NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday that he is referring the agency's probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private server to send classified emails to the Department of Justice.
While he described Clinton's use of the private server as "extremely careless" he recommended that charges not be filed against the presidential candidate.
"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statues of handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," said Comey.
“extremely careless of handling of highly classified information” by Clinton pic.twitter.com/JATHzqteTu— Fox5NY (@fox5ny) July 5, 2016
Clinton's personal email server, which she relied on exclusively for government and personal business, has dogged her campaign since The Associated Press revealed its existence in March 2015.
She has repeatedly said that no email she sent or received was marked classified, but the Justice Department began investigating last summer following a referral from the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community.
"In looking back at our (past) investigations, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts," said Comey.
During the news conference from Washington, Comey condemned State Department culture under Clinton's leadership.
"The security culture of the State Department in general and with respect to unclassified systems was lacking," said Comey.
The announcement came just three days after FBI agents interviewed Clinton about her private email server.
Clinton's opponent, real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wasted no time firing back.
He took to social media to say the system was rigged.
FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
House Speaker Paul Ryan also weighed in saying the decision "defies explanation."
While I respect the professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. pic.twitter.com/OqctxglquI— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 5, 2016
With the Associated Press