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WTF Happened With Hillary Clinton’s Email Non-Indictment

FBI director called the Clinton team’s handling of emails “extremely careless” but recommended against indictment

The FBI has, at last, wrapped up its investigation into the private email server that Hillary Clinton used while she was secretary of State. The bureau’s director, James Comey, called a press conference Tuesday to announce its findings. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Clinton accused of again? 
When she was the head of the State Department, Clinton used a personal email server rather than a government one. The FBI investigation was about whether classified information was stored or transmitted over that server. It’s a felony to mishandle classified information “intentionally or in a grossly negligent way,” and a misdemeanor to “knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.”

So she didn’t do any of that? 
Well, actually: Of the 30,000 emails Clinton voluntarily turned over to the State Department, the FBI found that 110 individual emails in 52 email chains contained information that was considered classified at the time those emails were sent or received. (Clinton has maintained she was “confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.”) Eight of those emails were the highest level of classification, “top secret,” 36 were “secret,” and eight others were considered “confidential,” the lowest level of classification.

But wait, there’s more! Besides the 30,000 emails Clinton’s team turned over, Comey said the FBI recovered “several thousand” more work-related emails that were also on the server but which Clinton et al. failed to produce. Of those, three emails were also classified at the time they were sent or received — one “secret” and two “confidential.”

Oh shit. Does that mean she’s getting indicted?
Probably not. The question at issue for the FBI is whether Clinton or anyone on her team, as Comey put it, “intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.” And the FBI didn’t find evidence that they did. But the bureau’s investigators did find (stern parent voice) “they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Ultimately, the decision will fall to the prosecutors at the Justice Department, but the FBI is recommending they don’t pursue criminal charges. Comey said he doesn’t believe, based on the evidence collected, that such measures “are appropriate in this case.”

(For what it’s worth, Comey acknowledged Tuesday how unusual it was that he was making the bureau’s recommendation public at all, saying “in this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.”)

What does this mean for Bernie Sanders?
A spokesperson confirmed Sanders watched Comey’s press conference from his home in Vermont, and that the FBI’s recommendation would not impact Sanders’ decision to stay in the race. (Some supporters, surrogates and even would-be rivals have speculated that Sanders was waiting to hear if Clinton would be indicted before officially suspending his campaign.)

And what about Donald Trump?
The Trump Tweet Generator™ lurched to life and spat out two rapid responses expressing his shock and dismay.

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