Over And Done With: Here's What You Need to Know About Clinton's Emails

hillary clinton, phone, email
www.theatlantic.com

The director of the FBI announced his recommendation of what should happen next with Hillary

1. The FBI Just Made A Recommendation On Clinton's Email Scandal

The Short of It:

Investigations into Hillary Clinton's private email server looks like it's finally getting a wrap.

The Longer Version of It:

First, let's back it up.

What exactly is going on with Clinton and her silly emails and why does everyone care?

For this we'll have to go to the way, way back, to the September 2012 attack in Benghazi on a U.S. outpost. Four Americans, including an ambassador were killed after Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound. Investigations into the attack probed into failures of the State Department and the intelligence community. At the time, Clinton was in charge of the State Department as Secretary of State and took responsibility for the security of the Benghazi compound. So she took some heat.

To find out what went wrong in Benghazi, the House Select Committee requested documents of communication between Clinton and other officials. As State Depeartment officials responded to the House Select Committees requests for information on the attack, Clinton's department email account had zilch. As a result, the State Department requested that Clinton turn over her emails from her private server and discovered that she had used a personal email address for official government business. (In a very vague world, think of this as the equivalent of using your personal phone to talk about a new business strategy for your company that your boss told you to not talk about outside of the office.) Thus an email scandal was born. Since 2012, Clinton has gone to various House Committee hearings, received several tongue lashings from officials and took a hit to her presidential campaign as GOP hopefuls ripped her a new one for the scandal. The whole time, Clinton and her staff maintained that they had done nothing wrong.

That brings us to this weekend.

While sitting down with the the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over three hours on Saturday, Hillary Clinton discussed with investigators her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Today, FBI Director James Comey revealed his findings of the presidential nominee's email practices throughout the investigation and announced that he would not be recommending charges be brought against her to the Department of Justice. "No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," Comey told reporters at a press conference and underlined the fact that the investigation had been "entirely apolitical" and "professional."

Cool, so it sounds like Clinton didn't do anything wrong? Not necessarily. While the FBI director made it clear that there was "no intentional misconduct" in the way that Clinton's lawyers managed her emails for the FBI's investigation, he also noted that Clinton and her staff had mishandled her emailing practices, noting "there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling on classified information." What's more, Comey noted that the FBI judged that "it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account."

Here's what else they found

  1. Clinton never intentionally sent or received classified information
  2. Additional work-related emails that Clinton’s lawyers had not turned over to the State Department, including some with classified information
  3. No evidence that Clinton or her lawyers had intentionally deleted or withheld those emails
  4. 110 out of 30,000 emails containing classified pieces of government information
  5. Of the additional thousands of emails that Clinton had failed to turn in, the FBI found 3 emails in the stack had classified information

The Takeaway:

The F.B.I won't be sending Clinton off to the Justice Department to face criminal charges, but officials are giving her several "what were you thinking?" faces. Still, this lifts a huge loud off the Clinton campaign's shoulders as her presidential campaign continues to race to the finish line.