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OPINION

Disqualifying in a Sane World

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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HILLARY CLINTON: I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.
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FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY: Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send email on that personal domain.

CLINTON: I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work related emails and deliver them to the State Department. At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails.

COMEY: The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional emails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private email domain.

CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

COMEY: From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were "up-classified" to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the emails were sent.

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CLINTON: But whether it was a personal account or a government account, I did not send classified material and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified, which is the way you know whether something is.

COMEY: With respect to the thousands of emails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level.

CLINTON: Well, my personal emails are my personal business, right?

COMEY: With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton's personal email domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton's use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal email account.

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In a normal world, what the FBI discovered about Clinton's emails would disqualify her from office. But these are not normal times. The FBI Director laid out an impressive case against Mrs. Clinton, but will not recommend an indictment. One must wonder if it is because James Comey wants to stop Donald Trump or has visions of Vince Foster dancing in his head. One must also remember that this is the same FBI that interviewed the Orlando terrorist, Omar Mateen, twice and decided he was harmless.

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