Oversight of the State Department

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: July 7, 2016 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) recommendation not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for maintaining a private server, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced that FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Oversight Committee on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing. The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation. I thank Director Comey for accepting the invitation to publicly answer these important questions.”    

TAKEAWAYS:

  • The FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute sets a dangerous precedent for deterring the mishandling of classified information and enforcing the statutes that prohibit doing so.
  • Director Comey suggested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not sophisticated enough to understand classified markings.
  • Chairman Chaffetz will send a referral to the Attorney General for a criminal investigation into whether Secretary Clinton lied under oath.  
  • Individuals without appropriate levels of security clearance, including Clinton’s attorneys, had access to the classified information on Secretary Clinton’s private server and in her emails.
  • Director Comey testified Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized server was not secure despite containing information considered classified above Top Secret. He testified Gmail would have been more secure.
  • The Committee will hold a follow-up hearing with the State Department to probe the lax security culture cited by Director Comey.

PURPOSE:

  • To examine the recent work of these three agencies and give Members the opportunity to better understand the agencies’ findings and conclusions.

BACKGROUND:

  • Over the past year and a half, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General for the State Department, and the Office of Inspector General for the Intelligence Community have all conducted work related to the Department of State and its employees, particularly the agency’s transparency and the record-keeping practices of its employees.
  • The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has jurisdiction over issues of transparency and record-keeping in the federal government, including the Department of State.

KEY VIDEOS:

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT): “You’re kind of making my point, director. The point being, because I injected the word ‘Hillary Clinton,’ you gave me a different answer. … Do you really believe there should be no consequence for Hillary Clinton and how she dealt with this?”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC): “You mentioned there’s no precedent for criminal prosecution. My fear is there still isn’t. There’s nothing to keep a future secretary of state or president from this exact same email scheme.”

Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH): “’They deleted all emails that they did not return to the State Department and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.’ Now that sounds like a fancy way of saying they hid the evidence, right? And you just told Mr. Gowdy thousands of emails fell into those categories.”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable James Comey Director Federal Bureau of Investigation 1
Mr. Steve Linick Inspector General Department of State 2
Mr. I. Charles McCullough, III Inspector General Intelligence Community 2

Related Documents

Name Document
Transcript Document