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FBI releases previously-classified Hillary Clinton email investigation report

By Eric DuVall
FBI releases previously-classified Hillary Clinton email investigation report
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the American Legion's 98th National Convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati on August 30, 2016. Photo by Ernest Coleman/UPI | License Photo

QUANTICO, Va., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The FBI on Friday released its internal report and notes from investigators who interviewed Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email system while secretary of state, during which she said she largely trusted subordinates to use their best judgment when transmitting sensitive government information.

Clinton told investigators during her July 2 interview she did not recall ever receiving training or guidance on handling classified information during her time as secretary of state and relied on aides' judgment on what should and should not be transmitted via email.

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Clinton said for months she did not send or receive any classified information on her private email, but the FBI investigation found 81 email chains that included some form of classified information, ranging from "sensitive" to "top secret."

"Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system," the FBI's report on Clinton's interview states. "She relied on State officials to use their judgment when emailing her and could not recall anyone raising concerns with her regarding the sensitivity of the information she received at her email address."

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Additionally, in 2011, midway through Clinton's tenure and well after she began using a personal email account, the State Department issued a memo to all employees on Clinton's behalf, outlining proper document retention procedures. In the memo, employees were discouraged from using personal email accounts for government business and were instructed to forward any work-related emails sent or received on a personal device to their State Department-issued accounts in order to preserve them for archiving. Though the item was sent in Clinton's name, she told investigators she did not specifically remember asking for it, adding all State Department memos were sent out in her name and frequently they did not require her authorization before being distributed.

The FBI investigation into Clinton's email ended in July, when FBI Director James Comey said Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of government information, but that her actions did not merit criminal prosecution.

Though the FBI cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, the issue has continued to dog her on the campaign trail. Her opponent, Donald Trump, has used the email investigation to criticize her as untrustworthy. Other opponents, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have said her handling of classified information should mean she is not given access to classified intelligence briefings typically given to major party presidential nominees.

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After Friday's release, Ryan said it was clear Clinton mishandled government secrets, which he said should have merited criminal charges from the FBI.

"These documents demonstrate Hillary Clinton's reckless and downright dangerous handling of classified information while secretary of state," Ryan said in a statement. "They also cast further doubt on the Justice Department's decision to avoid prosecuting what was a clear violation of the law. This is exactly why I have called for her to be denied access to classified information."

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