WASHINGTON, DC — The State Department is reopening an internal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and top aides.
Spokesman John Kirby says the emails probe is restarting now that the Justice Department isn’t pursuing a criminal prosecution. The State Department suspended its review in April to avoid interfering with the FBI’s inquiry.
Kirby set no deadline for the investigation’s completion. Clinton was secretary of state until early 2013. Most of her top advisers left shortly thereafter.
But Kirby said this week former officials can still face “administrative sanctions.” The most serious is loss of security clearances, which could complicate Clinton’s naming of a national security team if she becomes president.
Beyond the Democratic front-runner, the probe is most likely examining confidants Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin.
Political fallout resulting from FBI Director James Comey finding that Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton was not criminally liable for misuse of State Department emails as Secretary of State has enraged Republicans in Congress.
Republican U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Edmond appeared on Fox News Friday to discuss his letter to State Secretary John Kerry requesting the immediate suspension of the security clearances of Secretary Hillary Clinton and her aides.
Lankford and nine other senators said the FBI’s findings this week regarding Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in the handling of classified information that put national security information at risk. Lankford said Clinton violated State Department policies.
“All the facts are on the case, what James Comey called evidence, that’s out there. There’s no question she violated policy,” Lankford said. “The Inspector General of the State Department has come through and said she clearly violated the rules. Any other employee would lose their security clearance, at a minimum here.
“So, we have asked for them to go back through any employee that was connected to this, whether that be Huma Abedin, whether that be all the different individuals that are on the email chains and series of chains and say their security clearance should be removed.”
Congressman Frank Lucas, R-OK, said based on the FBI’s findings, he is very disappointed Comey did not recommend that the Justice Department hold Clinton accountable for her actions.
Clinton’s use of an unsecured, private email server was anything but a conscious effort to skirt public reporting requirements, Lucas said. He noted that the FBI found several instances of classified state secrets sent to and from her email.
“I look forward to hearing more from the FBI director in the days and weeks to come,” Lucas said. “The results of the FBI’s investigation are quite clear and I believe that this is not a closed matter.”
District 5 Congressman Steve Russell offered the following statement:
“The American people are exasperated when there are no consequences for the mishandling of state secrets.”