Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state put the U.S. government’s secrets at risk, FBI director James Comey acknowledged during a House hearing Thursday.
“Did this activity you investigated make America’s secrets vulnerable to hostile elements?” Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a former CIA officer, asked Comey during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing.
“Yes,” Comey responded.
Comey was quizzed by lawmakers about his decision not to recommend that charges be filed against Clinton for mishandling classified information for using a private server. He defended that decision, which Attorney General Loretta Lynch formally accepted on Wednesday, saying that there was no evidence that Clinton or her aides intended to break the law by mishandling classified information.
But he did acknowledge that classified information was mishandled.
“There is evidence of mishandling,” he told Hurd. During a surprise press conference on Tuesday, Comey called Clinton’s use of the server, which contained 110 emails that were classified when sent and received, “extremely careless.”
Comey, an Obama appointee, also said that an FBI employee who maintained an email system similar to Clinton’s “might face severe discipline.”