Ex-FBI Director James Comey’s original statement closing out the probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server was edited by subordinates to remove five separate references to terms like “grossly negligent” and to delete mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations, according to copies of the full document.
Comey also originally concluded that it was “reasonably likely” that Clinton’s nonsecure private server was accessed or hacked by hostile actors though there was no evidence to prove it. But that passage was also changed to the much weaker “possible,” the memos show.
The full draft, with edits, leaves little doubt that Comey originally wrote on May 2, 2016 that there was evidence that Clinton and top aides may have violated both felony and misdemeanor statutes, though he did not believe he could prove intent before a jury.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statute proscribing gross negligence in the handling of classified information and of the statute proscribing misdemeanor mishandling, my judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey originally penned.
That passage, however, was edited to remove the references to “gross negligence” and “misdemeanor mishandling,” leaving a much more generic reference to “potential violations of the statutes.”