Hillary Clinton‘s email scandal has come to a close — again.
On Sunday, FBI director James Comey announced that after reviewing newly uncovered emails the agency stands by its previous conclusion that “no charges were appropriate” to file against the Democratic presidential nominee.
Clinton’s use of a private email server has been dominating headlines since March 2015 when it was revealed that she had used her family’s email server for official communications — rather than official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers — during her time as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Thousands of emails would retroactively be marked as classified by the State Department, prompting many to say Clinton put important information at risk.
“When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed,” Clinton, 69, said during a televised news conference in March 2015. “I thought it would be easier to carry just one device … looking back, it would have been better if I simply used one [email account].”
Clinton said she supplied officials with nearly 55,000 pages of work-related emails – and went a step further by urging the department to publicly release them.
In September 2015, the Democratic candidate further admitted her use of a public server was a “mistake” in a sit-down with 60 Minutes.
“I’ve said I [blew it],” she said, adding, “I made a mistake. I should’ve had two accounts, one for personal and one for office. And I didn’t, and I take responsibility for that.”
In a February 2016 debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton said she had “absolutely no concerns about” the investigation. “I never sent or received any classified material,” she said.
On July 2, 2016, Clinton’s campaign announced she “gave a voluntary interview” to the FBI concerning her emails that lasted about three-and-a-half hours.
Three days later, Comey said the FBI’s investigation referred Clinton’s email case to the Justice Department with the recommendation that “no charges are appropriate,” although he did acknowledged that there was “evidence of potential violations” in Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of classified information. The FBI director said that 110 emails in 52 email chains were determined to contain some form of classified information at the time they were sent.
Just 11 days before the election, Comey released a letter stating that the FBI would be taking “additional investigative steps” into Clinton’s emails after a reported 650,000 uncovered communications were pulled from a device belonging to disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Clinton called for the FBI to come forward immediately with “full and complete facts” in the investigation, saying that she did not know what information could have renewed the closed case.
“We’ve heard these rumors. We don’t know what to believe. I’m sure there will be even more rumors,” she explained. “That’s why it is incumbent upon on the FBI to tell us what they’re talking about, because right now your guess is as good as mine, and I don’t think that’s good enough.”
Two days before Election Day, Comey announced that the FBI has gone through the newly uncovered emails and reached the same conclusion as when the case was initially closed.
“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton,” he wrote. “I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.”
Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, harshly criticized the FBI for its conclusion, claiming that the Democratic nominee is “being protected by a rigged system.”