Clinton’s Sworn Testimony Before Congress Contradicts FBI Director’s Testimony

By Michael W. Chapman | July 7, 2016 | 4:01pm EDT

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director

James Comey.  (AP) 

( – Although Hillary Clinton, under oath, told Congress in October that she never sent by email any material that was “marked classified” when she was Secretary of State, FBI Director James Comey testified under oath today that Clinton’s statement was “not true,” that some documents sent by Clinton were indeed marked as “classified.”

Back in October 2015, Benghazi Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned Hillary Clinton about the handling of her emails, noting that she had altered her response over time about no classified material being sent or received (on her private server) to no material “marked classified” was sent or received.

Clinton said, “There was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received. And I want to respond ….”

Jordan interjected, “You use the right term there – use ‘marked.’ That’s the one – that’s what you – you used the revised statement there.”

Clinton continued, “Well, but that’s, well, congressman, there was a lot of confusion because many, many Americans have no idea how the classification process works. And therefore I wanted to make it clear that there is a system within our government, certainly within the State Department, where material that is thought to be classified is marked such, so that people have the opportunity to know how they are supposed to be handling those materials. And that’s why it became clearer, I believe, to say that nothing was marked classified at the time I sent or received it.”

Yet today, in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, FBI Director James Comey testified that emails sent or received by Clinton were “marked classified.”

The exchange with committee member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) occurred as follows:

Gowdy: “Secretary Clinton said she never sent or received any classified information over her private email. Was that true?”

Comey: “Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.”

Gowdy: “So it was not true?”

Comey: “That's what I said.”

Gowdy: “… Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails either sent or received. Was that true?”

Comey: “That's not true. There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.”

Gowdy: “Secretary Clinton said, ‘I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.’ Was that true?”

Comey: “There was classified material emailed.”

Under the law, Section 1621 of Title 18, a person convicted of perjury, lying to Congress under oath, could face fines up to $100,000 or up to 5 years in jail. 

In another exchange with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), FBI Director Comey tried to explain that Clinton perhaps was not "sophisticated enough to understand" that a paragraph, or several paragraphs marked "C" meant "confidential, classified."

"A question about sophistication came up earlier, whether she was sophisticated enough to understand what a 'C' means," said Comey.

Meadows asked, "You're saying the former Secretary of State is not sophisticated enough to understand a classified marking?"

Comey answered, "That's not what I said. I think it's possible, possible, she didn't understand what a 'C' meant when she saw it in the body of the email like that." 

Director Comey said there were at least "three of the documents" with "portion markings on them," the "C" denoting confidential/classified. The New York Times reported today that the U.S. State Department says that two of the emails with "C" markings on them, apparently memos from a Clinton aide, included the markings "by mistake."

Hillary Clinton, 68, was the first lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001; a U.S. senator from New York from 2001 to 2009; Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013; and is the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in 2016. 


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