that neither Clinton nor her aides will face charges for emails sent and received that contained classified information.
“What Director Comey’s statements made clear was that Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a personal unsecured server to send work-related emails while serving as Secretary of State – including classified information – was extremely irresponsible,” House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said in a statement.
McCarthy said he was troubled that the FBI could not rule out the possibility of Clinton’s emails being accessed by individuals or organizations hostile to the United States.
Other Republican lawmakers expressed confusion with the FBI’s decision.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement,“While I respect the professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law.”
Staff members for Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said he was not available to comment.