A side by side comparison of what FBI Director James Comey said when he cleared Hillary Clinton without criminal charges — and what he planned to say, according to a draft of his statement — is absolutely shocking.
Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, obtained the the draft document in which Comey set out the bureau's argument for clearing Clinton and her aides. In a spectacular letter on Thursday, the Wisconsin Republican went point by point through the draft, comparing the planned words with what Comey actually said.
FBI Director James Comey planned to say Clinton and her aides were "grossly negligent" in their handling of classified information, but changed that to "extremely careless."
In his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Johnson said the original “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”
“The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence — a legal threshold for mishandling classified material — and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence.”
The Associated Press got hold of the draft, dated in May 2016, and compared that to what Comey said in a statement two days before the 2016 presidential election.
"In addition, while Comey initially said it was "reasonably likely" that 'hostile actors' had gained access to Clinton's email server, the text was edited to say that such an intrusion was 'possible,' " the AP reported.
Below are some excerpts, comparing the original statement with Comey's actual statenet. For a pdf of the full letter, click here.