Cummings to Chaffetz: Criminal Referral “Unwarranted” After Learning New Facts at Today’s Hearing With FBI Director

Jul 7, 2016
Press Release

Cummings to Chaffetz:

Criminal Referral “Unwarranted” After Learning New Facts at Today’s Hearing With FBI Director


Washington, DC (July 7, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz regarding his statements at today’s hearing that he is considering sending a referral to the FBI to investigate whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied when she testified before Congress that she did not send or receive emails marked classified.

“When you made these statements regarding the classification markings at the beginning of the hearing, we had not yet heard key details about this issue from Director Comey,” Cummings wrote.  “As the hearing pressed on, however, we learned some significant new facts.”

On Tuesday, Director Comey stated:  “Only a very small number of the emails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.” 

During today’s hearing, Director Comey testified that he was referring to only three emails out of more than 30,000; that the classification markings on these three documents were not proper and did not comply with federal guidelines or manuals; that he believed it would be a “reasonable inference” for Secretary Clinton to have “immediately” concluded these documents were not classified; and that he was not informed that the State Department reported yesterday that these emails were not in fact classified and included stray classification markings because of “human error.”

“I understand that there was some confusion about this issue going into the hearing, but the facts that were established helped clarify this issue, and for that reason today’s hearing served a valuable purpose,” Cummings wrote.  “Based on this testimony, it appears that proceeding with a criminal referral in light of these new facts would be unwarranted.”

Click here to read the letter.


114th Congress