For hours, a House oversight committee grilled FBI director James Comey over his decision to not recommend charges for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she used her personal, unsecured e-mail server to send over a hundred emails with classified and top secret information, likely exposing America's secrets to hackers and enemies.
While looking uncomfortable with with the barrage of incredulity from committee members, Comey continued to reiterate that Hillary's "extremely careless" mishandling of secrets is deeply troubling but he believes she shouldn't be prosecuted because she didn't act with "criminal intent."
But after hours of grilling, Comey finally made some powerful admissions.
When asked, "Did any uncleared individuals receive any classified information over Hillary Clinton's [email] server?"
Comey replied, "There is not doubt uncleared people had access to the server because there were others who maintained the server who were private sector folks."
Asked again, "Did Hillary Clinton give noncleared people access to classified information?" Comey said, "Yes."
But when asked if he could recommend any other consequences or administrative action against Hillary, he said that it wasn't his place to, even though he admitted that if anyone had committed a similar breach in the FBI, they would be subject of a review and possible reprimand, loss of clearance, and termination. Comey also said that he made no recommendation for the prosecution of any of Hillary's aides who were complicit in mishandling classified information.
When grilled about the numerous "false statements" Hillary made to the U.S. Congress concerning her e-mails, Comey admitted that he did not look into them, even though the Inspector General told him to. His recommendation of no prosecution for Hillary was solely based on her breach of national security and not on any accusations of perjury on her part.
Stunningly, Comey also admitted that Hillary instructed her aides to remove classified document headers in order to render them no longer classified, even though classified information inside the documents remained the same. Comey seemed unable to adequately defend why Hillary wasn't being recommended for prosecution for that alone.
And then Comey was asked that if someone at the FBI had done what Hillary had done, would they be still eligible for promotion to a higher office?
Comey replied, "It would be a serious concern," but he refused to comment on whether Hillary's breach of national security should disqualify her from being our next president.
When asked if there is a reasonable expectation that Hillary know how to handle state secrets as Secretary of State, Comey said, "I think, in a way, you would expect she understood the importance of protecting classified information," but he would not go further in condemning her.
Incredibly, Comey admitted he did not personally interview Hillary or talk to every person that did before making his decision to not recommend prosecution. He said she was not placed under oath when being interviewed by the FBI, and neither was the three-and-a-half-hour conservation with her on Saturday recorded.
If you get a chance to watch this hearing, please watch it. It is mindblowing. The video and transcript can be found here on C-SPAN.