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James Comey
  FBI Director James Comey Testifies on Hillary Clinton Email Probe  CSPAN  July 10, 2016 10:32am-3:13pm EDT

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college. to simply accept students who have not held that obligation is doing a great disservice to them and it is selling the effort of affirmative action. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> could five g mobile connectivity be right around the corner? fcc chair nominee is pushing --d and says the u.s. must fcc chair tom wheeler is pushing hard for it and says the u.s. must lead. she will discuss why the internet is needed and the expansion of virtual reality. she's joined by howard busker. >> the goal is to say we have the spectrum. we have the vision about where we want to go wireless and we are going to push ahead to ensure that the u.s. maintains
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its global leadership in the arena. that's terrific for country. -- our country. it's essential where u.s. global leadership has yielded tremendous benefit economically from a technological perspective . >> watch the communicators monday night on c-span2. on thursday fbi director james comey testified for the -- before the house oversight committee on his decision not to prosecute hillary clinton for maintaining a primary -- private e-mail server. it's about four and a half hours. >> the committee on oversight
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and government reform will come to order. thank director comey for being here and doing so on short notice. i have the greatest admiration for the fbi. my grandfather was a career fbi agent. i am here because we are mystified and confused by the fact pattern that you laid out in the conclusions that you have reached. it seems that there are two standards. there is no consequence for these types of activities in dealing in a careless way with classified information. it seems to a lot of us that the average joe, the average american, if they had done what you laid out in your statement, that they would be in handcuffs. they might be on their way to
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jail and they probably should. i think there is a legitimate concern that there is a double standard. if your name is not clinton or you're not part of the powerful elite, that lady justice will act differently. it's a concern that lady justice will take off that blindfold and come to a different conclusion. hillary clinton created this mess. it was not republicans, not anyone else. she made a very conscious decision on the very day she started her senate confirmation. she set up and got a domain name. and set up a system to avoid and bypass the safety, security, and protocol of the state
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department. classified information is classified for a reason. classified because if it were to to get out into the public, nefarious actors, others, that want to do harm to others. when these communications are not secure, it puts their lives in jeopardy. this classified information is entrusted to very few. there is an obligation to protect that and follow on your side to protect that. yet, there doesn't seem to be any consequences. i was talking to mr. gowdy, he made a good point. he said, in your statement, mr. director, you mentioned there was no precedent for this. but we believe you have set a precedent. it is a dangerous one.
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the precedent is, if you sloppily deal with classified information, if you are cavalier about it -- and it wasn't just an innocent mistake. this went on for years. that there will be no consequences. we are a different nation in the united states of america. we are self-critical. most nations would never do this. but we do it in the spirit of making ourselves better. there will be all kinds of accusations about political this and political that. i have defended your integrity, every step of the way. you are the definitive voice. i stand by that. but i am mystified. and i am confused. because you listened to your fact pattern, and come to the conclusion that there is no consequence?
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i don't know how to explain that. we will have constituents ask us, they will get mad, they are frustrated. they've seen this happen time and time again. i don't know how to explain it, and i hope that through this hearing we can stick to the facts and understand this, because there does seem to be two standards. there does seem to be no consequence. i want to be able to explain that for the person sitting at home. i yield back. now recognize the ranking member. >> director comey, thank you for being here today. i want to begin by commending you and the public servants of the fbi for the independent investigation you conducted.
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you had a thankless task. no matter what recommendation you made, you were sure to be criticized. there is no question that you were extremely thorough. in fact, some may even say you went too far in your investigation. but of course, that was your job. that is your job. secretary clinton has acknowledged that she made a mistake using a personal e-mail account. you explained on tuesday that she and her colleagues at the state department were extremely careless with their e-mails. but after conducting this exhaustive review, you determine d that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on this evidence. and you and the career staff recommended against prosecution.
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based on a previous cases you examined, if prosecutors had gone forward, they would have been holding the secretary to a different standard from everyone else. amazingly, amazingly, some republicans who were praising you just days ago for your independence, for your integrity, and your honesty, instantly turned against you, because your recommendation conflicted with the predetermined outcome they wanted. in their eyes, you had one job. and one job only -- to prosecute hillary clinton. but you refused to do so. now, you are being summoned here to answer for your alleged transgression, and in a sense, mr. director, you are on trial.
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contrary to the claims of your critics, there is absolutely no evidence that you made your recommendation for political reasons, no evidence that you were bribed or forced or influenced, no evidence that you came to your conclusion based upon anything but the facts, and the law. i firmly believe that your decision was not based on convenience, but on conviction. today, house republicans are doing what they always do. using taxpayers' money to continue investigating claims that have already been debunked, just to keep them in the headlines one more time. when they hear political silence, they rush toward it over and over again, even if the evidence is not there. exhibit a. majority leader kevin mccarthy,
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who admitted on national television that republicans established a benghazi select committee to bring down secretary clinton's poll numbers. i did not say that. mccarthy said it. that was confirmed by republican staff, on that committee he reported, that he was fired in part for not going along with the hyperfocus on secretary clinton. i give house republicans credit. they certainly are not shy about what they are doing. they have turned political investigations into an art form. if our concerns today are about proper treatment of the investigation, then we should start with the previous hearing on general david petraeus, who pled guilty to intentionally and knowingly telling classified information.
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the problem is, mr. director, we never had the hearing. this committe ignored that breach because it did not match the goals of house republicans. if our concerns today was finally addressing a broken classification system, in which security levels are arbitrarily up and down, that would have been a legitimate goal. that would have been a valuable addition to reforming and improving our government. after all, we are the reform committee. we could have held hearings here on the zika virus, preventing gun massacres like the one in orlando, and a host of other topics that can actually save people's lives. but that's not why we are here.
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that is not why the chairman called this emergency hearing, 48 hours after you made your recommendation. everyone knows what this committee is doing. honestly, i would not be surprised, and i say this with all seriousness, i would not be surprised if tomorrow, republicans set up a new committee, to spend $7 million plus on why the fbi failed to prosecute hillary clinton. director comey, let me conclude with this request. even with all that i have said, i believe that there is a critical role for you today. i have listened carefully to the coverage on this issue. i've heard people say recently as this morning, three hours ago, that they were mystified by your decision.
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as a matter of fact, the chairman repeated it a minute ago. there is a perceived gap between the things you said on tuesday and your recommendation. there is a gap, mr. director. so in this moment, a critical moment, i beg you to fill the gap. because when the gap is not filled by you, it will be filled by others. share with us, the american people, your process and your thinking. explain how you examined the evidence, the law, and the precedent. describe in clear terms how you and your team, career professionals, arrived at this decision. if you can do that today, if you can do that, that could go a long way towards people understanding your decision.
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finally, i want to make it clear that i condemn these completely unwarranted political attacks against you. they have attacked you personally, they have attacked your integrity, they have impugned your professionalism, and they have even suggested you are somehow bought and paid for, because you made your recommendations based upon the law and the facts. i know you are used to working in a world of politics, but these attacks have been beyond the pale. so you do not deserve this. your family does not deserve it. and the highly skilled and dedicated agents at the fbi do not deserve this. i honor your dedication to the country. again, even if it takes until hell freezes over, i beg you to close the gap.
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tell us what happened between what you found, and your decision, for not only the members of this panel and congress, but so americans can understand. if you do that, it will be all worth it today. with that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> hold on one second. with your indulgence, to the ranking member of which i have the greatest respect, you asked for a hearing on general petraeus, and you got it. we will have one. and the record will reflect i repeatedly questioned attorney general holder, i repeatedly questioned the fbi director about the disposition of that case. >> the chairman yields? >> yes. >> thank you. >> number two, you complain we
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have not done a hearing on zika. the oversight committee i believe was that first committee to do a hearing. i'm proud of the fact we did the hearing, and we did it first. >> does the chairman yields? >> sure. >> can we have another one? because the problem is still there. >> absolutely. >> i consent request that we put the date of the hearing and record at this time. >> absolutely. and the ranking member knows that we have held multiple hearings on the criminal justice reform. you asked for it, you're passionate about it, and we did that as well. to suggest we have not done those, is inaccurate. >> i don't think i did that, mr. chairman. but again, as late as yesterday, with the problem in minnesota, and african-american men being killed, i would like to have
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some hearings on the criminal justice system. thank you. >> without objection. i will work with you on that, every step of the way. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time. we will hold the record five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we would like to welcome the honorable james comey, the director of the federal bureau of investigation. welcome director comey, thank you for being here. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses will be sworn before they testify. please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. let the record reflect the witness answered in the affirmative. mr. comey, the floor is yours. you can take as long or short as you like. if you have any written statement you would like to submit afterwards, we are happy to do that as well.
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it will be made part of the record. the time is now yours. director comey: thank you mr. chairman, mr. cummings, member of the committee. i'm proud to be here representing the people of the fbi, who did this investigation as they do all their work, in a competent, honest, and independent way. i believe this investigation was conducted consistent with the highest ability of the fbi. our folks did it in an apolitical and professionally, including the recommendation as to the appropriate resolution of the case. as i said, i expected there will be significant public debate, and i'm a big fan of transparency, so i welcome the conversation we will have here today. i do think a lot of folks have questions about why did we reach the conclusion we did, and what was our thinking. i hope very much to get an opportunity to address that and explain it. i hope the end of the day, people can disagree and agree,
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but at least understand the decision was made the way you would want it to be. by people who did not give a hoot about politics, but who care about what are the facts, what is the law, and how have similar people, all people been treated in the past. maybe i can say a few words at the beginning that would help frame how we think about this. there are two things that matter in a criminal investigation of a subject. what did the person do, and when they did that thing, what were they thinking? when you look at the hundred years plus of the justice department's investigation and prosecution of the mishandling of classified information, those two questions are quite present. what did they do in a mishandled information, and when they did it, did they know there are doing something unlawful? that has been a characteristic of every charged criminal case involving the mishandling of classified information. i'm happy to go through the cases in particular. in our system of law, there is a thing called mens rea.
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it is important to know what you did. but when you did it, the latin phrase means, what were you thinking? we don't want to put people in jail unless they prove they knew they were doing something they shouldn't do. there is a statute that was passed in 1917 that on its face makes it a crime, felony for someone to engage in gross negligence. that would appear in that circumstance, you don't need to prove they knew they were doing something unlawful, maybe it's enough to prove they were really careless beyond a reasonable doubt. at the time congress passed that in 1917, there was concern about whether that would violate the american tradition of proving someone did something wrong before they were locked up. there was a lot of concern before the statute was passed. as best i can tell, the justice department has only used it once, in 99 years, reflecting the same concern.
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i know from 30 years with the department of justice has grave concerns whether it is appropriate to prosecute someone for gross negligence, but is wedded only done it once in a case involving espionage. when i look at the facts we gathered, i see evidence of great carelessness, but i do not see evidence sufficient to establish that secretary clinton or those with whom she was corresponding, both talked about classified information on e-mail, and knew when they did it, they were doing something against the law. given that assessment of the facts, my understanding of the law, my conclusion was and remains no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. no reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence. i know that has been a source of some confusion for folks. that is just the way it is. i know the department of justice, i know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. a lot of my friends, former friends are saying they would, i
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would like to know where they were for the past 40 years. nobody brought this, and nobody would. my resolution was not a criminal prosecution. ibo can disagree about that, but i hope they know that view, not just my view, but my team, this was transparent. i look forward to answering as many questions as i possibly can. i will stay as long as you need me to stay, because i believe transparency matters tremendously, and i thank you for the opportunity. >> i'm going to recognize myself. physically, where hillary clinton's servers? director comey: they were in her home in new york. after they were decommissioned, they were moved to other facilities, but it was always in the basement. >> was that an authorized or
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unauthorized location? director comey: it was an unauthorized location for the transmitting of classified information. >> is it reasonable or unreasonable to expect hillary clinton would receive and send classified information? director comey: as secretary of state, reasonable. >> via e-mail? director comey: depending upon the nature of the system, communicate classified information would have to be a classified rated e-mail system. rep. chaffetz: but you did find more than 100 e-mails that were classified that had gone through that server, correct? director comey: right. rep. chaffetz: so hillary clinton did come to obtain classified information on the e-mail through these classified servers, correct? director comey: yes. rep. chaffetz: did hillary clinton lie?
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director comey: to the fbi? we have no reason to make that conclusion. -- we have no races to conclude she lied to the fbi. -- we have no basis to conclude she lied to the fbi. rep. chaffetz: did hillary clinton lie under oath? director comey: not to the fbi, not the case we are working. rep. chaffetz: did you review the documents where congressman jordan asked her specifically, and she said there was nothing marked classified on my e-mails either sent or received? director comey: i don't remember reviewing that testimony, but i am aware of that. rep. chaffetz: did the fbi investigate her statements under oath on this topic? director comey: not to my knowledge, i don't think there has been a referral from congress. rep. chaffetz: do you need a referral from congress to investigate her statements under oath? director comey: sure do. rep. chaffetz: you will have one in the next few hours.
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did hillary clinton break the law? director comey: in connection with her use of the e-mail server? my judgment is she did not. rep. chaffetz: were you just not able to prosecute it, or did hillary clinton break the law? director comey: i don't want to give an over lawyerly answer, but it is whether there is evidence that someone willingly engaged. my judgment is she did not. rep. chaffetz: the fbi does background checks. if hillary clinton apply for a job at the fbi, would the fbi give hillary clinton a security clearance? director comey: i don't want to answer a hypothetical. the fbi has a robust process in which we adjudicate the suitability of people. rep. chaffetz: given the fact pattern you laid out less than 48 hours ago, would a person who laid out classified information,
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would they be granted security clearance at the fbi? you are kind of making my point. because i injected the word hillary clinton, you gave me a different answer. if i said this person was extremely careless with classified information, exposure to hostile actors, and used, despite a warning, created unnecessary burden and exposure, if they said they had one device and the had multiple devices, if there had been e-mail chains asking for classification, you are telling me the fbi would grant a security clearance? director comey: i'm not saying what the answer would be. i'm saying that would be an important consideration in a suitability determination for anybody. rep. chaffetz: personally, i think that sounds like a bit of
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a political answer, because i can't imagine the fbi would grant a security clearance to somebody with that fact pattern. do you agree or disagree? director comey: i will say what i said before. it is very hard to answer hypotheticals. it would be a very important consideration in the suitability. rep. chaffetz: did hillary clinton do anything wrong? director comey: what do you mean by wrong? rep. chaffetz: i think it is self-evident. director comey: i'm a lawyer, investigator, and i hope a normal human being. rep. chaffetz: you really think there should be no consequence for hillary clinton? director comey: i did not say there's no consequence for someone who violates the rules, regarding the handling of classified information. there are often severe consequences in the fbi, involving employment, pay and clearances. that is what i said on tuesday.
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i hope folks walk away understanding, just because someone is not prosecuted, that doesn't mean if you work in the fbi there are not consequences. rep. chaffetz: so if hillary clinton, or anybody had worked at the fbi under this fact pattern, what would you do to that person? director comey: there would be a depending upon the nature of the facts, you could be reprimanded. there is a robust process to handle that. i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you. i want to thank you very much for being here today especially on short notice director coming. you and your staff should be commended for the thorough and dedicated review your conducted. unfortunately some of my colleagues are now attacking you personally because your final
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some havetion -- tried to argue that this case is far worse than the case of general david petronius who was convicted -- petraeus who was revealed of knowingly classified information. if he is an indebted, the only reason is because the democrats are protecting her. she is being protected 100%. because you look at general petronas, you look at all of the other people that did a fraction of what she did, but she has much worse judgment that he had and she is getting away with it and it is unfair to him. director comey, you were the director of the fbi when general petronius pled guilty, is that right? if i understand the case correctly, general petraeus cap tally classified information in eight personal notebook at his
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private residence? ?is that correct is that correct? the officer included war strategy, intelligence, capabilities, diplomatic discussions, quotes, and delivered discussions from high level national secret council meetings and discussions with the president. general petraeus shared his information with his lover and then biographer. he was quite -- caught on audiotape. director comey, what the general heraeus mean when he said spent actually said codeword information with her. >> the petronius case to my mind illustrates- perfectly the type of case of
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department of justice is willing to persecute even though they prosecute him for a misdemeanor. had massase, you quantities of highly classified information including a special sensitive compartment of information. not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but we found in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic and then he lied to us about it during the investigation. so you have a construction of justice, and a vast quantity of information. he admitted he knew those around him to do. that is a perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted. in my mind illustrates important in the distinction to this case. panchayat did not admit to these facts when the fbi investigators first interviewed him, did he? >> no, he lied about it. here is what the department finally said about general petronius and i quote. defendantaken by
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david how petronius were in all respects knowing and deliberate and were not committed by mistakes, accident, or other innocent reason". is that an accurate summary in your view, director comey/ >> yes it actually leaves out an important part of the case which was to -- absorption of justice. >> was the charge with absorption of justice? >> no. >> and why not? so the question is, do you agree with the claim that general petronius and i quote, got in trouble for far less". do you agree with that statement? ? >> know it is the reverse. he knew what he was doing to the violation of the law. huge amounts of information that
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even if you can -- could prove he didn't do it, and effort tow truck texas -- justice. that combination of things makes it worthy of a prosecution. do you stand by the fbi's recommendation not to prosecute hillary clinton? >> yes. >> director comey? , have a tendency testified about the general petronius case? i have to check the record but i believe i asked your question about at the time, but maybe not.
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>> there were a small number of portion markings on i think three the document. i secretary clinton's that did not even any classified material to anyone on my e-mail, there is no classified material, was that true? >> there was classified material e-mail. >> secretary clinton said she uses one device, was that true? >> should use multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state. clintontary foot -- said all work-related e-mails returned to the state department. was that true? >> know we found thousands that were not returned. saidcretary clinton
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neither she nor anyone else diluted work-related e-mails from her personal account, was that true? >> that is a harder want to answer, but we found traces of work-related e-mails on devices whether they were deleted, or when the servers change that something happened to them, there is no doubt that the work-related e-mails that were removed electronically from the e-mail system. secretary clinton said her lawyers read every one of the e-mails and were over the inclusive. did her lawyers read e-mail content individually? >> no. >> in the interest of time and because i have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon i'm not going to go through any more of the false statements. but i am going to ask you to put on your old hat. false statements are used for what? 's either further subsidy prosecution of for evidence of
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intent and a current prosecution. >> exactly. intent and consciousness of guilt, right? consciousness of guilt and intent. in your old job you would prove intent as you just referenced by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record. and you would be arguing in addition to concealment, the destruction that you and i just talked about or certainly the failure to preserve. you'd argue all of that under the heading of content. thed also be arguing pervasiveness of the scheme, when it started, when it ended, and the number of e-mails whether they were originally classified or unclassified. you would argue all of that under the heading of intent. you would also probably argue
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the facts of daily calendar and -- entries for the missing daily calendar entries as a plan to conceal. director, you set a reasonable person and her position should have known a private e-mail was no place to send and receive classified information. are right. an average person does no not to do that. this is no average person. this is a former first lady. a former united states senator. and a former secretary of state that the president now content is the most competent qualified person to be president and jefferson. he did not say that in 2008, but he says it now. she affirmatively rejected efforts to give her a account. she gave these private e-mails for almost two years and only turn them over to congress. because we found out she had a private e-mail account.
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so you have a rogue e-mail system set up before she took the oath of office. thousands of what we now know to be classified e-mails, some of which classified as not. one of her more frequent e-mail comrades was in fact pat and you don't know whether or not she , and this scheme took place over a long. of time and resulted in its structure -- destruction of public records and yet you say there was an insufficient evidence of content could you say she was extremely careless, but not intentionally so. you and i both know intent is really difficult to prove. just to put everyone on notice, i'm going to break the law on this day. it never happened that day. you have to do it with circumstantial evidence, or if you are congress and you realize how difficult it is to prove specific intent, you will allowste a statute that
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gross negligence. my time is up, but this is really important. you mentioned there is no precedent for criminal prosecution. my fear is there still isn't. there is nothing to keep a future secretary of state or president from this exact same e-mail scheme. or their staff. my real fear is this. as with the chairman touch upon. this double track justice system that is rightly or wrongly perceived in this country, that if you are a private in the army and you e-mailed yourself classified information, you will be kicked out. but if you are hillary clinton and you seek a promotion to commander-in-chief, you will not be. so what i hope you can do today the average reasonable person you made reference to, the reasonable person understands why she appears to be treated differently than the rest of us would be. with that i would yell back. -- yielded back.
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director thank you for your years of public service. you have distinguish yourself as the assistant u.s. attorney for southern district of new york in the east investor. virginia. that is why you were appointed by president bush to be the deputy attorney general at the department of justice in my president obama appointed you as at -- the director of the fbi in 2013. despite your impeccable reputation for independence and integrity, republicans have turned on you with a vengeance immediately after you announced your recommendation not to pursue criminal charges against secretary clinton. let me give you some examples. representative turner said and i quote the investigation by the fbi is steeped in political
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bias". steeped investigation in political bias in? yes or no. >> it was steeped in no kind of life it > the bias. of the house was even more critical. he accused you of not applying the law critically. he says a recommendation shows and i quote the clintons are living above the law. they are being held to a different set of standards that is clearly what this exact". -- what this looks like". accusationsnd to that you have the clintons to different standards. did you hold them to different standards of the same standards? >> this is just not accurate. waiver -- try very hard to apply the same standards.
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>> senator cruz also criticize you. he said that there are and i quote serious concerns about the integrity of director coming decision. quote -- hadt you rewritten a clearly what clearly worded federal statute. did you rewrite the law in any way? or rewrite any statute? >> no. >> i truly hesitate to mention the next one. donald trump took these conspiracies theories to return the new level. it was nod i quote accident that charges were recommend -- not recommended against hillary the exact same day as president obama campaign with her for the first time. so did you plan the timing of your announcement to help secretary clinton's campaign event on tuesday? >> no. it is entirely my note -- my
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own. not even the press. i'm very proud of my fbi. mr. trump also claimed that secretary clinton bribed the attorney general with an extension of her job. and i guess the somehow affected your decision. i know it's a ridiculous question, but i have to ask it. did you make your decision because of some kind of bride to the attorney general? >> no. surprisedyou, are you of the by the intensity attacks of the gop on you after with thede a decision professional staff of the fbi? >> i'm not surprised by the intense interest and debate. i predicted it, think it's important that we talk about it. the and evidently become one --
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focused on individual people. that's ok. >> i believe that what we're gopng today is that if the does not like the results of an ,nvestigation by how turns out and he saw they were originally lauding you the minute you made your announcement, they are now attacking you. the same people. and now i predict they will be calling for more hearings, more investigations, all at the expense of the taxpayer and they do this instead of working on what the american people really care about. they want congress to focus on jobs, the environment, homeland security, security of our nation, affordable childcare, affordable college education and an economy that works and how some people.
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i thank you for performing your job with distinction in a long history of your whole profession of integrity and independence and thank you very much. my five. >> we now recognize the gentleman from ohio. >> on tuesday you said any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position should have noted unclassified system is no place for these conversations. you said on tuesday some of her e-mails were classified markings and use also said on tuesday there were potential violations of the appropriate statute. prosecutorsch of back, look at that fact pattern evidence, even referenced in opening statement. some of your friends have been on tv saying they would look at that same evidence and they would have taken it to a grand jury. but on tuesday, you said and today in opening statement he said, no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. in your statement you cite factors that help to make the decision and make that statement. and one of the factors you said
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was consider the context of a person's action. typically when i hear context and the course of a criminal investigation, it is on the defense act, not the prosecution said. as of the end of the case. mitigating circumstances, that is the context we typically think about, but you said it on the front. you said consider the context of actions.ns asked i'm curious, what does consider the context mean? a lot of americans are thinking just what the chairman talked about his opening statement. a lot of folks i get the privilege of representing back in ohio think that when you said thinker the context, they that's the fact that she is former first lady and secretary and the major parties nominee for the highest office in the land.
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oh by the way her husband just met with the individual you work with at an airport in arizona five days ago. said that did not influence decision. but tell us what consider the context means. capture --rying to >> among the things you consider our what was the first is back on? what was the circumstances of the event. with a drunk, where they inflamed by passion. can incur certain things from that to consider the entire circumstances of the persons offense conduct a background. i did not mean to consider political context. >> the entire circumstances. mr. gowdy does talk about the scheme could remember what you did. she says that this unique server arrangement. she alone -- controls it.
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on that system are personal e-mails, work-related e-mails, clinton foundation information and now we know classified information. this gets discovered. we find out this arrangement exists. and what happened? her lawyers, legal team decide which ones we get and which ones they get to keep your they made this sort on the front end. and i may find out they once a cat that did not get to us, the kept, they destroyed them. they deleted all e-mails that they did not return to the state department. cleaned to the devices and such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery. that sounds like a fancy way of saying they had the evidence. and you just told mr. gowdy thousands of e-mails fell into those categories. that seems to me to provide some context to what took place here.
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did secretary clinton's legal team -- let me ask it this way. but secretary clinton no her legal team deleted those e-mails that they kept from us? >> i don't believe so. >> did secretary clinton approved those e-mails being debated? -- deleted? >> i don't think there's any specific instruction or conversation between the secretary and her lawyers about that. >> did u.s. i question? >> yes. i don't believe she did. >> did u.s. that question? >> yes. >> do you see how someone could be the context of what she did, setup or private system, she alone control it, she kept everything ought, we now know from this evidence deposition that they did it for that very reason said no one could see what was there based on the
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deposition with aberdeen saves, and them and then when they got caught, they coveted what they had and they scripted device is that part of the context of evaluating this decision? >> sure. and understanding what inference can can drawn from that collection of facts. i now recognize the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, ms. norton. >> thank you mr. chairman. director comey i appreciate your conduct this investigation in a nonpartisan way in keeping with the sterling reputation which has led presidents of both parties to point you to highly appraised law-enforcement in our federal government. i want to say for the record that this hearing where you call the prosecutor mr. comey stance -- stands in the face of the
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prosecutor that the attorney general has accepted entirely. the fbi's recommendations. we call the prosecutor to give accounts for the the decision to prosecute or not a particular raises serious questions of separation of powers and particularly when you're questioning the prosecutor's decision which -- with respect to the decision to prosecute or not a particular individual raises serious constitutional questions. these hearings are so often accusatory that they yield no guidance as to how to conduct business in the future. that is the way it looks.
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it looks as though that that is how this hearing is going. of course now everyone understands in the abstract why it is important for security reasons to use official government mail or e-mail rather than private e-mail. that is a very broad wide proposition. rules so far as i know requiring members of as to howo use -- they use their official e-mail accounts. whether involving security or not. the chairman of this committee counselor forl example on his business card. no one says that is wrong, i don't know what is wrong or
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right. because there is no guidance. employees,ncy members of congress, often have secure information or at least sensitive information that simply made public. some of our members on the intelligence committee for the defense committee, or even this committee may have such matters. some of these matters may concern national security issues. and i don't know -- if something is sensitive as the itineraries could be on people's personal -- of course is the
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legislative branch and i spoke of this regional powers. that thereicating should be a governor -- governmentwide sense that is ordained from or hide, but they're all to be -- ought to be rules that everybody understands about especially after the clinton episode about these of personal e-mail. i would like your insight for guidance. federal employees are concerned, or even members of congress in the stand. because i think we can learn from this episode. securityly from a believe thato you staff,, evenyees, members of congress should attempt guidance on the issue of
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the use of personal e-mails ofsus some official form commuters -- communication. what should we learn? the secretaryss has gone through. usher there will be questions. how there is even confusion for example in the state department. but what should we learn when it our own use of e-mail and the use of federal employees on this question? the most important thing to learn is that an unclassified for an e-mailase conversation about classified matters. by that i mean either sending a document as an attachment over unclassified e-mail that is classified we are having a
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conversation about something that is a classified subject and an unclassified e-mail system. of the the focus of concern or the focus of this investigation. that it was also a personal the concern about the case because of the security vulnerabilities associated with a personal system. but the root of the problem is people using unclassified systems to conduct business, that is classified. so all of us should have access to classified medication systems. -- communication systems. you need to make sure you don't e-mail on the underclass system. even if the government classified system about matters that are classified. that is the important lesson today. everybody ought to be aware of it, trained on it, we spend a lot of time training on in the fbi to make sure folks are sensitive to the need to move a classified discussion to the appropriate form. forum.
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>> director and the reason i did some point is because top-secret -- if top-secret information is compromised at could damage our national security, correct? and american lives at stake in some instances, correct? you mentioned a lot of people are upset that there are no consequences for secretary clinton. in your statement you did point consequences would be appropriate if -- that would include potentially termination of federal employment. could include ineligibility for future employment of national security positions, correct? director of the fbi last someone in the employ of your agency to work in a national security capacity of that person had demonstrated extreme callousness and handling top-secret info? >> the best answer to that is that we would look very closely.
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it's hard to answer in the abstract yes and all cases, no not cases, but you'd be a very important suitability scott. -- scrub. >> there would be indication that somebody that can remain careless but remain competent. potentially you would allow somebody to be extremely careless and continue on? >> its trouble answering a hypothetical. i can imagine for a long time ago and is all amount of conduct or something, that's why it's hard to a other than a be a very important part -- this way,ust put it would be extremely careless and handling top-secret information exposed employee of the guide to potential termination? >> yes. you asshouldn't officials use mobile devices while traveling to foreign countries especially if they're discussing classified or sensitive information. >> because their mobile device will transmit single cross that could leak access
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to a hospital -- hostile power. >> how the top-secret information and up on the private server, because your statement adjust secretary -- that information didn't get there on time. how did it get there. were you able to determine that? >> yes by people talking about a top secret subject in an e-mail to vacation. communication. it's about having a conversation about a matter that is top-secret. things that were originated by secretary clinton's aid in and sent to her. also included secretary clinton originating as e-mails, correct? . and the one involving top-secret information, secretary clinton will also not only received but sent e-mails
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attack on same subject. was somebody who is sophisticated in those matters, should it have been obvious to them that it is a sensitive information? >> i guess my issue about knowledge of what you are doing -- in order for secretary clinton throughout access to top-secret fbi information, did with theto sign a form state department technology for duties and responsibilities under law to safeguard this information? >> yes. anybody who gets access to scf -- fbi sensitive information with assignments was called a reading form that lays that out. it stresses in that document and other training people would get that there are certain requirements and handling certain levels of information, for example, a top-secret document. that can even be under secret system of the fbi, correct? so you have to follow certain guidelines. i guess my question is -- she's
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a very sophisticated person, she andexecute that document, her aides were getting the classified information, they executed similar documents to get a security clearance, and she knowingly --, clearly set up or on private server in order to -- actually let me ask you that. she set up an private server in your judgment because she wanted to ship communication from the public and congress? >> i can't say that. our best information as it that she set it up as a matter of convenience. she decided to have a timoney -- domain on that system. >> the question is very sophisticated, this is information that clearly anybody who have knowledge of security information with no but it would be classified. i'm having a little bit of trouble to see how would you not then know that that was something that was inappropriate to do? i just want to take one of
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your assumptions about sophistication. i don't think that our investigation established that she was actually sophisticated with her -- respect to classified information. appreciate you coming in i yield back the balance of my time. >> one is the sensitive compartmented information nondisclosure agreement. the other one is the classified information nondisclosure agreement, both signed by hillary rodham clinton. now i recognize the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay for five minutes. mr. chairman and thank you director comey for being here today. and for other professionals whom you lead at the fbi. two years ago after my urgent request to that attorney general eric holder, for next with our digestive -- justice department
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investigation into the tragic death of michael barnett and ferguson missouri, i witnessed firsthand the diligence, professionalism, and absolute integrity of your investigators. that was the doubt case in this matter as well. possible think it was for the majority to exceed their unprecedented arrogance, these of official channels and federal funds that we have witnessed over the past two years as they have engaged in a partisan, political witchhunt at taxpayer expense against secretary clinton. wrong, this proceeding was just physical to the very bad act and the taxpayers will get the bill. it is a new low and it violates both house rules and the rose of
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this committee. so with apologies to you and the fbi for this blatantly partisan proceeding, let me return to the facts of this case as you have clearly outlined. first question, did secretary clinton or any member of her staff intentionally violate federal law? >> we did not develop clear evidence of that. >> did secretary clinton or any member of her staff attempt to obstruct?your investigation your investigation? mistakes that secretary clinton has apologized for rise to the level that will be worthy of federal prosecution? our judgment, not just one
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but the team's judgment of the fbi is that the justice department would not bring such a case. no justice department under any -- republican or democrat administration. paysknow the fbi particular attention to groups by training agents and local law enforcement officers and participating in local hate crime working groups, is that right? >> yes sir. >> some of these organizations seem relatively harmless, but others appeared to be very dangerous and growing. genocide andmote their postings and rhetoric online. in your experience, how dangerous these groups and have they incited violence in the past? >> i think it's too hard to answer, congressman. in the abstract, there are some groups that are dangerous, some groups that are exercising important protective -- protected speech under the first amendment.
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>> >> let me ask a more direct question. andrew anglinmed is the editor of a website that ishe daily stormer dedicated to the supremacy of the white race as well as the sacking -- attacking jews, muslims, and others. a big website features numerous genocide tothe #white protest what they contend is an effort to eliminate the white race. are you familiar with this group/ >> i'm not. this >> this #has been promoted all over social media by number of white supremacist. are you concerned that some groups are increasing their followers in this way particular some of his followers could become violent? >> i don't know the particular enough to comment -- comment
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congressman. we are always concerned that people go beyond protected invested --e do not moving past violence. i don't know enough to comment on the particular. >> one of my biggest concerns is that certain public figures are actually promoting these dangerous groups even further even that one of our most vocal candidates for president retreated at whit @whitegenocidetm. director,,. these actions make it easy for these racist groups to recruit even more supporters? think i'm in a position to answer that in an intelligent way sitting here.
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>> i will not recognize the gentleman from wyoming. >> welcome director and thank you so much for being here. my phone has been ringing off the hook and my washington office, my wyoming office, from constituents who don't understand how this conclusion was reached. so i appreciate your being here to help walk us through it. here's the issue that the people that are calling me from wyoming are having. they have access to this statute. it is title 18, u.s. code 1924. i don't read you the statue. it says whoever being an officer , employee, contractor, consultant to the united states or by virtue of its office employment position of contract becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the
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united states, knowingly remove such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an all -- unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year both. armed with that information, they are wondering how hillary clinton, who is also an attorney, attorneys are frequently held to higher standards of knowledge of the law, how this could not have come to her attention. she was the secretary of state. staterse the secretary of is going to become possessed of classified material, of course he was attorney. she practiced with a prominent arkansas law firm. she knew from her white house
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days with her has been the president the classified materials can be very dangerous. if they get into the wrong hands. she had to have known about this statute, because she had to have been briefed. once he took over the job of the secretary of state. so how, given that body of knowledge and experience could this have happened in a way that could have potentially provided access by hackers to confidential information? >> is a good question. a reasonable question. the protection we have is american is that the government, in general and in that such a particular has to prove before any prosecution can come against us that we did this thing is written by the law and under get it we knew we are doing something that was unlawful. we don't have to know the code
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number, but we knew we are doing something that was unlawful. that is a protection we have. >> may interrupt and suggested -- andis statute says with the intent to retain such documents from materials and an unauthorized location. statutent here in the is to retain the documents at an unauthorized location. them not intent to pass onto a terrorist or to someone out in internet land, it's just the intent to retain the documents or materials at an unauthorized location. >> it is more than that though. you would have to show that and prove criminal intent, both by
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practice of the department of justice. they reserve that statute, even though just a misdemeanor for people who clearly knew they were breaking the law and that is the challenge. you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you knew they engage in something unlawful. >> may i turned to her attorneys? did all of secretary clinton's attorneys have the requisite clearances at the time they received all of her e-mails? especially those that are classified at a time there were sent. >> no. as has beenroyed e-mails of0 secretary clinton's. do you have 100% confidence that none of the 30,000 e-mails destroyed by secretary clinton's attorneys was marked as qualified? >> i don't have 100% confidence.
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i'm reasonably confident some of them were classified. there were only three the entire batch we found that for any marketing indicating they are classified, so that is less likely. but surely it is a reasonable assumption that some of the ones they don't reason can take off information. contained classified information. >> i now recognize the gentleman from massachusetts. forhank you director comey appearing here to help the committee with this record director comey, secretary not theis certainly only secretary of state to use a personal e-mail account with information later identified as being classified. i just want to show you, this is a book that was written by former secretary of state colin powell. in his book, he says to complement the official state department computer in my office, i installed a laptop
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computer. on a private line. my personal e-mail account on a laptop a lot me to direct access to anyone online. i started shooting e-mails to my principal assistance to individual ambassadors at increasingly to my foreign minister colleagues who like we were trying to bring the ministries and to the 186,000 miles per second world. for you aware of this? that secretary colin powell actually had a private server as well? >> i think he is commercial e-mail account for state department business. >> private line. unprotected. >> correct. not a state department e-mail system. >> he went rogue, so to speak. >> i don't know that i would say that. do you think this was careless for him to do that.
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he installed a laptop computer on a private line. that is his own statement. i'm just trying to compare secretaries of state, because secretary powell has never been here. as a matter fact, when we asked , unlike thee-mails $55,000 from secretary clinton he said i don't have any to turnover. this was a quote. this was on abc's this week. any toained i don't have turnover, i did not keep a cache of them. i did not print them off. i do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files. he was secretary of state and you operated on a private system. you aware that? >> not the time. i am not. -- now. well back in- october of 2015, the state
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department sent secretary powell and letter regarding the contacted his e-mail provider to determine whether his e-mails are still the classified systems. are you aware of that ongoing investigation? are you surprised that he is never responded? >> i don't know enough to comment. i don't know exactly what conversation he had with the state department. >> i'm trying to look at where we have a lot of comparisons of the cases. it seems like all of the cases where prosecutions have gone , the subject of the investigation of demonstrated a clear intent to deliver classified information to a person or persons who were unauthorized to see that. -- bradleyook at the
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manning, that was a court-martial, but he demonstrated a clear intent to publish that information which was classified. julian assange, they with the -- wiki links editor and publisher again a wide and deliberate classifiedpublish information. general petraeus which we talked about earlier today, shared information with his biographer. a former c.i.a. officer who is interested in writing a book so he hung onto his information. and even former director of the cia john doerr to retained classified information on a couple of servers, one in belmont massachusetts and one in bethesda maryland. aat was after he became private citizen.
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in all those cases, there is a clear intent, as you said before, you look at what people did, and what they were thinking, when they did that. and i would just ask you, is there a clear distinction between what those people did and my secretary content did in her case? my view yes, the dortch case illustrates a perfectly. he took huge amounts of documents, almost all -- had them in hard copy at his house, had them on an system connected to the internet, tends to destroy them when he got caught, admitted i knew i was not supposed we doing with. you have clear intent, huge amounts of documents, and -- obstruction of justice. those are the kinds of cases that get prosecuted. threeexperience, which is decades, no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. i know that frustrate people, but that is the way the law is and that is way that the practices of the department of justice. we now go to the gentleman
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from north carolina for five minutes. >> there has been much said andy about criticizing you your service. i want to go on record that even that many of my constituents above for me to criticize your service because of the conclusion reached, never have i nor will i criticize your service and we appreciate your service to this country and the integrity. i'm going to focus on the things that you said, not the conclusions that you do. rew. 2016, secretary clinton during a presidential orate said i never spent received any classified material. they are retroactively classified -- classifying it. so in your statement on july 5, you said that there were indeed
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110 e-mails, 52 e-mail chains, which they're worth classified information on it at the time it was sent or received. , bothre's two statements of them cannot be true. as i crept? -- is that correct? it is not accurate to say that she sent to receive classified information. there is no way to prove that she never centers to receive classified information that was retroactively classified? >> i don't think that's a question i should be answered. >> either your statement is not true, or hers is not true. both of them cannot be true. so is your statement to? -- true? the american people will have to judge with her statement. let me go on to another one. on october 22, she said there was nothing marked classified on e-mails either sent or received and in your statement, you said
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a very small number of e-mails contained classified information more markings indicating the presence of classified information at the time. so she makes a statement that says there were no markings. you make a statement that the was. her statement was not true. >> that would actually have a little bit of insight into her statement because we asked about that. there are three documents that bore portion markings where you are obligated when something is classified to put a margin on that paragraph. so a reasonable person who has been a senator, a secretary , but not a first lady a reasonable person know that that was a classified marking other secretary state? before this investigation, probably would've suggested on not so sure. i don't find it incredible.
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>> you are suggesting that a long night of time that she had --idea >> it is in a just a question to whether this question about sophistication came up earlier whether she was sophisticated enough >>. so you're saying the former secretary of state is not sophisticated enough to understand a classified marking? that the use statement. >> you asked me did i assume that someone would know, probably before this investigation i would have, i'm not so sure of that answer any longer. i think it's possible, possible that she did not understand what meant 20 side in a body of an e-mail like that.
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>> but in a reasonable person think that someone who has the highest job of classified information understand that? let me going little bit further. because that last quote actually came on october 22. 2015 underscore in testimony before the benghazi committee. so she gave sworn testimony that a reasonable person would suggest was not truthful, and there a logical assumption that misled have missed -- congress and we need to look at that further. >> the reasonable guess is not what you would like ever perjury. but i can understand why people would ask that question. >> let me in the last of the portion of this, in your three
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and a half hour interview on saturday, did she contradict some of these public statements and private. you said she did not lie to the fbi, but it is apparent she lied to the american people. did she change her statement in that sworn testimony with you last saturday. >> i have not gone through that. >> can you do that and get back to this committee? it's important to the american people into transparent to. the chairman of talked about a comment your the committee is going to want to see documents in our investigation and whatnot. we will work to give you whatever we possibly can give you under law. i have not done that analysis at this point. >> gentlemen, the time is expired. i never can as the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you director coming. i hate -- to see one of america's most thing was public before thisrvants
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committee. you're all highly partisan here. we are a good backseat drivers. we are all today apparently armchair prosecutors. anyone that would bring a case like this. and some of the prosecutors at that case to do that. i hope that this committee suffered does not intended to or theate you or the fbi enforcement in general or government employees. i'm thankful at at this moment that you have such a lifetime record of speaking truth to power. because that is very important. it's also very important that apparently you are a lifelong republican. you are just here to do your job and face facts. i think the key issue here is whether in fact there is a double standard. whether some americans are being treated differently than others. i think i can rely on my
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republican colleagues to make sure that hillary clinton history did no better than anybody else. there should be some attention given to make sure that she is not treated any worse than anybody is. would not all know we be having this hearing especially on emergency basis unless you were running for president. massachusettsrom has pointed out the previous secretaries of state are not being called on the carpet. whether that be condoleezza rice are: power others. i think the crisis double standard here today is the fact that all the members of this committee is not subject to the same laws secretary clinton is subject to. and as lawmakers, that means that we have exempted ourselves from the standard of other federal employees, my colleague from d.c. referred to this. why did we exempt ourselves from the same rules/
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apparently our chairman left his private e-mail account on his business card. we all have access to classified information. challenge myto republican colleagues here today, let's work together and introduce legislation to make the same laws apply to us as applied to the executive branch. and to secretary clinton. i would be happy to join such legislation to make sure that we are not being hypocritical on this panel. that we are holding ourselves to the same standards as secretary clinton and not trying to accuse her of things that we may be guilty of ourselves. i got my calling to be the first to complain if for example e-mails were retroactively classified. that is the situation that most people in public service would object to pretty strongly. how did you know the time if you not yet -- no idea?
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it's very important for congress to have the trust of the american. to not be hypocritical. to uphold the same standards that we want to see upheld by others. i'm just thankful at this moment in our history that we have someone make you who is in charge of the fbi.
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>> 100 10 that she either received or sent. it also is accurate that quote clinton's bloggers claimed that the differences in such a way -- whenlso when she said -- secretary clinton said that nothing she sent with marked
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you said in a press conference that even if information is not marked ossified in e-mail partake to the our participants you know or should know the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it. feel that secretary clinton knew or should have known that she was obligated to take classified information with her legal background him on experiencing government. also she said at one point that she has drafted all work-related e-mails to be four to to the state department. is it also accurate that you discovered thousands of other e-mails that were work-related other than the 30,000 she submitted? >> correct. i presided over several hundred
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coming of cases. i can assure you that i saw many cases where the evidence of criminal intent was flimsier than the evidence in this case. realize, do you realize the great numbers of havee across this country felt that you are present such an terminating case against henry clinton your press conference that they were very surprised or even shocked when he reached the conclusion to let her off? i understand the questions. i wanted to be as transparent as possible. we went at this very hard to see if we could make a case and i want to the american people to see but i honestly believe that the whole thing. >> do you understand that the chairman said earlier that great numbers of people feel now that there is a one standard of justice for the clintons and another for regular people? >> i've heard that a lot.
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it's not true, but i've heard it a lot. >> even the ranking member who understandurse as we how to defend secretary clinton as strongly as possible, he almost begged you to explain the gap between the incriminating case that you presented any conclusion that was reached. did that surprise you felt so strongly that there is a big gap? >> no not at all.
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>> we talked about gross negligence here and you said that secretary clinton was extremely careless with this classified material and how dangerous it could be, how threatening to people's lives that it could be to disclose classified material. do you agree that there is a very thin line between gross negligence and extreme carelessness and would you expect to meet what you consider to be that different? >> as a former judge, you know there is not actually a great definition and a lot of gross negligence. some courts interpreted as close to willful which means you know you're doing something wrong. others drop below. my term extremely careless is trying to be an ordinary person at the common sense way describing, chillers were close to me. the question of whether that amount to grow -- gross negligence frankly is really not at the center of this.
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because when i look at the history of the prosecutions and i know from 13 years, there is no way anybody at the department of justice is bringing a case against john doe for thery clinton second time in 100 years based on those facts. no reasonable prosecutor could have brought this case, yet you also mention earlier today that you had seen several of your friends in early prosecutors who said publicly, many crosses country that they would have been glad to prosecute his face. >> i smile because their friends. where were these cases. they just have not been brought. the reason i said earlier, it's a good thing the department of justice raise about prosecuting people for being careless. i don't like this as a citizen, i want people to show they knew their breaking the law we'll put you in jail. know manyse you
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people have been prosecuted for gross negligence by the federal government and the fbi. >> i will never recognize the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you and welcome director coming. although our politics are different i gather you are a republican, is that correct? >> i have been a registered republican from most of my adult life but not registered any longer. i think you for your integrity. as my colleagues at and i sent in my opening statement, your aseer has been characterized speaking truth. and you're doing it again today. he concept director coming, not that you are on a world -- unaware of this, today's hearing is political theater. there is not even the pretense of trying to get at the truth. this is a desperate attempt under a -- an extraordinary set of circumstances an emergency hearing.
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i don't know what the emergency is other than one side is about to nominate somebody who is a pathological narcissist who was talking about banning muslims and mexicans crossing the border who are all rapists and women who are pigs. at the prospect of consequences of that in the election. so let's grab onto what ever we can to discredit or try to discredit the other nominee. and you took away their only hope. so the theater today is actually trying to discredit you. carolina from south uses big words like exculpatory and goes through what a prosecutor would do. the insinuation being you did not do your job. wyoming isrom
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apparently flattered with citizens and our home state who thateading the statute governs classification. a lot of time on their hands back i guess, . this is all designed to discredit your finding. the fbi interviewed secretary clinton, is that correct? did she lied to the fbi in the interview? >> no basis for concluding to a centrism. >> is it a crime to lie to the fbi? >> yes it is. >> david petraeus did lie to the fbi. was she a base of? avasive?ffen
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, and how manynds are in a questionable category that maybe could have been looked at more carefully because there could be some element of classification. apparently my friend from north alllina assumes we were eminently something to do with the fact that a c appears that means the classification, said there seems to be some dispute about that because the state department as i understand it has actually said some of those were in probably marked and c.uld not abou have had the so could it be that in her tripsd trip -- overseas to 100 countries as secretary of state trying to restore u.s. credibility that had been destroyed the previously years overseas and tens of thousands of e-mail communications not including phone calls and classified conversations, that
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maybe the small percentage of e-mails she didn't pay his muscles tense -- attention that -- to them. is that a fair conclusion? could that be if i conclusion? >> i don't usually deal in babies. if possible. >> you do deal and the finishing between distinguishable and an advert in. >> we concluded there was not evident -- adequate evidence of -- >> there is no evasion, there is lying, there is no willful intent to compromise classified material, despite the insinuations of my friends on the other side of the aisle.
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and the only hope left in this political theater is to discredit you and your team in the hopes that therefore you won't have credibility and we crimevisit this monstrous of using a private server. that server being the server of a former president of the united states that maybe mrs. clinton thought would be more secure than the leaky secret -- system at the state department. i get back. -- yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman. .r. chairman, i'm offended i'm offended by my friends on the other side of the political aisle saying this is political theater. this is not political theater. for me, this is serious. and half years as an undercover officer in the cia. i was the guy in the back alleys collecting intelligence, passing it into lawmakers, i see my friends killed, i've seen assets put themselves in harm's way, and this is about protecting
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information, the most sensitive information the american government has, and i wish my colleagues would take this more seriously. comey, special access program related to early that includes fbi information. it's fbi information includes human -- human intelligence, information collected from people that are putting themselves in harms way to give us information to drive foreign policy. sensitive --ost understand what al qaeda and ice is doing. so former secretary of state had an unauthorized server. those are your words. who was protecting that information? who was protecting that server? >> not much. there was a number of different people who resigned as administrators of the server. >> and at least seven e-mails classified. was
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so the former secretary of state, one of the president's most important advisers on foreign policy and national security had a server in her basement that had information that is collected from our most sensitive assets and it was not protected by anyone. and that's not a crime? that's outrageous. people are concerned. what does it take for someone to misuse classified information and get in trouble for it? it, andkes mishandling criminal intent. >> so when unauthorized server in the basement is not mishandling? >> there is evidence of mishandling here. investigation is focused on is there sufficient evidence. opinionthis unanimous
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within the fbi on your decision? the whole fbi was not involved, but the team of agents, investigators, analyst, technologist, yes. >> did you take into any consideration the impact that this president can set on our ability -- precedence can set on our ability to collect intelligence overseas. >> yes. my primary concern is the impact on what other employees may think of the federal government. >> you don't think this sends a message to other employees as a former secretary of state could have an unauthorized server in her basement that transmits top-secret information that that is not a problem? >> i worry very much about that. and fbi employee might face severe discipline, and i want them to understand what those consequences are still going to be there. >> do you have a server in your basement? >> i do not. >> does anybody in the fbi had a server in the basement?
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>> i don't know. not to my knowledge. >> do you think is likely. >> i think it's unlikely. >> i would think so too. so there is no dissenting opinion when you make the decision. it is your job to be involved in counterintelligence as well. >> that means protecting our secrets from foreign adversaries collecting them, is that correct? >> correct. did this make america secrets vulnerable to how solomon subject of the think that pattern of behavior will continue? do you think that pattern of behavior would continue? by ever former secretary of state. >> you mean if we have not -- if this had not come to light? >> based on what we see, do you
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think there will be other elements within the federal government that think it is ok to have an unauthorized server in their basement. >> they better not. that's one of the reasons i'm talking about. >> what is the ramifications of that.oing it -- how can there be any consequences levered if it's not being levered here. because indeed you are setting a precedent. >> i want people to understand i'm only responsible for the fbi. there will be disciplined from termination to reprimand and everything in between for people who mishandle classified information to >> director comey i'm not a lawyer. is there such a thing as the case of first impression and why was this not possibly one of those? >> there is such a thing. between the first time you do something, the reason this is one of those, that is just not fair. that would be treating somebody differently because of their celebrity status, or because of some other factor doesn't matter. theave to treat people --
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bedrock of our system of justice, we treat people fairly. we treat them the same -- >> that person mishandling the most sensitive information that is government can collect is not fair, it's not fair to punish someone who did that? >> not on these facts. it's not fair to prosecute that for some of these facts. >> i now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania. knologyike to open by mike -- acknowledging my colleague from north carolina, mr. meadows. for knowledge and your integrity director comey. i think bipartisan sentiments like that are few and far between around here. i appreciate congressman meadows'remark.
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you are a man of integrity and director, it is troubling to me that that remark by congressman meadows is not unanimous at this point. it used to be. just weeks ago, our chairman -- represented changes stated on national tv that republicans believe in james comey. quote. this and i i do think that in all of the government, he is a man of got -- integrity and honesty. nothing happens without him and i think it's going to be the definitive person to make a determination or a recommendation but just hours after your actual recommendation came out, chairman chafe its run on tv and accused you of making a quote political calculation. house weeks ago referring to you said i do believe that his integrity is unequaled. , it wasintegrity
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unanimous about your integrity before you came to your conclusion. but after, not so much. that is troubling. i want to give you a chance, director comey. how do you respond to that? how important do you is maintaining your integrity before the nation. ? things i have in life that matter are the love of my family and friends in my integrity. so i can deeply that both. -- i care deeply about both. director comey, you discussed your team a little bit. and they deserve a lot of credit for all of the hard work and effort. i think you just said that they are unanimous. everyone that look to disagreed that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case. am i correct in that? ? how many people were on the team? times,ange at various but some are between 15-20.
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be used in lots of other at the efforts to help them to time. >> how many hours spent in this investigation? >> we have not confident. they put three years of work into 12 calendar months. >> how many pages of documents to the fbi reviewed in this investigation? >> thousands and thousands and thousands. >> the agents during the document review, where they qualified or were they unqualified? >> they were an all-star team. they are a great group of folks. >> how about secretary clinton? did she agreed to be interviewed? >> yes. >>, and voluntarily without the need of a subpoena. was she interviewed? >> yes. >> was she interviewed by experience, critical, veteran agents and law-enforcement officers, or by some kind of credulous gullible, newbies doing their on-the-job training? interviewed by the kind of folks the american people would want during the
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interview, real praise. asked about markings on a few documents. markinghe manual here classified national security information. i don't think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with a little c's on them. according to the manual and i we are in the-- manual, if you're going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document, right? was a header on the three documents that we discussed today that had a little c and the tax in place. >> there were three e-mails. >> so if senator clinton relate were an expert at what is classified and what is not classified, and we are following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three
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documents were not classified. am i correct in that? >> that would be a reasonable inference. >> i thank you for your testimony, director. >> i will not recognize the gentleman from colorado. thank you for being here. commitmentect your to law and justice in your career. isst question i want to ask is this hearing on for? hasn't been unfair to you? >> no. one purpose is to prevent hostile nations from obtaining classified information. nations obtain classified information from secretary clinton service? >> i don't know. it is possible. we don't have direct evan -- evidence of that.
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making -- i want to get into intent. there are various levels of intent and criminal law. andything from knowingly willfully doing something i lay down to strict liability, would you agree with me on that? >> yes. lawsst of the criminal from title 18 have the words knowingly and willfully and then. that is the standard, typically that the united states attorneys prosecute under. >> most do. >> there are also a variety of others between the knowingly, willfully, standard and the strict liability standard. many like environmental crimes have been -- much lower standard because of the toxic materials that are at risk of harming individuals. is that fair? >> that is correct.
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>> let's talk about this particular statute. agree, orwe could all you and i could agree on a couple of the elements. secretary clinton was an employee of the united states. and as a result of employment, she received classified information. and there is no doubt about those two elements. whether the next element as one element or two, but it talks about knowingly removed such materials without authority and with the intense retaining material. i will treat those under separate parts of the intense element. first of all, do you see the word willfully anywhere in the statute? >> i don't. >> ok. that would indicate to you that there is a lower threshold. >> no, it wouldn't.
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also a requirement that you know you are involving criminal activity of some sort. you would apply the same standard to environmental crimes? >> know, if it specifically says it's a negligence-based crime i don't think a judgment appeared that. congress specifically omitted the word will fully fund the statue. yet you are implying the word roughly in the statue. is that fair? >> so what the statue does say is knowingly removed such materials without authority. is it fair that she knew that she did not have authority to have the server in her basement? >> >> yes. that is true. >>and she knew she was receiving materials, classified information in e-mails that she received on her blackberry and other devices. i'm hesitating -- as a prosecutor because it's to what >.el of proof
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>> my question is did she know that she is receiving information on the servers at a location? >> yes. a secretary of state, she also knew should be receiving classified information. >> yes, in general. intentshe then have the to retain such material at an unauthorized location? she retained the material that she received as secretary of state at her server in her basement and that was unauthorized. >> you are asking we did she did she have the intent to retain classified information on the server, or just to retain any a pro on the server? >> we have already establish that she knew as secretary of state that she was going to receive classified information in your e-mails.
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she receive such information that she received a secretary of state on her servers in her basement? there is inn fact, my view not evidence beyond certainly probable cause. there is not evidence the unreasonable about that she knew she was receiving classified information, or that she intended to retain it on her service. there is evidence of that. but what i said there was not clear evidence of intent. that is what i meant. i could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt those two elements. >> thank you very much. thank you mr. chairman. when i first entered congress three years ago, like many freshmen members, -- unlike freshmen members i actually sought out this committee. i wanted to be on this committed because i wanted to tackle the challenges of good government like working to eliminate improper payment.
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before i joined congress, i had forprivilege of serving -- 23 if it is i tackle this challenge is i witnessed worldand the real importance of improving and streamlining government operation could have even the best policies in the world will not work without proper implementation. and so when it comes to implementing true reforms, that will make sure the electronic record and other records and the history of our great nation are preserved future generations, i've done my best to prices go thursday. -- to approach this goal seriously. to ensuring our civil servants across government have the necessary tools to achieve what should be nonpartisan and a shared goal. with respect to examining the tough lessons learned from numerous record-keeping incidents that our committee has dealt with which transcend
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anyone agency or any administration, our mission is clear. make sure that we in congress move beyond partisan politics and engage in mysterious hard work of ensuring that the laws written in an era pen and paper are overhauled to the digital challenges of the 21st century. they release a memorandum known as the managing government directive in 2012. this director of state and i by december 31, 2016, federal agencies will manage both permanent and temporary e-mail records in an accessible electronic format. federal agencies must manage all e-mail records in electronic format. e-mail records must be retained in an appropriate electronic system that supports records management and litigation requirement. which may include preservation and place models including the capability to identify, retrieve, and retain the records as long as they are needed. who director of the bureau
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deals with sensitive information on a daily basis, do you believe this directive is necessary and obtainable for agencies across the board within that four-year timeframe? know enough to say but. i can say it is certainly mistaken i don't know no -- know whether it's achievable. >> are you familiar with the capstone approach? that is the federal -- i approach that says federal agency should save all e-mails for select senior-level employee and that the e-mails of other employees of the archive for temporary. somebody agency so that senior employees him as a cap forever and those by lower-level employees are actually archive for a shorter. >> i am aware generally. i know it applies to me and when i was deputy attorney general of the bush administration. >> in fact to understand the fbi's currently in -- according to the agency officials for record.
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the caps on approaches industry leading the record-keeping process that an agency had to maintain. will bell agencies required to comprehensively modernize their approach to managing the records in the new future. as the head of a component agency director comey, within the department of justice, which appears to be a leader in adopting -- would you agree that with respect to instituting foundational reforms to strengthen record preservation, the caps on approach used by doj should be accelerated and rode out across the federal government? i think are doing it and a pretty good way. i'm not an certain not to say whether everybody should do it the way we do it, on a secret -- honestly. i think we're doing it a pretty good way. personou have anyone within the fbi that continually your records keeping and
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also do they report directly to there aell as -- is periodic review of how you implementing this process? >> we have an entire division devoted to records management. that assistant director reports up to the deputy director who reports to me. it is an enormous operation as you might imagine requiring constant training. that is what i mean when i say i think were doing in a pretty good way. and we have record marking tools , we prompted dialog boxes requiring employees to make a decision, what is the nature of this record to creating now and where should be stored. i think we're doing it in a pretty good way. >> have you seen that in any of the other agencies. that you've interacted with? samefollowing the technique? >> i don't know enough to say prayers -- personally.
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i now recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes. >> i think the chairman and thank you director comey for being here. mr. chairman thank you for holding this hearing. and director comey for making a very clear that we've done is respectfully with good intention. i wish some of my colleagues have had instructed us on our intent were here. they have a great ability to understand intent better than i guess the director of the fbi. it is an intent that is important here that we understand we are oversight and government reform committee. if indeed the tools are not there to make sure that our country is secure, and officials at the highest levels in a land don't have the understanding on what it takes to keep our country secure, that we do them the necessary government reform to put laws in place that will be effective and on meet the needs of distinguished agencies
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and important agencies like the fbi. so thank you mr. chairman for .oing this hearing it's our responsibility to do oversight and reform as necessary. to director comey , to paraphrase the espionage the seventhple district of michigan understand that from this perspective and common sense what it says that whoever being a trusted with information related to national defense through gross negligence permits information to be removed from its proper place in violation of their trust shall be fined or imprisoned under the statute. there does not seem to be a double standard there. it does not express intent. their explained understanding of why intent is needed. and we may agree or disagree on that, but the general public looking at the statute says he clear. question i would ask director comey, what is your definition of extremely
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careless? if you could go through that. >> my -- i intended as a common sense term. should know is -- better. someone who is demonstrating a lack of care that strikes me as ordinary accidents, and then there is just real sloppiness. i think of that is kind of real sloppiness. found 110ted you have e-mails on secretary clinton server that were classified at the time they were sent or yet secretary clinton has insisted for over years publicly that she never sent to receive any classified e-mails. the question i have from that, would it be difficult for any letnet level officials -- alone one who is a former white house residence or u.s. senator to determine if information is classified? >> would it be difficult?
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that is hard to answer in the abstract. it depends on the context of us are hearing it are seeing. obviously if it is marked which is why we require markings, it is easy. it's just too hard to answer because her some and other situations might encounter. >> with the retraining that we receive and certainly the secretary of state would receive or someone who is in the white house, it goes a little above and beyond just the common sense individual out there trying to determine. knowing that classified information will be brought and to remove to an unauthorized site. >> if you're a government official, you should be attentive to it. because you know that the matters you give us could involve sensitive information. so sure. secretary clinton's revised statement that she never knowingly center received any classified information is probably also untrue? want to comment on people's public statements. we did not find evidence
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sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information beyond a reasonable doubt to meet that intent standards. like i said, i understand my people are confused why the whole discussion. i get that. but you know the double standard ? if she was prosecuted for gross negligence. >> your statements on tuesday said there is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. >> i stand by that. that's the definition of carelessness or negligence. >> which happened as a result of our secretary of state decision struck is it your statement that before this committee that secretary clinton should have known not to send classified material and yet she did? certainly, she should have known not to send custom that information. as i said, that is the definition of negligence.
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i think she was extremely careless. that i could establish. what we can establish his ditzy actress necessary criminal intent. that since theve department of justice has not used to statute congress pass is invalid? >> i think they're worried that is invalid -- and valid. that it would be challenged on constitutional grounds. now recognize the gentleman from california. >> as i read some of my republican colleagues press statements and as i sit here today, i'm reminded of that quote from the past. i've heard some sound of your today for members of the committee and the reason they argue nothing is because of two fundamental truths that are self evident. none of the members of committee can be objective on this issue. i can't be objective, i've
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endured -- endorsed hillary clinton for president. my republican colleagues can't be objective. they oppose hillary clinton for president. which is why we have you. career a nonpartisan -- public servant that has served our nation with distinction and honor. not only can you be objective, it is your job to be objective to apply the law fairly and equally regardless of politics. i think it is important for the american people to get a full impression of your public service. let me ask you before you are fbi director, happy years did you serve in a federal prosecutor? >> 15. >> for if you don't time directly be a law school at the scholar and you specialize on national security law, is that correct? >> sometimes i fantasize i still am. served in the republican administration of president george w. bush, you are than the second-highest ranking member of the department of justice, is that right? >> president bush appointed me
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to be -- >> when you confirm for the fbi director position, the vote was 93 to one. is that correct? >> with that show bipartisan support, it's not surprising that senator grassley and republican sending your confirmation, director, has a reputation for defining the law fairly and equally regardless of politics. in this case the dude -- apply the law fairly. did you get any interference from the white house of the hillary clinton campaign. one of the reasons you are pointed to a six term of 10 years, very long-term is to help insulate you from politics, is that right? the second fundamental truths today of this hearing, none of the members of his committee have any idea what the talking about. because we had not reviewed the evidence personally in this case. i served active duty in the u.s. air force in 19 needed --
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1990 one of the things i learned as a prosecutor is it is unprofessional and wrong to make allegations based on evidence that one have not reviewed. anyme ask you good as member of this committee to the best of your knowledge reviewed the 30,000 e-mails at issue in this case? >> i don't know. >> has any member of this committee staff were embarked on the witness interviews? has any member of this committee received any special information hert the file that you kept other fbi agents kept on this case? >> now listed with a bit of matthew. math here. 1% of 30,000 e-mails would be 300 e-mails. >> 30 e-mails would be 1/10 of 1% and three e-mails would be 100th of 1% of 30,000. of those three e-mails, 100th of 1% of 30,000, they avoid
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these tiny little classified markings which as you described , correct? possible thats it a busy person who had sent or received over 30,000 e-mails just might miss this marking, that is possible? let me know this could include by stating what some of my theregues have which is is a strong whiff of hypocrisy going on here. american public might be adjusted in knowing that all members of congress receive security clearances just for being a member of congress. we get to have private e-mail servers. we get to have private e-mail accounts. we can use multiple devices. we can take the devices overseas. at the end of the day when the american people that this hearing, they need to ask this question, do they trust the bias partisan politicians on this
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committee were making statements based on evidence we have not reviewed, or do they trust the distinguished fbi director? i would trust the fbi director. i get back. -- yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. , how long did you investigate this matter? >> about a year. do you believe you conducted a legitimate investigation? >> yes, sir. >> was a legitimate subject of a something that you should look into? you had that responsibility, is that correct? >> yes. >> we have a responsibility to hear from you on the action that you took. go back to our districts and we have to explain
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to people, albeit a couple of cafes where i see folks in meetings and they are going to ask a lot of questions about what took place. have you seen the broadway production hamilton? >> not yet. i'm hoping to. >> i haven't either. but i understand that one -- it won the choreography tony award. the problem i have an explaining to my constituents is what has come down. it almost looks like a choreography -- let me just go over quickly with you. ago,tuesday, one week former president clinton meets with the attorney general in phoenix. the next friday, last friday, mrs. lynch, the attorney general
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says she is going to defer to whatever you came up with. on saturday morning i saw the vans pull up, this is this past saturday. and you questioned secretary hours. for three caller three and a half. after july 4,ng we watched in our office, i had my interns, i said come in we had the fbi director. at zero yes to say. -- let's hear what he had to say. you basically recommend not to prosecute. tuesday we had president obama and secretary clinton arrived in charlotte at 2:00 and shortly thereafter we had the attorney general disclosing the case. this is rapidfire.
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folks think that there is something fishy about this. i'm not a conspiracy theorist. but there are a lot of questions on how this came down. i have questions about how this came down. did you personally interviewed the secretary on saturday morning? >> i did not personally, no. >> how many agents do? or six.nk we had five >> did you talk to all of the agents after the interview? >> i did not speak to all of them, no. did she testify or talk to them under oath? >> no. >> she did not. that is a problem. >> still a crime to lie to us. >> do you have a transcript of that -- >> no we don't record? >> do you have a 302 and alice -- analysis? can we get a copy of it since
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the case is closed? i would like a copy of it provided to the committee. i would like also for the last 30 days any communications between you or any agent or any person in the fbi with the attorney general or those in justicey the department on this matter. could you provide us with that? will provide you with whatever we can under the law and our policy. it will be easy under my case. >> if you see the problem that i have it i have to go back and report to people what took place. did you write the statement that you gave on tuesday? >> yes. >> and you said you did not talk to all the agents. agents, did they meet with you and is that the group that said that we all vote to not recommend prosecution? >> i did not meet with all of
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the agents. i met with -- >> we are getting the word that it was like unanimous out of fbi that we don't prosecute. >> what is your question congressman? >> i want to know who counseled summary, she their was not under oath. it appears members have decided here where she lied or misled to congress which will lead now to the next step of our possibly giving you a referral on this matter. you are aware of that. >> yes. someone mentioned that early. >> thank you for shedding some light on what took place. >> can i respond briefly? i hope what you tell the folks
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in the cafe is looking in the eye and listen to what i is about to say. i did not coordinate that with anyone. house, department of justice, nobody outside the fbi had any idea what has about to say. i say that under oath, i stand by that. there is no coordination, there i did notnuation that mean to get strong responding but i want to mike trout definitive about that. we now recognize a gentlewoman from the virgin islands for five minutes or >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you all for being here. director connie, i would rather be here talking with you about the fbi's investigation and the resources to those individuals who are acting under the color of law who apparently committed egregious violations in the killings that we have seen in the recent days. but instead mr. chairman, i'm sitting here and i listened patiently as another -- number of individuals have gone on national tv and made accusations against mr. komen -- mr. comey
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because he recommended against prosecution based on fact. i listened very recently here in this hearing as my esteemed colleague from florida tries to insinuate the continuation of an investigation into one week that actually occurred over a much, much longer. of time. and using that condensation, and conspiracy theory to say there is some orchestration. accused they have director comey of basing his decision on political considerations rather than the facts. i've heard chuckles and laughter here in this hearing. and i don't think there's anything to be smiling or laughing about. because i want to say something to those that -- individuals who are chuckling and laughing and making attacks. on director comey for doing his job. you have no idea who you're talking about. your accusations are completely off base, utterly offensive, to
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us as american people. i know this because i've had the honor of working for director comey. during my own service at the department of justice. i served as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general. i worked with both director -- deputy attorney general larry thompson and deputy attorney general jim comey when he became deputy as a staff attorney. i know from my own experiences that director comey is a man of impeccable integrity. there are few times and you as an attorney or as an individual can work with individuals or gentlemen who is completely that. the fray.o is above anyone who suggests implies that he made his recommendations on anything but the facts, simply does not know james comey. we have used the term no reasonable prosecutor.
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i know this james comey does not act as what a reasonable prosecutor would do. because he is the unyielding prosecutor. he is the prosecutor who does what is politically not expedient for himself, his staff, but for the law. i'm not the only person in this hearing, in this committee who has worked with director comey or for him. representative daddy himself also commended director, and he said this in a quote i used to work with him, i think he is doing exactly what you want. he is getting a serious investigation behind closed doors, away from the media's attention, and i'm going to trust him until i see a reason not to. representative doughty were director comey as honorable and a political party
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said this is exactly what you want and law-enforcement. exactly what you want and bond foresman the decision is not the decision that you want. comey, chairman take chaffitz said that your recommendation was nothing more than quote a political determination in the end. i'm going to ask you had to respond to that? where your actions governed by political considerations? >> not in any way. with secretary clinton's campaign or the administration influencer recommendation for political reasons? >> no. nine anyway. -- not in any way. >> i will take you at your word because i know and those who will go through the record of your long tenure as a career
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prosecutor and they will look at examples will see that you have taken decisions that have not been that. your supervisors, your president, which others have want to do today. as a fellow prosecutor believes that the facts must come about politics, i'm thankful that we have you. i want to thank you for your service to our country and you have our support. we would like to see as much documents and i'm grateful that you want to keep the transparency so that the american public can understand the difference between what they and thethe media elements of the crime necessary for criminal prosecution. thank you. now recognize the gentleman from texas. >> i want to talk a little bit about cyber security.
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state department inspector general report detailed instances of multiple attacks on secretary clinton's computer as well as her complying to auspicious e-mails from the personal account of the under secretary of state. director, you said that hostile acts in successfully gained access to the commercial e-mail accounts of people secretary clinton regulates many kid with. during your investigation, were there other people and the state department or the regular -- that -- regulates many kid with secretary clinton that you can confirm or sect -- successfully hacked? >> yes. you able to conclude definitively that the attempted hacks referenced in the ig report were not successful? we were not able to conclude that they were successful. i think that's the best way to say. that given they nature of clinton server, you
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would be unlikely to see evidence one way or the other of whether or not it had been cigna -- successfully hacked. how many unsuccessful attempts? >> i don't know the number of the top of my head. >> any idea -- were they from foreign governments? where did they come from? >> i want to be careful what i say in an open setting. we can get that information, but i don't to give any foreign government's knowledge of what i know. would you be so far as to say, they probably weren't american high school students fooling around? >> correct. it was not limited to criminal activity. >> during your investigation did you or anyone in the fbi and to be the hacker lucifer. he gained access to said blumenthal's e-mail account and trace them back to clinton's private server. can you confirm that lucifer never gained access to her server? >> >> he did not. he admitted that was a lie.
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at least that is good to hear. 793 of title 18 of the united states code makes it a crime to allow classified information to be stolen through gross negligence. thatyou to discover hostile actors had actually gotten into secretary clinton's e-mail would that have changed your recommendation with respect to prosecuting her? unlikely, although we did not consider that question because we did not have this fax. >> i want to go back to the question of intent real quick for a second. i'm a recovering attorney. it's been decades since action practice law. sheyou kept referring -- had to know it was illegal to have the requisite criminal intent. i was always taught in law school and i don't know where this change that ignorance to the law was no skis. if i'm driving along a 45 mph and did not see the i was still intentionally speeding, even though i did not know it.
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i may not have had the requisite criminal intent if my accelerator jammed or something, but even though i did not know the law was 35, i was driving 45, i'm going to get a ticket and i will probably be prosecuted. of the you say ignorance law is an excuse in mrs. clinton's case? dir. comey: the comparison to petty cases -- the question of ignorance of the law is no excuse, but here is the instant -- distinction. you have to have general criminal intent, you must be aware of the generally wrongful nature of your conduct. thaten congress enacted statute, they said gross negligence. what do he have to enact to get you guys to prosecute something based on negligence or gross negligence? we really do mean you don't have to have intent? dir. comey: that is a
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conversation for you to have the department -- have with the department of justice. i think that is something this committee and congress as a whole and the judiciary committee and we all will be looking at. i just want to really a question that i received from a caller. why should any person follow the law if our leaders don't? we can argue about intent or not, but you laid out the fact that she basically broke the law, but you could not prove intent. maybe i'm putting words in your mouth, but i do want to know why any person should follow the law if the leaders do not have to? that is a question i am no more qualified to answer than any american citizen.
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in terms of my work and my world, my folks would not -- one of my employees would not be prosecuted for this. they would face consequences, so the notion that it is either prosecute or you walk around just smiling all day long is just not true for those people who work the government. the broader question is one for democracy to answer. the ultimate decision as to whether or not she works for the government is not is in everybody's hand. -- is now in everybody's hand. >> thank you, director combing for appearing on -- director comey for appearing on such short notice. a friend of mine was expressing -- this is someone who is not in any way political. probably typical of most inrican citizens today,
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being depressed about the remarkable level of cynicism we ,ave in our government specifically those of us who are in government making decisions first and foremost because the party had we where and not because -- based on facts and evidence and he texted me after watching you are presentation and said it is nice to see a real pro, someone who would make decisions based on facts and not what party he is. i think it is important to go to this point in the country where we restore some of the eighth people have in the government. if you look at the poll numbers from the 1940's and 50's, and you look at facing government among the american public and you look at those numbers today, the numbers are anemic, no were near the levels they were, decades ago. for that, i want to say thank you and i think that many citizens have the same impression.
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when i first met you a couple of years ago at a weekend session in williamsburg, you remember that we had a discussion about my concern facing the security of american people, and that is the possibility of a lone wolf terrorist, someone becoming self radicalized and acting, based on that. we had an exchange that i will keep private, but i can characterize that you shared my concerns. i am thinking for the last two and a half hours that we have been here, we have had the fbi director answering questions on this matter what i would rather your time be spent dealing with the potential lone wolf terrorist and other coordinated attacks. since this is the oversight and government reform committee, trying to find something that we can now take and possibly use in a systemic way, not just the celebrity of secretary clinton
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and the fact that because it involves her, let's face it, that is why we are here. i want to take something out of this expensive and long investigation and try to use it in a productive way, toward reforming government so possibly we can get something good out of it. i am concerned about this issue of up classification. i was not aware of this until the investigation, there is quite a strong discrepancy between secretary clinton and former secretary powell, what they think should be classified and what is classified after the fact. if i am right, there were 2000 e-mails that were up classified. can you speak to that? dir. comey: it was not a concept i was familiar with. it is the notion that something might not have been classic right at the time, but in hindsight, as a government
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agency considers releasing it, they raise the class -- the classification level because of the candidacy of a former leader or something. it is largely a state department thing, diplomats will often be conversing in a unclassified way. it, they thinkse it ought to be protected in some fashion. the important thing here was, what was classified at the time. >> that is for a law enforcement official. i'm wondering if you could share with us any of your impressions about a system that exists where there is such great area in discrepancy as to what is classified and what is not and if you had any suggestions for in oversight, the state department, do you believe this is a matter we should take up, where there is such test -- discrepancy on what is classified?
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ambassador ross put something in a book that was not classified and was up classified after the book came out. expertmey: i am not an in this classification business, but i suspect it would be a fertile ground if there are -- for ways to try to do it anymore predictable way. >> thank you for your service. >> we now recognize the gentleman from georgia. mey, youror co statement clearly showed that secretary clinton not only was extremely careless in handling classified information, but that also, any reasonable person should have known better, and that in doing so, she put our national security at risk with her reckless behavior. it seems to me that the american people are only left on your
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assessment with a few options. either secretary clinton herself is not a reasonable person, or she is someone who purposefully, willfully exhibited disregard for the law, or she is someone who sees yourself as above the law. to muddy the water further, after listening to you lay out the facts of the investigation, much of what you said directly contradicted her in previous statements that she had made. ,ll of this has compiled connecting the dots that so many american people are irate that after all this, there was not a recommendation for secretary clinton to be prosecuted. i do appreciate the fact that you came out with much more information on this than you would have in other cases.
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i think that was the right thing to do. undeniably, this is not a typical case, this is something of great interest, the subject of the investigation, a former secretary of state, former senator. all of those things we have talked about. in addition, her husband, who happens to be a former president of the united states, is meeting privately with the attorney general right before all of this interview takes place. obviously this is very suspicious. the optics of it all. at the same time that you are or more or less you are announcing the decision, secretary clinton is flying in air force one with the president doing her campaign event. there is nothing about this case
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that is ordinary, nothing about the subject is ordinary. let me ask you this. in factetary clinton comply with the departments policies or the federal records act? dir. comey: i don't think so. i know you have the state inspector general here who is more of an expert on the department policies. homeeping the servers at obviously is not in compliance with the department's policies. dir. comey: i read the inspector general's report on that. >> she said publicly that she fully complied. there is another issue. if you have the same set of facts but a different subject, a different individual, just an average state department employee or an anonymous contractor.
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what would have been the outcome? dir. comey: no criminal prosecution, there would be some range of discipline. they might get fired, might get suspended or lose their clearance. maybe just a reprimand. i think it would be higher on the spectrum, but some sort of discipline. that therer opinion should likewise be some discipline in this case? dir. comey: that is not for me to say. i can talk about what it would be if it was an employee under my responsibility. >> what you are laying out then is a double standard for someone who is a different suspect, someone at the state department, they would absolutely be disciplined, but because of who the subject is, you are not willing to say there should be discipline. there is this whole issue. this is what the american people are upset about. when you stated that no reasonable prosecutor would pursue this case, is that because the subject of this investigation is unique?
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dir. comey: no. no double standard therefore in a sense that if it was john doe, warm or government employee, they would be in the same boat. we would not have any reach on the guy. >> but he would have some discipline. dir. comey: not if he left government service. >> have a lied about public servers, at they lied about not deleting those e-mails, not -- have a lied about not having any classified -- the statements are clearly dr. -- clearly documented, and you are saying an average person would experience discipline, but secretary clinton does not deserve to be disciplined. >> the director may answer. dir. comey: an average employee still in government service would be subject to a disciplinary process. if they left, you would be in the same boat. thank you very much, mr.
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chairman and director comey. the prosecutor has awesome power. the power to prosecute is the power to destroy, and it has to be used with restraint. you obviously know that. you are being asked to exercise that responsibility in the context of a very contested presidential campaign. before and i once, go back to that evening of march 10, 2004 when the question was whether a surveillance program authorized after 9/11 by president bush was going to continue despite the fact that the justice department had come to an independent conclusion that it violated our constitutional rights. that is a tough call, because america was insecure.
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the president was asserting his authority as commander-in-chief to take an action that was intended to protect the american people. you and others in the justice department felt that whatever that justification was, the constitution came first and you were going to defend it. oni understand it, you were your way home and had to divert your drivers to go back to the hospital to be at the bedside of a very sick attorney general. you had to stand in the way of the white house chief of staff in the white house counsel. i'm not sure that was a popular or one that you could have confidently thought would be a career booster. i want to thank you for that. fast-forward, we have this situation of a contested political campaign.
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is substantive concern that for political reasons, you had to make a call based upon your view of the law, not your view of how it would affect the outcome of who would be the next commander in chief. others have asked this, but i think i'm close to the end, i want to give you a chance to just answer the bottom line questions. had you after your investigation found evidence that suggested that criminal conduct occurred? is there anything or anyone that could have held you back from deciding to prosecute? dir. comey: no. i do not have the power to decide prosecution, but i worked very hard that a righteous case was prosecuted. >> and you would have made that
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recommendation to the attorney general. dir. comey: yes. >> was there any interference, implicit or explicit, in the -- from the president of the united states or anyone acting on his behalf to influence the outcome of your investigation? dir. comey: no. in thethere anyone hillary clinton campaign or color clinton herself who did anything directly or indirectly to attempt to influence the conclusion you made? dir. comey:. -- no. >> after several hours of questioning, is there anything in the questions you have heard that would cause you to change the decision that you made? dir. comey: no. i don't love this, but it is important to do, and i understand the questions and concerns. i want the american people to know we did this the right way.
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you can disagree with us, but you cannot fairly say we did it in any kind of political way. we do not carry water for anyone. >> i very much appreciate that. i appreciate that it takes strong people of independent judgment to make certain we continue to be a nation of laws. mr. chairman, one final thing and i will yield. we have a political debate where a lot of these issues that have been raised are going to be thought on the campaign and we have secretary clinton who is going to have to defend what she did. have that great constitutional scholar, donald trump making his case about why this was wrong. that is politics. that is not having anything to do with the independence of prosecutorial discretion. thank you, and i yield ever additional time i have.
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-- whatever additional time i have. >> we will now recognize the gentleman from kentucky. for showing up and your willingness to be transparent and answer a lot of unanswered questions. hearing,rs before this i went to facebook and asked people to submit questions. i'm sure you would be willing to answer some of them. one of the common things i came in here to ask is what is the difference between extremely careless and gross negligence? in the process of this hearing, what i'm hearing you say is that is not what you are -- what your reluctance is based on. it is not based on the reluctance to prosecute, your reluctance to recommend prosecution is not based on parsing those words, it is based on your concern for this statute , with this statute.
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is that correct? within ay: it fits framework of fairness and my understanding of what the department of justice has prosecuted over the last years. >> when you say a reasonable prosecutor would not take this case, it is not because you think she lied in public or because she was negligent, it is because you have concern with the prosecutorial history of the statute. dir. comey: not just that statute, but also 1924, which is the misdemeanor. i do not see cases executed on facts like these. >> you did find one prosecution and has it been overturned by the supreme court? dir. comey: one time it was charged in an espionage case and the guy ended up pleading guilty to a different charge so it was never adjudicated. dir. comey: their concern -- >> your concern is with the negligence threshold.
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all 50 states, is in their negligent homicide statutes and our people prosecuted for that, all the time? upholdll of the courts that prosecution on the basis of negligent? think negligent homicide and manslaughter statutes are relatively common. >> don't they all have something like that and are those sustained in the upper courts -- are those sustained in the upper those? -- aren't sustained in the upper courts? you imply that the american judicial system does not have a history of convicting someone for negligence, but don't we in other domains of justice? dir. comey: i know the federal system best. there are very few in the federal system. they are more in the environmental and food and drug area. >> another question that has
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come up. related to us that this information is top secret or classified information and got into the e-mail chain is of conversations people were having. they were relating what they -- heard,before before. dir. comey: it was people having an e-mail conversation about a classified subject. >> so they were having a conversation, but how in this conversation did this baooar marking show up? if they were not sophisticated enough to recognize the marking, if they were not that sophisticated, how did they re-create that marking in their e-mails when they were having these discussions? dir. comey: a lot of what ended up on secretary clinton's server or stuff that had been forwarded up the chain and gets to her from her staff, and then she
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comments on it sometimes. someone down on the chain, , and put aragraph portion marking on that paragraph. >> doesn't it take a lot of intent to take a classified document may setting that is authorized and secure to one that is not? wouldn't it require intent or someone to re-create that classification marking in an unsecured setting? dir. comey: i don't know. it is possible. >> diddy accidentally type it -- did he accidentally type it? dir. comey: you would not accidentally type that. so my question is, someone down the chain being investigated -- is someone down the chain being investigated? if they had the sophistication to know what this marking was,
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they had to have the intent to re-create it or the intent to copy and paste it from a secure system into an unsecured system. dir. comey: potentially, but there is not an open criminal investigation. >> shouldn't there be? dir. comey: a criminal investigation? don't we treat everybody the same, whether it is the top of the chain or the bottom of the chain? dir. comey: if the conduct is the same, but we did not criminally investigate whoever started that chain and put the c on those paragraphs. >> i would suggest you may want to do that. >> how many years have you been the director? dir. comey: three years. >> how many cases have you
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investigated that you had to render a decision? dir. comey: the bureau investigates tens of thousands of cases. the director only gets involved in a small number of them. i think i have been deeply involved in 10 to 20 cases. >> have you ever been called before congress on those other decisions? dir. comey: no. this is the first time. >> thank you. there are some republicans who support you. not surprisingly, they are the ones that know you. i haven't -- i have a letter i like to enter into the record. bush'srom president chief ethics lawyer. he refers to mr. cummings -- mr.
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, and i quote, of the most integrity who calls the shots as he saw him without regard to political affiliation or in ship. he states throughout the investigation of hillary clinton and her private e-mail server, i am convinced that the director was in supervising partial strict iteris to the law as well as prosecutorial president. although i am aware of very few prosecutions for carelessness in ,andling classified information as opposed to intentional disclosure, i knew that the director would recommend prosecution in any and all circumstances where it was warranted. i cannot think of someone better suited to handle such a
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politically sensitive investigation. urge alland i quote, i members of the united states inferring intop specific decisions, particularly those involving political allies or opponents, during my tenure at the white house, they were very unfortunate allegations that powerful senators sought politically motivated firing of united states attorney. whether or not such allegations thattrue, it is imperative members of the senate or the house never again conduct -- manner in a matter with such -- where such interference could be expected -- could be suspected. i wholeheartedly agree.
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director, you have demonstrated yourself, you sat here and answer engines and i would never oppose finding the answers to any situation that is directly related to the role agencies which we on this committee are responsible for. i want to be clear that congress interfering with these types of decisions that are coming in your responsibility. these types of attacks are not only inappropriate, but they are dangerous, because they could have a chilling effect on the future investigations. i asked that question, how long have you in in this position and how many times have you made -- sions
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then we say it is not political. you have said repeatedly regardless of who it was, you conducted the investigation as required under your responsibility. here, you have republicans who are saying you are an honorable man. until this day, i have not heard any complaints of your judgment. i sit here today as a member of theress on the record that slippery slope we are seeing in this hearing, i want every member to be cautious of what we are saying, that in america when we have investigations, that we our own elected congress and senate to make this , political agenda, to attack but only if it is in their agenda. this goes for democrats and republicans. we are not here to do that, thank you. >> we will recognize the
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gentleman from iowa. >> thank you. here and for being hanging in there until every last question. i am not a lawyer, that is the good news. i spent most of my career operating in the high-tech industry. have heard words such as common sense, reasonable person, carelessness, judgment or lack thereof. i like these words, i understand these words. i would like to focus on that. last tuesday, you said and i quote, none of these e-mails should have been on any kind of an unclassified system, but their presence is concerning because all these e-mails were held unclassified personal servers, not even supported by security staff like those found at agencies of the unit since government or with a commercial e-mail servers.
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-- service. my small iowa service does not use i know some security experts. i check with them. the going rate to hack into a gmail account, $129. for corporate e-mail, it can be hacked for $500 or less. you want to hack into an ip address, around $100. i'm sure the fbi can do it cheaper. this is the going rate. director comey, are you implying in that statement that the private e-mail servers of secretary clinton's were perhaps less secure than a gmail account that is used for free by a billion people around this planet? dir. comey: yes. and i'm not looking to pick on gmail. their security is pretty good. the weakness is individual users. but, yes, gmail has full-time security staff and thinks about patching and logging and protecting their systems in a
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way that was not the case here. >> what kind of judgment -- we talked a lot about judgment today -- does this potentially expose to hackers classified information on e-mail service that's less secure than gmail, your words, what type of -- what does that suggest to you? dir. comey: >> it suggests the kind of carelessness i talked about. >> secretary clinton was asked by fox news whether she had wiped her entire server. meaning did she delete all the e-mails on her server. her response, you mean with a cloth? march of 2015, during a press conference secretary clinton assured us her private e-mail server was secure, saying the server was on private property guarded by the secret service. now, this would have laughable if it wasn't so serious. i know, you know, my constituents in eastern iowa know you don't need to be a cat burglar to hack into an e-mail server and you don't need a
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cloth to wipe a server clean. one would think that a former united states senator, one would think that a former secretary of state would know this as well. would you agree with that statement? dir. comey: >> you would think, although as i said before, one of the things i learned in this case is the secretary may not have been as sophisticated as people assumed. she didn't have a computer in her office at the state department for example. i would think the same thing. i'm not sure it's a fair assumption in this case. >> in your opinion, did secretary clinton know that a server could in fact be wiped clean electronically and not with a cloth? dir. comey: well, i assume -- i don't know >> would you assume she knows that? dir. comey: >> i would assume it was a facetious comment about a cloth. i don't know the particular on that one. >> would you also assume director that secretary clinton nigh that a server could be wiped clean electronically, that it could be hacked
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electronically, not physically? you don't need a cat burglar to hack a server. would you assume -- reasonable to assume she knows that? dir. comey: to some level it would be reasonable to some , level of understanding. >> then once again, for someone who knew these things or we assume to some level she knew these things, what kind of judgment does a decision to expose classified material on personal servers suggest to you? what type of judgment? dir. comey: it's not my place to assess judgment. i talk in terms of state of mind, negligence in particular. i think there was carelessness here. in some circumstances extreme carelessness. >> was her server hacked? dir. comey: i don't know. i can't prove that it was hacked. >> that answer says to me it could have been hacked. dir. comey: sure. >> and if it was hacked, potentially damaging material, damaging to american secrets, damaging to american lives, could have been hacked, could have been exposed, correct? lives could have been put at
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risk if that server was indeed hacked. dir. comey: i'm not prepared to say yes as to that last piece. that would require me going into a way i can't here the nature of the classified information. there is no doubt it would have potentially exposed information that was classified. information that's classified because it could damage the united states of america. >> so it could i have happened, the fbi just isn't aware? dir. comey: correct. >> thank you for being here. i yield back the time i do not have. >> now recognize the gentlelady from new jersey, ms. watson coleman for five minutes. >> thank you. and thank you, director. i've got a number of questions so i'm going to zip through these. this is a question i'm going to ask you and you may not even have the answer to it because you may not have known this. this is about the classification marking issue that you've been asked about earlier. according to the state department which addressed the issue yesterday, a spokesman said that the call sheets appear
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to bear classified markings but this was actually a mistake. to quote, "there's a standard process for developing kale -- call sheets for the secretary of state. they are often marked, but it's not untypical at all for them to be marked at the confidential level. prior to a decision by the secretary that he or she will make that call. often times, once it is cleared, the secretary intends to make a call, the department will then consider the call sheet sbu sensitive by unclassified or , unclassified ail together and marked appropriately." the classifications of a call sheet therefore is not necessarily fixed in time and staffers in the secretary's office who are involved in preparing and finalizeing these call sheets, they understand that. given this context it appears , that markings in the documents raised in the media reports were no longer necessary or appropriate at the time they were sent as an actual e-mail. those markings were human error.
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they didn't need to be there. did you know this? dir. comey: no. >> thank you, mr. director. can you tell me based upon your information has there been and is there any evidence that our national security has been breached or at risk as a result of these e-mails and their being on this server? dir. comey: there's no direct evidence of an intrusion. >> thank you very much. i have to tell you that while i think that this should conclude this discussion, i know we're going to hear this issue ad nauseam. but i am concerned about another issue that i think really is resonating with the people in this country. that issue has to do with experiences that we had just the last two days. mr. director, i want to bring this up for your consideration because i want to ask you what
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can the fbi do -- fbi do in this issue. this morning, we woke up to another graphic and deeply disturbing video that actually brought me to tears when my staff played it for me where in a minnesota woman's boyfriend has been shot as her young child sat in the backseat after apparently telling the officer he was licensed to carry a weapon, he had it on him, and was going to reach for his identification. just the other day, there was an incident in baton rouge involving a mr. alton sterling, an african-american man who was shot while pinned to the ground by police officers in baton rouge. and interaction taped by two bystanders with cell phones captured this. so i think that we've got an issue here, an issue of real national security. and i want to ask you, mr.
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director, do we have an opportunity to direct our time and resources in your department to those issues? is it not important that we save their names to remind people of the loss of a tamir rice, to an eric garland, to an alton sterling, to a john crawford iii, michael brown, walter scott, and even a sandra bland, deaths in the hands of police custody or by police. are these not happening at an alarming rate and is this not a legitimate space for the fbi to be working in? dir. comey: yes, is the emphatic answer. those are incredibly important matters. as you know the fbi spends a lot of time on them because they're very, very important. we have an investigation open on the baton rouge case. i was briefed this morning on the minnesota case and i would
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expect we'll be involved in that as well. it's an important part of our work. >> do you feel that you have the sufficient resoursces to address these cases in what seems to be a disturbing pattern in our country today? dir. comey: i'm a bad bureaucrat, but i have -- i believe i have sufficient resources. and we are applying them against those situations. because i believe the individual cases matter enormously, but also the people's confidence in law enforcement is one of the bedrocks of this great country of ours. i have the resources and we're >> in addition, we believe that our law enforcement is by and large of high integrity and have the desire to keep us protected and safe. but when we find out that there are these occasions, and when there's an indication that there's a pattern that is taking
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place in this country, we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone in this country is safe. and simply because you're a black man or a black woman does not make you a target. thank you. i yield back my time. >> thank the gentlewoman. we'll now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker. >> thank you director comey for being here. few things in this town that people agree on. when is your reputation. i'm reminded the passage of james. swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. i am a little disappointed in some of the things i've heard from my colleagues about some of the attacks on your character and integrity. i have not heard those. and i hope that we have not -- you've not experienced that. i also struggle with a chang of heart that we're hearing today. because i have a list of elected officials who have questioned your investigation, even attacked it. in fact former president clinton , said this is a game. just last friday miss --
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congresswoman wasserman schultz said secretary clinton is not the target of this investigation or whatever you want to call it. my question to you today, do you feel like this has been a republican witch hunt? this hearing? dir. comey: >> no. i said from the beginning, i understand people's questions and interest. i'm a huge fan of transparency. i think that's what makes our democracy great. >> it's one of the reasons as to why you are so respected. to me, this hearing is about understanding and disseminating the facts and how you saw them and how the american public sees them. and specifically in the areas of where there was wrongdoing admitted under your investigation where there was obviously breaking the law, but also some coverups. did congress ask you to pir sue this investigation? dir. comey: no. it was a referral from the inspector general of the intelligence community. >> so it wasn't republicans either, was it? dir. comey: no. >> how did you go about
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collecting the evidence? dir. comey: we use the tools we normally use in a criminal investigation. >> did or do you receive a congressional referral for all the information you collected? dir. comey: not to my knowledge. >> one of the things i'm struck -- struggling with or would like to know specifically is, under oath ms. clinton made these three comments we know are untrue. number one, she's turned overall her work-related e-mails. number two, telling the committee that her attorneys went through every single e-mail. and finally, and the one that probably six to close -- the most. there was and i quote, nothing marked classified on my e-mails, end quote. now, earlier when the chairman questioned you about this, you said something about needing a congressional referral, recommendation. my question is something of this magnitude, why -- can you help me insunderstand why didn't it
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-- can you help me understand why it didn't rise to your investigation or someone bringing that to your knowledge, saying this is a problem, here she is lying under oath specifically about our investigation? dir. comey: we, out of respect for the legislative branch being a separate branch, we do not commence investigations that focus on activities before congress without congress asking us to get involved. that's a long-standing practice of the department of justice and the fbi. we don't watch on tv and say we ought to investigate that, joe smith said this in front of the committee. it requires the committee to say, we think we have an issue here, would you all take a look at it. >> with all due respect, if you have secretary clinton speaking under oath about your very investigation, and you've talked about your wonderful staff, why wouldn't that rise to the level of suspicion that here she is saying this under oath? lying under oath is a crime is it not? dir. comey: yes. >> that's considered perjury right? dir. comey: it's a felony.
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potentially years in prison. >> i don't understand would you help me understand why somebody wouldn't have tipped you off that she's talking about the very specific case under oath that you're investigating? dir. comey: there's a difference between is being aware of testimony and us opening a criminal investigation for potential perjury. it's not this case in particular, but all cases. we don't do that without a committee saying we think there was an issue in testimony given in this separate branch of the government. >> you also mentioned earlier and it's been quoted several times, that no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with some of the facts. is there any room at all that somebody would differ on the opinion? i know formal -- former united states attorney general michael mccasey said with an illegal server disqualifies her from holding any federal office. so there are people of highest esteem that may may differ. can you make any room? you said no reasonable person.
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would you understand why people may say that she has stepped across a line or broke enough law here that you would come to a different conclusion? dir. comey: sure, i respect different opinions. my only point is -- and i said earlier for smiling at my friends. none of those guys in my position i believe knowing what i know would think about it differently. but i also respect that they have a different view from the outside. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yield back. >> now recognize the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, i just want to thank you as others have and i know you don't need this. i think the american people clearly need to hear it. you've done a wonderful job today. there are moments in my political life and as an american i despair for the future of this country, not often. in those moments, and individual like yourself, providence or good fortune or framework of the u.s. constitution, i really believe you served this country and all americans well irrespective of their party
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affiliation. two lines of questions. one is i -- another colleague has brought this up. but you mentioned just previous testimony about the bedrock and the importance of public confidence and public safety institutions, yours and all. so i just want to give you an opportunity, i think you have responded to this multiple times, but give you a little more opportunity because i think it's important for the american public to know that the system isn't rigged, that there are people such as yourself and the 15 individuals who worked on this case and others that do their job and believe in the constitution of the united states. and if you have any further comments about comments that would say that the system's rigged and americans should give up on the system. dir. comey: one of the reasons i welcomed this conversation is i was raised by great parents who taught me you can't care what other people think about you. actually in my business, i have to and deeply do, that people have confidence that the system's not fixed against black
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people, for rich people, for powerful people. it's very, very important that the american people understand that there really are people that you pay for with your tax dollars who don't give a rip about democrats or republicans or this or that, who care about finding out what is true. and i am lucky to lead an organization that is that way to its core. i get a 10-year term to ensure that i stay outside of politics, by in a way it's easy. i lead an organization that is resolutely apolitical. we are tough, aggressive people. if we can make a case, we'll make a case. we do not care what the person's stripes are or what their bank account looks like. i worry very much when people doubt that. it's the reason i did the press conference two days ago. i care about the whole system deeply. and so i decided i'm going to do something no director's ever done before. i'm not going to tell the attorney general or anybody else what i'm going to say or even i'm going to say it. they didn't know, nor did the
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media know what i was going to talk about and i offered extraordinary transparency, which i'm sure confused and bugged a lot of people. it is essential in this democracy that people see as much as they can so they can make their judgment. again they may conclude i'm an , idiot. i'm a reason differently. but what i hope they will not conclude is that i'm a dishonest person. i'm here trying to do the right thing in the right way. i have a 36,000 people who have that as their spine. that's what i want them to know. i don't care that peopledy agree or disagree. that is what is wonderful about our democracy. but at its core, you need to know there are good people trying to do the right thing all day long. and you pay for them and we'll never forget that. >> i appreciate that. and within context of these are human institutions, pretty clear to me as a nonlawyer that you had a bright line in terms of your decision about pursuing prosecution. but you did spend an extended period of time talking about what i think i take from you being fairly objective analysis
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of what was careless in terms of handling of it, either ascribed to the former secretary of state or to the department. he said and i quote during your comments while not the focus of , our investigation, we also developed evidence that a security culture of the state department in general and with respect to the use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular was generally lacking in the kind of care classified information found elsewhere in the government. is that accurate? dir. comey: yes, sir. >> so struggling with this, in the context of this hearing, in this committee as to how do we go from here, and be clearer about how the state department, we'll talk about this with the ig, and some of the comments that former secretary powell has made including the absurdity of the retroactive classification and now we have 1,000 of these , e-mails out in the public and being spread even further. there are other people involved. sitting there, how does this committee go forward to make sure the state department can
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still function in the way it does with human beings and have conversations that are both transparent, but also national security. what are the things we need to do to make shire that this doesn't happen again? dir. comey: i think the reason the chairman has the ig from the state department here is to have -- start a conversation. the ig knows deeply the culture of the department and is far better equipped than i to make it better. i think that's the place to start. >> thank you, mr. director. i yield back. >> now recognize the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> director, thank you for appearing so quickly on short notice. i think it's important that you are here because of the way you laid out the case on tuesday there is a perception that you felt one way and then came to another conclusion. i, like many of my colleagues put a post up back in my , district and let them know you were coming. in less than 24 hours, i had 750 questions sent to ask you. so again, thank you for being here.
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but a common theme just to summarize a lot of those concerns were that in this case clinton was above the law, that there was a double standard and a lot of that was based on the way you presented your findings. now, your team, you said you did not personally interview her on saturday, but your team did for about three and a half hours correct? ,dir. comey: yes. >> do you know did they ask hillary clinton about her comment that she had never sent or received classified information over private e-mail? i think so, but i can't, i can't remember specifically. >> ok. dir. comey: it's a very long 302. i'd have to check. >> and we'll get access to that. do you know if they asked her when she said there was nothing marked classified on my e-mails sent or received? dir. comey: same answer. i'm not sure. >> the same answer then when she said i did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. you don't know whether they asked her that?
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dir. comey: i don't know whether they asked her that question. the entire interview was focused on what did you know, what did you see, what is this document, that kind of thing. >> do you know if she asked her whether she stands by the fact she said she just used one device and that was for her convenience? dir. comey: i don't know. i know she used midi devices during her four years. i don't know whether they asked her specifically about that statement. that's easy to check, though. >> my point is you're trying to get inside the head of hillary clinton in this investigation and know whether there was intent. we all know what she told the people. that's been well documented. she said she did not do those things, that she did not send or receive classified e-mails, that she used one server and one device for her convenience. and since then, even if your -- in your statement you , recognize that those were not correct. is that fair? dir. comey: i really don't want to get in the business of parse and judge her public statements. and so i think i've tried to avoid doing that sitting here. >> why do you feel that's
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important? dir. comey: because what matters to me is what did she say to the fbi. that's obviously first and foremost for us. >> right. dir. comey: -- >> honest people don't need to lie, is that right? dir. comey: honest people don't need to lie? i hope not. >> well, in this case, for some reason, she felt the need to misrepresent what she had done with this server all throughout the investigation. you guys after a year brought her in an saturday and in three and a half hours came out with a conclusion that she shouldn't be prosecuted because there was no intent, is that right? dir. comey: no. >> i don't want to put words in your mouth. is it fair to say that your interpretation of hillary clinton's handling of top secret information classified documents was extremely careless? dir. comey: yes. >> is it fair to say that you went onto define extremely careless, that hillary clinton's handling of top secret information was sloppy or represents sloppiness? dir. comey: yeah. that's another way of trying to express the same concept.
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>> and then just a few minutes ago, you also stated that you now believe that hillary clinton is not nearly as sophisticated as people thought, is that correct? dir. comey: yeah, i think that's fair, actually. no not as people thought, but as , people would assume about somebody with that background. i'm sorry. i should be clear about this. technically sophisticated. i'm not opining on other. >> in the last minute, director, i want to talk about precedent. i think my colleague tray goidy made a great point. there is no precedent in terms of punishment for this type of behavior. brianu familiar with ishimira's case. dir. comey: yes. >> what is the difference between his case and hillary clinton's case in terms of extremely carelessness and gross negligence because we're dealing with statute 793 section f where it does not require intent is that correct? dir. comey: i'm sorry, 793 f is the gross negligence standard. >> right.
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is that why brian nishimura was punished? dir. comey: no. he was produced under the misdemeanor statute, 1924 on facts that are very, if you want me to go through them, i'll go through them. >> i think there's been a review of this case, and they're very similar. dir. comey: that's why people feel what they're reading in the media is not a complete accounting of the facts in that case. >> would you agree then with representative gowdy that there still is it really no precedence for punishing someone like hillary clinton and she would be potentially elected president and do this again without fear of being punished? dir. comey: i don't think i'm qualified to answer that question. >> my time's expired. >> now recognize the gentlewoman from new mexico. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've had the benefit of when you're last to or nearly last,
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to really have both the benefit and then to question the kinds of statements and the dialogue back and forth. where i'm settled at this point in time is in a couple of places, but particularly, i don't think there's any member in this committee or quite frankly any member in congress who doesn't both want and expect that the fbi and the department of justice to be -- to operate in a fair, unbiassed, highly independent manner. otherwise, you can't appropriately uphold or enforce federal law. and while we've all -- this has been stated in a couple of different ways, i'm -- i want to get direct answers. mr. comey, is there any evidence given that that's the standard that we all want, desire, and expect, to suggest that hillary clinton was not charged by the
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department of justice due to inappropriate political influence or due to her current or previous public positions? dir. comey: zero, and if there is such evidence, i'd love folks to show it to me. >> and in that regard, was there a double standard? dir. comey: no. in fact, i think my entire goal was to avoid a double standard, to avoid what sometimes prosecutors call celebrity hunting and doing something for a famous person that you would never do for an ordinary joe or jane. >> thank you. and i really appreciate that you're here today and explaining the process in great detail, frankly. and i've -- this committee works at getting specific detail about a variety of reviews, investigations, policies, concepts throughout federal government. and i think i can say that this committee often finds that we don't get very much clarity or
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specific responses to the majority of questions that we ask. so i really appreciate that. and that in explaining that what led the fbi to conclude that hillary clinton should not be charged. saying that, however, i'm still concerned that the use of this hearing and some of the public statements made by the elected officials accusing the department of justice of using a double standard without any evidence at all to support that statement, leaning on accusation of such, jeopardizes the very thing we want the most which is an apolitical and independent department of justice. we have every right to ask these tough questions and to be clear that the process that you use for everyone, including elected officials, works and that there's a responsibility not to substitute your own political preferences for the outcome of an independent and apolitical
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department of justice investigations. on any level, whether it involves hillary clinton or anybody else. do you agree with that general statement? dir. comey: yes. >> for me, that's a really important ethical line that i believe should never be crossed. i worry that some of what we did today could be, frankly, interpreted as violating that very standard. and for that, i certainly want the american people and my constituents who are watching to understand that very important line and to be sure that our responsibility is better served making sure that we do have in fact an independent body whose aim it is to bring about truth and justice and uphold the federal law. and sir, based on everything you've said today, i don't see any reason to disagree with your statements, your assessments, or the explanation of that process.
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with the little time i do have left, i do want to say that given that some of the classified material that we've both debated and talked about today can be classified later or up-classified, or that other agencies have different determinations of what constitutes classified and not, i do think that's a process that warrants refining. and if something can come out of this hearing about making sure that we do something better in the future for everyone, not just appointed or elected officials, that that ought to be something that we do. i'm often confused by some of the things that are clearly told to us in a classified briefing that appear to be different or already out in the public in some way, and i'm not sure who's making those decisions. i honor my responsibility to the highest degree. but i think that's a process that could use some significant refining and that's my only suggestion, sir. thank you for being here today.
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>> think it's alone -- thank the gentlewoman. we'll now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter, for 5 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, thank you for being here today. i'm over here. i'm going to be real quick and try to be succinct. i want to clarify some things that you said. look, i don't want to go over everything that everybody's been through today. we've had some great questions here that have ask you about you said this, she said that, representative gowdy made a great case of this is what she said under oath and publicly, yet you -- you dispute that and say, no, this is the case. by look, just got a couple questions, ok? first of all, did i understand you correctly that your decision, that this decision was made within three and a half hours of an interview and that was all? dir. comey: no, we investigated
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for a year. >> but you interviewed her for three and a half hours last week and then came to the conclusion? dir. comey: correct. we interviewed her on saturday for three and a half hours. the last step in a year-long investigation. >> ok. now, as i understand it, hillary clinton has testified that the servers that she used were always safe and secure, yet you refute that and say, no, that is not the case at all. were they ever secure? were the servers that she was using, were they ever secure? dir. comey: security is not binary, it's just degrees of security. less secure than one at a state department or a private commercial provider like a gmail. >> let me ask you this. she's got staff and she's got people around her. did they know she was doing this? did they know she was using these other devices? did anybody ever bring it to her attention and say you're not supposed to be doing that? dir. comey: i think a lot of
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people around the secretary understood she was using a personal e-mail. >> then why didn't they say something? don't they have a responsibility as well? dir. comey: that's an important question that goes to the culture of the state department that's worth asking. >> i mean, look we surround ourself with good people and depend on them to help us. should they be held responsible for that? for not bringing that to someone's attention? if i see someone not following protocol, is it not my responsibility to report them? dir. comey: yes. especially when it comes to security matters, you have an obligation to report a security violation you may witness whether it's involving you or , one of your coworkers. >> what about brian pagliano? did he ever know? do you know if he knew that she was not following proper protocol here? dir. comey: he helped set it up. >> he helped set it up. so obviously he knew. dir. comey: obviously.
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>> is anything going to be done to him? any prosecution or discipline? dir. comey: i don't know about discipline. not going to be prosecution of him. >> hmm. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> my understanding director is that you offered him immunity. what did he get for it? dir. comey: i'm not sure what i can talk about in an open setting about that. >> he's not going to be prosecuted. dir. comey: i want to be careful. i'm doing this 24 hours after the investigation closed. i want to be thoughtful, as we're big about the law, that i'm following the law about what i disclose about that. i don't want to answer that off the cuff. >> director comey, i am not a lawyer. i'm not an investigator. i am a pharmacist. but i'm a citizen. and citizens are upset. i watched with great interest earlier this week when you laid out your case. and i'm telling you, you laid it
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out, bam, bam, bam, here's what she did wrong, wrong, wrong. then all the sudden he used the word " however." and it was like you could hear a gasp throughout the country of people saying, aw, here we go again. do you regret presenting it in a way like that? dir. comey: no. i'm highly -- i think i didn't use the word however. i try to never use that in speaking. i did lay it out i thought in a way that made sense and that i hoped was maximum transparency for people. >> that's the point, i'm sorry. but that's the point, it didn't make sense. the way you were laying it out, it would have laid sense and the way the questions have been asked here and we made all these points of where she was obviously told lies underneath, -- under oath that it would have been ok, we finally got one here. dir. comey: i think it made sense. i just hope folks go back with a
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cup of tea and open their minds and read my statement again carefully. again, if you disagree, that's ok. >> look, i've only been here 18 months and i'm going to tell you, this inside the beltway mentality -- no wonder people don't trust us. --. comey: i know it took what you're talking about but i have no kind of inside the beltway mentality. >> but this is an example of what i'm talking about here. just as a non-lawyer, as a non-investigator, it would appear to me you have got a hell of a case. dir. comey: and i'm telling you we don't. and i hope people take the time to understand why. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. i will now recognize the gentleman from arizona. let's go ahead and go to gentleman from south carolina first. mr. molding. -- mulvayne.
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>> thank the gentleman. director comey, earlier today heard a long list of statements that mrs. clinton has made previously, both to the public and to congress, that were not factually accurate. i think he went down the whole long list. when she met with you folks on saturday last week, i take it she didn't say the same things at that interview? dir. comey: i'm not equipped sitting here without the 302-- >> >> >>but it is her testimony -- dir. comey: i have no basis, we do not have a basis for concluding that she lied to the fbi. >> did anybody ask her on saturday why she told y'all one thing and told us another? dir. comey: i don't know as i sit here but i could figure that out. >> would that have been of interest to you in helping to establish intent? dir. comey: it could have been sure. >> did anybody ask her why she set up the e-mail system as she did in the first place? dir. comey: yes. >> and the answer was convenience? dir. comey: yeah. it was already there, a system her husband had. >> were you aware that earlier
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this week, her assistant said it was to keep e-mails from being accessible and that it was concealment purpose. she was asked in the deposition why it was set up and it was set to keep her personal males from -- e-mails from being accessible. were you aware of that testimony? dir. comey: generally, yes. >> here's the summary from today. over the course of the entire system, she intentionally set up a system according to your testimony, your findings, she was careless regarding its technical security. i think you said even a basic free account had better security than she had. and she did that according to her own staffer's sworn dwepgs -- deposition for the purpose of preventing access to those e-mails. as a result of this, she exposed top secret information to potential hack by foreign actors. you've seen the e-mails. we have not. i think you said earlier the e-mails could be of the sort that could put national security at risk. i think we had testimony earlier
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that might even put our agents overseas at risk. dir. comey: i don't think i greed with that, but it's still important. >> all right. she kept all of that secret until after she left the state department. she lied about it, or at least made untrue statements about it after it finally came to light. she thereafter ordered the destruction of evidence, evidence destroyed so thoroughly that you folks could not do an adequate recovery. yet she receives no criminal penalty. i guess this is my question to you. are we to assume that if the next president of the united states does the exact same thing on the day he or she is sworn into office, sets up a private e-mail service for the purpose of concealing information from the public or from anybody that as a result of that potentially exposes national security level information to our enemies, lies about it and then destroys the evidence during an investigation that there will be no criminal
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charges if you're the fbi director, against that person? dir. comey: that's not a question the fbi director should answer. >> i'm asking if she does the exact same thing as president as she's done today, your result would be the exact same as it was 48 hours ago? dir. comey: if the facts were exactly the same and the law was exactly the same, the result would be the same. >> i guess under the theory that if the law is to be quailly applied -- equally applied to everybody, that if a who is staffer does the exact same thing for the exact same purpose and exposes the exact same risks that there will be no criminal action against that person. there could be administrative penalties. there are none against the president, correct? dir. comey: i don't think so. >> i don't think you can take away the president's top security clearance and i'm pretty sure you can't fire the president because we've tried.
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not only would a staffer not have any criminal charges brought against him, but i suppose a summer intern could do the exact same thing under the theory we're going to apply the law equally. my question to you is this, and it's not a legal question. i guess it's a common sense ordinary question that folks are asking me. from a national security standpoint, somebody who used to lecture on that, does that bother you? dir. comey: the mishandling of classified information bothers me no matter what circumstance it occurs in. it has national security implications. >> does it bother you that the president you're setting today may well lead to a circumstance that our classified information continues to be exposed to our potential enemies. thatcomey: no in the sense precedent that i'm setting today is my absolute best effort to treat people fairly without with regard to who they are.
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if that continues to be the record of the fbi and justice department, that's what it should be. the rest of your implications in your question are not for the fbi to answer. we should aspire to be apolitical, facts in the law, treat joe the same as sally as secretary so and so. that is my goal. >> if you had come to a different decision, do you think it would have a different precedential value? it would keep our information more safe? dir. comey: if we decided to recommend criminal charges here? >> yes, sir. >> i don't know. that's a good question. i don't know. i guess i'm a layer, i could argue everything both ways. i could argue both ways. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> think it's a moment. now recognize the gentleman from arizona for five minutes. >> thank you mr. comey for being here. my colleague eluded to brian pagliano, the i.t. advisor.
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were you made aware of the deal of immunity with him? dir. comey: i am aware. >> now that attorney general lynch stated there will be no charges, there's many that suspect that in his that he failed to answer questions in his congressional deposition, that he had something to hide. why did your investigators at the d.o.j. decide it was necessary to offer mr. pagliano immunity? dir. comey: as i said in response to the earlier question i need to be more thoughtful , about what i say about an immunity deal in public. maybe totally fine. i just don't want to screw up. in general, i can answer because i've done it in times as a prosecutor. you make a grant of immunity in order to get information that you don't think you could get otherwise. dir. comey: -- >> but you know that there may be something there in hindsight, right? you're looking ahead because the pertinent information this person possesses. dir. comey: you believe they have relevant information to the investigation. >> did the investigators draft an interview report known as a
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302 with mr. pagliano? dir. comey: yes. >> given the importance of this case will you commit to voluntary disclosing the 302's for the review of pagliano and other witnesses interviewed as part of your investigation? dir. comey: i'll commit to giving you everything i can possibly give you under the law and to doing it as quickly as possible. that means i have to go back and sort it out. for example, the 302 of secretary clinton, it's classified at the tssci level. we got to sort through all that. we will do it quickly. >> i know you've done this because you've done this for other cases. we would expect that. comey,r coming, -- hillary clinton testified before congress and told the american people multiple times that she never e-mailed any classified information to anyone on any private e-mail servers. your investigation revealed 52 e-mail chains contained classified information. clinton told the american people that the laws and regulartions in effect when i was secretary estate allowed me to use my e-mail for work. your investigation revealed that
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that also wasn't true. clinton claimed there was no security breaches. her private servers had numerous safeguards. your investigation revealed eight e-mail chains on clinton's private servers containing top secret information and it was possible hostile actors gained access to sensitive information. further, multiple people she e-mailed with regularity were hacked by hostile actors and her private servers were less secure than a gmail account. it's a federal crime to mishandle classified information in a grossly nenltgligent way. -- negligent way. multiple people have been prosecuted for less and there's a growing trend of abuses in senior level employees. the only difference between her and others is her total resistance to acknowledge her irresponsible behavior that jeopardized our national security and the american
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people. i think you should have recommended clinton be produced -- prosecuted under section 793. or section 1024 title 18. if not who, if not now when. your recommendation deprived the american people of the opportunity for justice in this matter. there shouldn't be a double standard for the clintons. with that, i'm going to yield the rest of time to mr. gowdy. >> director comey, i want to go back to the issue of up tent for just a second. we can disagree on whether or not it's an element of the offense. let's assume that you're right, i'm wrong and that it is an element of the offense. secretary clinton said she was quote well aware of classification requirements. those are her words. not mine and not yours. if she were quote well aware of classification requirements, how did that impact our amps of her -- analysis of her intent? i've heard you this morning describe her as being less than sophisticated. she disagrees with that.
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dir. comey: i was talking about technical sophistication. the question is -- i would hope everybody works in the government is aware of classification requirements. the question then is if you mishandle classified information, when you did that thing, did you know you were doing something that was -- unlawful? that's the intent question. >> you and i are going to have to get together and discuss some other time and discuss all the people we prosecuted that are unaware that they were breaking the law. there are lots of really dumb defendants out there who don't know what they're doing is against the law. let's go with what you say -- dir. comey: you may have prosecuted a lot of those folks. i didn't prosecute those folks. >> i was a gutter prosecutor and you were a white collar prosecutor. trust me, there are lots of people who don't know you can't kill other people. let me ask you this. on the issue of intent, you say it was convenience. ok. you're a really smart lawyer. if it were convenience, she wouldn't have waited two years to return the documents and she
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wouldn't have deleted them 4 years after they were created. so you can't really believe that her intent was convenience when she never turned them over until congress started asking for them, could you? dir. comey: my focus was what was the thinking around the classified information. it's relevant why the system was set up and the thinking there. but i don't understand her to be saying -- i think i've said it already. that's my focus. >> so i know i'm out of time. but it just strikes me you are reading a specific intent element into a gross negligence statute. not even general intent. >> cinnamon, time. time.tleman, time is expired. >> sorry. dir. comey: why is it the department of justice since 1917 has not used that gross negligence statute by charge it once in an espionage case.
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whether the decision was smart or not, that is the record of fairness. so you have to decide do i treat this person against that record and if i do is that a fair thing to do, even if you are not worried about the constitutionality of it. my judgment is no reasonable prosecutor would do that. that would be treating this person differently than john doe. >> director, i want to follow up on that. why did you do what you did? my interpretation of what the fbi is supposed to be doing is come to a determination of the facts and then turn it over to a prosecutor. you were a prosecutor but you are not a prosecutor now. it is unprecedented that an fbi director gave the type of press conference that he did and took a position that an unreasonable prosecutor would only take this case forward. why would do you that? dir. comey: that's a great question. everything i did would have been done privately.
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we have great conversation in the fbi. we make recommendations and argue back and forth. what i decided to do was offer transparency to the american people about the why's of that, what i was going to do because i thought it was very, very important for their confidence in the system of justice. and within that their confidence in the fbi. i was very concerned if i didn't show that transparency, that in that lack of transparency people would say what is going on here? something seems squirrely here. so i said i would do something unprecedented because i think it is an unprecedented situation. the next director who is investigating a candidate for president may find them bound by my precedent. ok. if that happens in the next 100 years, they will have to deal with what i did. i decided it was worth doing. >> i have just one question. i'm sitting here listening to this and i really -- this is something that bothered me in the lois lerner case and in this
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case. i'm wondering your opinion. ms. lawrence talked about this, the chilling effect of your having to come here and justify your decisions. i know that you have been really nice and you explained why you did what you did and i'm glad you are doing it, but, you know, do you at all -- taking off, i'm talking about here you have people making decisions and then being pulled here in the congress to then say to be questioned about the decisions. at what point, or do you even think about it becoming a chilling effect? because most people when their decision is made they don't get this kind of opportunity, there are no statements. they either get indicted or they
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are not. i know you see this as a special case. i'm wondering whether you agree that we may be just going down a slippery slope. that's all i want to ask. dir. comey: my honest answer is i don't think so. when i talked to the chairman, i agreed to come because i think the american people care deeply about this. all kinds of folks watching this at home. or being told lots of other cases were prosecuted and she wasn't. i want them to know that is not true. i want to have this conversation. i welcome the opportunity. it's a pain. i have had to go to the bathroom for about an hour. [laughter] it is really important. >> we're half way done. [laughter] dir. comey: it is really important to do because this is an unprecedented situation. transparency is the absolute best thing for me and for democracy. i realize my folks told me i screwed up one fact. i was missed. -- i was missed her and bring --
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the petraeus case we didn't find the note books in the attic, we found it in his desk. i really don't think it has a chilling effect. if there is another presidential candidate being investigated by the fbi, maybe they will be bound by this. lord willing it will not happen again certainly -- my 2,619 days left on this job. it won't happen on my term but if it does i won't be chilled. >> if we need a humanitarian break give me a cue. dir. comey: i feel like we are almost done. >> we are on the right trajectory. we would like to recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer for five minutes. >> director comey, your statement on tuesday indicated secretary clinton and her colleagues sent and received e-mails marked classified audit of secure private e-mail server that may or may not have been hacked by foreign power. are you aware that teenage hackers hack personal accounts brennan,rector john director of national intelligence james clapper and
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fbi deputy director mark giuliano. these are protected e-mail accounts that contained no classified information. yet mrs. clinton used her personal e-mail, not a commercial account on a server in her basement without even this basic protection and transmitted classified information through that account. if teenagers in england were able to hack personal e-mail accounts of the director of cia, director of national intelligence and deputy director of fbi does it concern you that sophisticated hackers or working for foreign interests never attempted? does it seem reasonable that they never attempted or were never successful in hacking mrs. clinton's personal e-mail accounts or one of her devices? dir. comey: it concerns me a great deal. that is why we spent so much time trying to see if we could see finger prints of that. >> you said in your statement
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regarding your recommendation not to prosecute this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. to the contrary, these individuals are often subject to sanctions for those that what we are deciding here. you stand by that? dir. comey: yes. >> i thought you would. you also said you could not prove intent. i want to touch on a couple things here. one, a reasonable person would not have compromised classified information by keeping that information on inadequately secured private devices. in other words such a person , would be viewed as unreasonable and unsuitable for any position in our government that included any responsibility for handling and protecting classified information. would you agree? dir. comey: i would agree it would be negligent. i can't prejudge a suitability determination but it would be stared at hard. >> let me tell you why i bring this up.
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i sat up here next to mr. herb. he served our country valiantly, put his life on the line. i don't know if you can sense the passion and intensity of his questions because he knows people whose lives are on the line right now. and in regard to his questions a -- of someone -- a u.s. intelligence agent had mission compromised or killed or injured or captured because of carelessness for someone responsible for protecting classified information would intent matter at that point? dir. comey: in deciding whether to prosecute the person, of course. that's the answer. of course, it would, the legal standards would be the same. >> what we are dealing with in this hearing is not the lack of due diligence in handling routine government data or information, but the lack of due diligence by secretary clinton
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and her carelessness in handling classified information that could have compromised american national security and the missions and personal safety of our intelligence agents. that troubles me greatly. and i think the issue here -- i do respect you. i have spoken in your defense many times at this point to my detriment. but i do believe that your answers are honest and factual. but based on your answers regarding plus clinton's use of e-mail and based on what we know, it seems to me that she is stunningly incompetent in understanding of basic technology of e-mail and stunningly incompetent in handling classified information. i mean you should never associate the secretary of state and classified information with
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the word "careless." it doesn't matter. i mean, we have to exercise the utmost due diligence. all of us in this committee do. you do in prosecuting cases. i see that in what you are trying to do. i just think we need to leave here with this understanding that there is more to this story than we know. if a foreign hacker got into this, i can assure you that they know what was in those e-mails that were deleted. they read them all. they know what is in the e-mails that we never received. mr. chairman, i yield back. chairman chaffetz: i thank the gentleman. we now go to the gentleman from wisconsin. representative grothman: thanks for coming on over to the rayburn building. as i understand it, your testimony today is that you have not brought criminal charges
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against hillary clinton, in part because you cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and in part because she did not understand the laws with regard to e-mails and servers and that sort of thing. question for you. when she even raced these e-mails, no, i digress for a second. you ever did say that if someone did this under you, there would be consequences. if someone did exactly what mrs. clinton did, one of your lieutenants, some other agency that deals with top-secret documents, what would you do to those underlings? director comey: i would make sure they were adjudicated through a security disciplinary proceeding, to figure out what
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are all the circumstances, what punishment and discipline is appropriate. that can range from being terminated to being recommended, a whole spectrum in between suspension, loss of clearance, a bunch of different options. representative: one of your top two or three, you found out they had a separate server out there, keeping secret documents, you know, slipping them around your do you think they should be fired? not criminally charged, but fired. director comey: i don't think it is appropriate is a very robust process. there ought to be a very intense suitability review of that person. maybe there is something that we are missing. but would have to go through our system. representative: just for the listening audience here, my first hear of erasing e-mails and i think of auto insurance. this was not just mrs. clinton pressing delete, much greater effort made to these e-mails
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would never be recovered. do you want to comment on what was done to erase the e-mails? director comey: i think what you're referring to is that after her lawyers, her lawyers say, although i am not able to verify this, there were 60,000 or so left at the end of 2014. they went through them in a way i described two days ago in my statement. they produced the ones that were work at related, and their race from their systems that were not work-related. that was done using technical tools, basically to remove them from the servers, to wipe them away. representative: not just going delete, delete. they went above and beyond so that your top technical efforts -- top technical experts cannot get them. director comey: not fully. representative: you recovered a few. director comey: we could see some traces in the laptops, but not fully recovered. representative: the information i have, correct me if i'm wrong, implies these erasures were done in december of 2014, after the
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benghazi scandal broke, questions about the clinton foundation. did you ever come across why she allowed these e-mails to sit out there, even before she was secretary of state, beginning to bubble up, she or her lawyers felt she had to erase them? director comey: yeah, i think the way the process worked is she had e-mails that were just on her system. she actually had deleted some over time, as an ordinary user would. and the state department contacted her and other former secretaries to say we have a gap in our records, we need to get the e-mails back. she then passed her lawyers, make that cut of some 60,000, was asked by her lawyers of the end, do you want us to keep personal e-mail?
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she said i have no use for them anymore. it is then that they issue the direction that the technical people should delete them. representative: do you think mrs. clinton knew they were erasing e-mails, so that even your top technical experts cannot recover them? director comey: based on my sense now of her technical sophistication, i don't think so. representative: you don't think lawyers told her that was what they were doing, racing e-mails everybody wanted to look at? what type of lawyer would not tell their client there were doing that? director comey: i think our evidence in the investigation, they did not. they asked her do you want to keep them? she said no. and they said, wipe them away. as i understand it, the goal was to erase personal e-mail. you recover e-mails that would not be considered personal at all. director comey: correct. representative: you cannot recover them, but based upon the e-mails that you recovered, presumably her lawyers or
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somebody was going well beyond personal e-mails, is it possible we will never be able to recover e-mails that dealt with the clinton foundation, benghazi scandal? because the water lawyers dead, is it possible they were erasing things that were incriminating? even involving items that you yourself were not investigating, but now they have been destroyed forever? director comey: possible. as i said in my statement on tuesday, we do not find evidence that they did the erasure to conceal things, of any sort. it is possible, as i said on tuesday, there were work-related e-mails in the batch that were deleted. representative: i'm sorry. when you go to this length, when using the intent is to make your no one ever looks at them again? why otherwise? chairman chaffetz: we will give the director time to respond. director comey: you delete because you want to delete. but that is, i mean we did not find any evidence of evil intent, intent to obstruct
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justice there. representative: you would not have been able to, because you don't know what was deleted. chairman chaffetz: now recognizing mr. russell of oklahoma for five minutes. representative russell: director comey, thank you for your service and your long-suffering. we are at the end of line. with regard to national security, i sleep a little easier at night knowing you're at the helm of the fbi. thank you for your dedicated service and integrity. you stated, in your statement and multiple times here, there should because it went as mishandling of state secrets. if i held a top-secret sci in the bureau, and i did hold one when i was in the united states army, in a career of service, handling classified information here, but if i held that in the fbi and you discover that i mishandled state secrets on a
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private server in my basement, what i be trusted by the bureau to further handle top-secret sci information? director comey: maybe not. you would go immediately through a security process, to review whether you should continue working for us. and if you do, what clearances you should retain. representative: if i violated the handling of state secrets in the fbi, would you consider me the best suitable candidate for promotion and hire is possibility? director comey: it would be a serious concern, and we would stare at a very hard in a suitability review. representative: you have recommended no criminal charges, but are you recommending to the department of justice that there be no consequences for the mishandling of state secrets? director comey: no, my recommendation was solely respect to criminal charges. representative: what would you recommend? director comey: i don't think it
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is for me to recommend. representative: but you do, you have been very open, even stating why you felt that these were unique sets of circumstances that called for greater transparency. you do make recommendations, routinely, as you have stated here today. we are talking top-secret, sci information that has been mishandled. you would take a dim view to that if i were an agent, what consequences, this is what the american people feel exasperated about. there seems to be no consequence. so, in a case like this, if it is not going to be criminal charges recommended, what are the american people to do to hold their officials accountable invasion of be trusted for hire -- higher responsibility?
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director comey: that is not a question the fbi should be put to. i can answer to the things in my remit. i understand the question. but it is not one for me to answer in my role. representative: i hope it is one the american people get answered in the future, because we do have a choice about those who would mishandle information. while we are all fallible human beings and we make mistakes, in a case like this, and decades in my service in the army infantry handling information as a member of congress, we know that responsibility. is it your view, and others that have interviewed mrs. clinton, that she would not have known what those responsible at his were? director comey: no, i think in a way you would expect she understood the importance of protecting classified information. representative: well, i would agree with that. and there has been a breach. and i think the american people demand a consequence, that they demand accountability. and i think it is important to uphold the form of our
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republican government, that we have a consequence. and with that, thank you for your appearance here today. i will likely yield the remainder of my time to chairman. chairman: we have agreed that we do have about a dozen or so ask follow-up questions. you have the most generous with your time. but i like to get to this last bit. and we will do so with equal time. how to the department of justice, the fbi, view the incident in which hillary clinton instructed jake sullivan to take the markings off a document, that was to be sent to her. director comey: we looked at that pretty closely. there was some problem with the secure fax machine. there is an e-mail in which he says in substance, take the header off and send it as a non-paper. as we dug in more deeply, we learned that there is just one
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view that is reasonable, that a non-paper in state department parlance means a document that contains things we could pass to another government. to essentially take out anything that is classified and send it to me. it turns out that that did not happen. we actually found the classified fax was centered but that was our best understanding. chairman: there was a classified fax? director comey: correct. chairman: let me go back. jake sullivan says they had issues sending secure fax. they're working out. hillary clinton since to jake sullivan if they cannot turn into non-paper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure, so you are telling me it is a classified piece of information that she is taking off the header, and she is instructing them to send it in a nonsecure format? is that not intent? director comey: that caught my
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attention when i first saw it. when she explained during our interview, other incidences as well, what she meant was by making it into a nonclassified document, that is what a non-paper is in their world. i don't need classified stuff. chairman: why take off the heading? why take off the heading if it is what we turn into a nonclassified document? director comey: i assume because it would not be classified anymore. you would have a header, what she said during her interview. chairman: that she wanted to be technically correct. director comey: she was saying send me an unclassified document. take the header off. turn it into a non-paper. i've never heard that term before. but in the diplomatic circles, something we can pass to another government. chairman: you are very generous in your accepting of that. let me ask you, director, did
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any uncleared individuals receive unclassified information over the hillary clinton server? director comey: any uncleared people receive classified information? i don't think any of the correspondence on the classified e-mails were uncleared people. these were all people with clearances. working, doing state department business, on the class system. chairman: did he have the requisite security clearance? director comey: as i sit here today, i cannot remember. he was not a participant on the classified e-mail exchanges though. chairman: he is running it. director comey: i misunderstood your question. there is no doubt that unclear people have access to the server. there were others to maintain it never private sector folks. chairman: there are hundreds of classified documents on the servers. how many people without a security clearance had access to that server? director comey: i don't know the
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exact numbers as i sit here, it is probably more than 2 less than 10. chairman: i appreciate your willingness to follow up. did secretary clinton's attorneys have a security clearances needed? director comey: they did not. chairman: does that concern you? director comey: oh, yes. sure. chairman: is there any consequence to an attorney rifling through e-mails, without a security clearance? director comey: criminal consequences, but great concern about a not clear person, we talk about the documents having access, that is why it is very important for us to recover everything we can back from the attorney. chairman: what is the consequence? here, hillary clinton gave direction to her attorneys, without a security clearance, to go through documents that were classified. director comey: i think that is
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what happened in fact, whether that was direction is the question i cannot answer sitting here. chairman: you are parsing that one. director comey: no. chairman: what is the consequence? they don't work for the government. we cannot fire them. should they lose their bar license? director comey: acting with criminal intent or malintent. chairman: i may be innocent enough, i like the secretary, i'm trying to help hillary clinton, i'm not try to give it to the chinese of the russians. i'm just try to help her. there is no intent? it doesn't matter if these people have security clearances? director comey: of course it matters. chairman: there is no consequence, director, no consequence. director comey: i don't know what comes with you have in mind. chairman: prosecute them. director comey: attorneys sharing information that ends up
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being classified? chairman: i asked you at the beginning, is there reasonable expectation that hillary clinton would receive hourly, if not daily, classified information? that is reasonable to think of the secretary of state would get classified information at every moment. she is not the head of fish and wildlife. so, the idea that she would turn over her e-mails, her system, her server to what it sounds like is up to 10 people without security clearances, and there is no consequence? so, why not do it again? director comey: that is a question i don't think you should put to me. i'm talking about my criminal investigation. chairman: there is no intent there? does she not understand these people don't have security clearances? director comey: surely, she understands at least some of them do not.
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chairman: it is reasonable to think she is reading classified information, is that not intent to provide a non-cleared person access to classified information? director comey: you are mixing me up, not your fault, but someone maintaining your server is reading your e-mails. that is not the case here. there is a separate thing, when she is engaging counsel to reply with the state department's request, there is information that is classified. chairman: did hillary clinton's attorneys, without security clearances, see classified information? director comey: as i sit here, i don't know the answer. chairman: it has to be. yes, they came across 100 and 10, read them all. we saw the e-mails but did not read them? director comey: i said this in my statement on tuesday.
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by using headers and search terms. chairman: i know you read them all. is it reasonable to think that her attorneys under her direction did or did not read those e-mails? let me go back to this. yes or no, were there or were there not classified e-mails that hillary clinton's attorneys read? director comey: i don't know whether they read them, at the time. chairman: did hillary clinton give non-cleared people access to classified information? director comey: yes. chairman: what you think her intent was? director comey: to get good legal representation, and to make the production to the state department.
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that can be a very tall order, in that circumstance i don't see criminal intent actions, engaging with her lawyer. chairman: i guess i read criminal intent that you allow someone without a security clearance access to classified information. everybody knows that, director. everybody knows that. i have gone way past my time. let me recognize mr. cummings for an equal amount of time. representative cummings: thank you for your patience, mr. director. i want to clear up a couple of things. let me make sure i understand exactly what you testified to, to the issue that secretary clinton received e-mails that were marked or filed as classified. you stated that only a very small number of e-mails contained classified information, or markings. and i emphasize markings,
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indicating the presence of classified information. republicans have pounced on this statement that secretary clinton lied. but today, we learned some significant new facts, that i hope the press listens to this. first, you clarified that you are talking about only three e-mails out of 30,000. you reviewed, is that right, three out of 30,000? director comey: at least 30,000. representative cummings: at least 30,000. secondly, you confirmed these e-mails were not properly marked as classified at the time, based on federal guidelines and manuals. that did not have a classification header, did not list the original classifier, the agency, office of origin,
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reason for classification, or date of declassification. instead, these e-mails included only a single parentheses, for confidential, when one paragraph lower down the tax, is that right? director comey: yes. representative cummings: you testify that based on these facts, it would have been a reasonable inference for secretary clinton to conclude that these e-mails were not in fact classified. so, that was also critical new information. there is one more critical fact. that these e-mails were not in fact, director and to the press, these e-mails were not in fact classified.
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the state department explained that yesterday. they reported that these e-mails were not classified, concluding that the little c on these e-mails was a result of a human error. the bottom line is that those little c's should not have been on the documents that they were not in fact classified. when representative watson coleman ask you about this, you testified you had not been informed. i understand that. i'm not beating up on you. i promise you that. can you tell us, republicans are pouncing on this saying that the secretary lied. i want to make sure we are clear on this. can you tell me why you consulted with the state department about these three e-mails, out of more than 30,000, it is just not come up? what happened?
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director comey: i'm not remembering for sure, but i'm highly confident we consulted with them and got their view on it. i don't know about what happened yesterday, maybe their view is changed and they found of things we do not know. but i'm highly confident we consulted with them about it. representative cummings: this is totally different than what we learned, that these e-mails were not in fact classified that they should not have been included. the mission not have included a stray markings, and the fbi director believes it was reasonable for secretary clinton to assume these documents were not classified. chairman, you raise a question about whether the attorneys had security clearances. it is my understanding that they did. we can double check that. but that is my understanding. we will double check that.
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going on, let me move to the next topic. you explained on tuesday that you are providing an update on fbi's investigation on the use of a personal e-mail system during her time as secretary of state. you explained that you received referral on this matter from the inspector general of intelligence on july 6, 2016. is that right? director comey: yes. representative cummings: they are publicly available on the state department's website. our staff has been reviewing the e-mails that were retroactively determined to include classified information. based on this review, it appears that these e-mails included more than 1000 individuals, who sent or received the information that is now redirected as classified. let me make that clear. about 1000 people sent or received the same information that was contained in secretary clinton's e-mails and
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retroactively classified. were you aware of that? director comey: no, the number does not surprise me though. representative cummings: why not? director comey: i don't know how many thousands of people work at the state department, but there are thousands on this chain. representative cummings: something needs to be done with regard to the classification stuff. because things are classified, the not classified, then they are retroactively classified. does that go into your consideration when looking at a case like this? director comey: i don't pay much attention to the unclassified stuff, because we are focused on intent. if someone classifies it later, is impossible to form intent because it was not classified and a time. i know that is a process. i was not familiar with before the investigation. i don't spend a lot of time focused on it in the course of a criminal investigation. representative cummings: i
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understand. we also reviewed these people, career diplomats with years of experience. when you received this about the e-mails, did you also receive any referrals or any of the other 1000 people who sent and received those e-mails? did you? director comey: no. i should stop there. within the scope of our investigation was a group of people closer to the secretary. we looked at their convos. i forget the number, 4-5. but the hundreds of others on the chain, the subject of the investigation. representative cummings: it is not make sense that hillary clinton was singled out for referral to the fbi, do you agree?
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director comey: i don't think i agree with that. representative cummings: let us go back to colin powell. how should you ought to look at his situation? director comey: there has been a referral. -- there has been no referral on them. on the superficial circumstances, this case strikes me as very different from those, not inappropriate referral from the inspector general. chairman: i thank the gentleman. who was hillary clinton e-mailing that was hacked? director comey: i don't want to say in an open forum. we can get you that information. but again, i don't want to give any possible adversaries into what we figured out. i know the names. chairman: fair enough. i understand. was there any evidence of hillary clinton attempting to avoid compliance with the freedom of information act? director comey: that was not the
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subject of our criminal investigation, so i cannot answer that sitting here. chairman: it is a violation of law, is it not? director comey: yes, my understanding is there are civil statutes. chairman: let us for the boundary on what you did not look at, you did not look at whether there was an intention or the reality of noncompliance with the freedom of information act. director comey: correct. chairman: you did not look at testimony that hillary clinton gave in the united states congress, both house and senate. director comey: to see whether it was perjury? no, we did not. chairman: did you review a look at those transcripts as to the intent of your recommendation? director comey: i am sure my folks did. i did not. chairman: so, ok, this is an important point. those of us in congress knowing you have a criminal referral from inspector general thought that you were also looking at
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whether or not hillary clinton had provided false testimony, which is a crime, to the congress. but you did not look at that. director comey: correct. as i said, i'm confident my folks look at the substance of the statement, try to understand the entire situation. chairman: can you confirm that? director comey: we will confirm that. maybe i'm missing this, but i don't think we had a perjury referral. chairman: it was the inspector general that initiated that. the fact that hillary clinton refused to be interviewed by the inspector general, what did that say to you about intent? director comey: at least for our criminal investigation, not particularly germane. chairman: are you familiar, there is a website, lots of government agencies have website. the state department has a
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website, they have a youtube site. videos that are uploaded to youtube site, would those be considered federal record? so, they are paid for by federal dollars. they're maintained by federal employees. with an obvious federal record? director comey: i just don't know. i am sure there is an expert that can answer that in two seconds. chairman: we have kept you here a long time. i want to follow on that. is the fbi still investigating hillary clinton's aides? director comey: no, the subject, for the system. chairman: what recommendations did you make for the aides? director comey: the same, no one prosecuted on those facts. chairman: if you can help us who precisely had been ruled out for prosecution -- director comey: sure.
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chairman: did you look at the clinton foundation? director comey: i'm not going to comment on that investigation, or any other investigations. chairman: was the clinton foundation tied into this? director comey: i'm not going to answer that. chairman: the server in her home was originally set up by president bill clinton. do you know who paid for that? director comey: i don't, sitting here. chairman: ok. i will have equal time for mr. cummings. repetitive cummings: i will yield to mr. lynch. representative lynch: we're talking about hacking. we review a lot of the major hacks going on. just recently, last 18 months,
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we had a major hack in february 2016 of the department of homeland security and the fbi. we had a hacking group, the site intelligence group order that a group called crackers with attitude had hacked 9000 employees' data from the department of homeland security, including name, e-mail addresses, locations, telephone numbers. also 20,000 fbi workers. we had another hack, direct evidence obviously, of those. we had another hack of opm at 4.2 million current and federal employees. information had been stolen, including social security numbers, which were not redacted.
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we had 200,000 attempted, 100,000 successful. we had state department announcing a breach of its computer systems after infiltration forced temporary shutdown of the classification system. we have the u.s. postal service, 800,000. the white house, this is back in 2014, a "washington post" reporter's computer was hacked. national oceanic atmospheric administration. we had another committee for
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financial services. we had verizon. ucla health system. thousands and thousands of employees. anthem health care. sony pictures. jpmorgan. home depot. they go to the millions. community health systems. target. all of this, we have direct evidence, millions of people hacked. any direct evidence that hillary clinton's e-mail was hacked? director comey: no. representative: i have no further questions. i yield back. representative cummings: we are back at the end. i will do a concluding statement. and the chairman, first of all, i want to go back to something that mrs. watson coleman said a little earlier. as an african-american man in this country, 66 years old moving towards the twilight of my life, we cannot allow black
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men to continue to be slaughtered. this morning, i woke up to my wife literally crying, watching the tape of this guy in baton rouge. then she looked at minneapolis. and i hope you watch them. there is something wrong with this picture. and don't get me wrong, i am all for, i have supported police, i am a lawyer. i know how important police are. i know there are so many great folks. but mr. director, if you do nothing else in your 2000 plus days left, you have to help us get a hold of this issue. it is so painful. i can't even begin to tell you.
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and so, i don't want, i have been fortunate in my life. i have been very fortunate that i have not been harmed by the police, but i have been stopped 50 million times. with regard to this hearing, i would to thank you again. as i listen to you, you said something that i will never forget. and for some reason, it gave me a chill. you said there are two things that are most important to me, two things. you said my family, and my reputation. my family and my reputation. and i don't know whether your family is watching this, but i hope that they are as proud of you, as i am. because you are the epitome of
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what a public servant is all about. sacrificing over and over and over again, trying to do the right thing, sometimes coming under ridicule, but yet still doing the right thing. so, i hope they are proud of you. the second thing i hope is, that no matter what has happened in this hearing, i hope that you know that your reputation is still intact. and so i conclude by summarizing that i think some of our key findings today, first, the director testified that his entire team of 15-20 fbi investigators and analysts unanimously agree on the recommendation not to prosecute secretary clinton. second, director coming made crystal-clear -- director comey
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made crystal-clear republican claims, talking heads' claims of bias our faults. testifying he would treat john doe the same way he would treat hillary clinton. he was very forceful on that point. third, on the claim that secretary clinton sent or received e-mails marked as classified, that claim has been significantly undercut. those documents were not classified, and those markings were not proper. finally, republicans have repeatedly cried foul about a double standard when it comes to secretary clinton's e-mails. director comey testified the real double standard would have been to prosecute her with this completely inadequate evidence. again, director, i thank you. but i think somebody else. i think -- and having practiced
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law for many years, and having dealt with the fbi on many cases -- i want to thank the people who work with you, because it's not just -- this is not just about you. this is not just about secretary clinton. ,hen we are addressing you there is a whole cadre of people who give their blood, their sweat, there tears -- there tears to protect us as americans. i just want to thank them. sometimesey are forgotten, unseen, unnoticed, on applauded. i applaud them. i yield back. chaffetz: i concur with the gem on. every fbi agent i have ever met are above approach.
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they serve overseas, they serve domestically. i hope that is part of the message you carry back. i cannot thank you personally enough, you on a personal level for your excess ability, your ability to get on the phone with me the same day that you make your announcements and then in rapid fire, when i said to you, what day is best -- which day is best for you, and you said thursday, and here we are and doing it. i can't thank you enough. i wish all of the government employees would have that .ttitude and approach i really do. i can't thank you enough. i look forward to working with getting thisstaff documentation, things you cannot share publicly. wouldtold mr. cummings we come back after votes. votes have been pushed back now a bit, what i would like to do is go into recess for five
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minutes and then we will start with our second panel. the committee stands in recess for five minutes now. thank you again, director comey.
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>> the subject of race relations and the presidential candidates was the topic on several of the morning news shows today. we will hear from retired lieutenant general michael flynn , who is being mentioned as a possible running mate for donald trump. also texas congressman it r,tching castro, bob corke and senator cory booker of new jersey. >> our most recent polling after the shooting in orlando showed voters that hillary clinton showed better
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temperament. you talk about donald trump's leadership. what about temperament? >> i so we're speech was responsible when she talked about white people being to blame. what we have to look at is speech that is positive, forward-looking, and demonstrates intellectual courage that does not try to attack an ideology one way or another. how are we going to fix this? we cannot keep having these types of events in our country, whether it is an islamic terrorist attack or an attack on our law enforcement professionals in this country. >> why is hillary clinton better equipped to handle gun violence in policing? >> she is trying to heal the divisions of our country. she acknowledged long-standing tensions between the african-american cmu