Hillary Clinton’s top aides said Tuesday that they were relieved by the FBI’s announcement about their bosses’ email server, even though they admitted that they know the issue is far from behind the campaign.
FBI Director James Comey said earlier in the day he was not recommending charges against Clinton over her use of private email servers while secretary of state, removing a huge shadow hovering over her presidential campaign.
But Comey administered an extraordinary tongue-lashing to Clinton and her aides, rebuking them for being “extremely careless” in the handling of classified information and saying the presumptive Democratic nominee should have known an unclassified email system was no place to conduct sensitive government business.
Clinton found out about the announcement after her speech to the National Education Association in Washington, but has yet to read the full text of Comey’s comments, an aide said.
Clinton is relieved by the announcement, an aide said, and is happy to have it resolved, even though she knows it will be a political issue for months.
There were concerns inside the Clinton campaign that the FBI and the Justice Department would drag out the investigation, possibly until after the Democratic National Convention later this month.
So aides said they were surprised on Tuesday when Comey made his positive – yet scathing – announcement.
The calculation inside the campaign: The public will see that the investigation is not moving forward, despite the fact that Comey debunked many of the excuses Clinton used to defend herself in 2015 and 2016.
Clinton spoke at length about her trust issues in Chicago last week and aides said she will continue to do that in front of certain audiences in the coming weeks, an acknowledgment that the Comey presser further will only further the public’s distrust in her.