FBI releases Hillary Clinton email investigation report
WASHINGTON — The FBI released Friday the notes from Hillary Clinton’s interview with the bureau along with the report the agency put together on its investigation, making the information public after giving it to Congress last month.
The bureau is making the information public in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, including from CNN.
“Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016, interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure,” the agency said in a statement. “We also are releasing a factual summary of the FBI’s investigation into this matter.”
The bureau said it had redacted “classified information or other material exempt from disclosure under FOIA.”
Fallout from Clinton’s use of a private email server continues to dog the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign, as her lead over her Republican counterpart Donald Trump has been cut in half since her post-convention bounce last month, according to CNN’s Poll of Polls released Thursday. Trump and other Republicans have stepped up their attacks connecting the emails to questions over whether Clinton gave preferential treatment to donors to her family’s foundation.
At issue is a report that the FBI compiled after interviewing Clinton over her use of a private email server as secretary of state. The FBI had investigated whether any classified information was criminally mishandled in relation to that server.
FBI Director James Comey in July took the unprecedented step of announcing in a press conference the FBI’s conclusion that there was not enough evidence to merit a criminal prosecution, before handing over his findings to the Justice Department.
The DOJ followed that recommendation and decided no prosecution was merited.
After Comey testified about the decision before Congress, members requested access to his agency’s report. Last month, the bureau gave members of Congress access to the notes, as well as notes from interviews with other Clinton staff and aides, but kept that version of the report classified.
Comey testified that no transcript of the interview exists, only the notes taken on it. Clinton was not under oath.
The FBI’s release Friday did not include the notes of interviews with Clinton’s aides.
Interest in the contents of the report had intensified after it was reported that Clinton told the FBI a conversation with former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommending she use private email helped convince her to do so.
Powell repudiated the idea that he shares any responsibility for her choice in the following days, however, and Clinton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she takes full responsibility.
“I’ve been asked many, many questions in the past year about emails. And what I’ve learned is that when I try to explain what happened it can sound like I’m trying to excuse what I did,” she told CNN. “And there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single e- mail account was mine. I take responsibility for it. I’ve apologized for it. I would certainly do differently if I could.”