In the wake of reports that fired FBI Director James Comey is getting reprimanded for his defiance of authority in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email case, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who’s become a thorn in the side of the establishment media she once represented, issued a friendly reminder about what Comey originally wrote concerning Clinton’s “grossly negligent” handling of classified information.
In his original draft of his famous press conference announcing his recommendations not to charge Clinton for gross negligence in handling classified information, Comey originally wrote:
There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information.
But as Attkisson highlights, Comey’s top subordinates dramatically revised that statement to emphasize the alleged “intent” of Clinton and her team, which is irrelevant in gross negligence cases, and to replace the legal term “grossly negligent” with the less legally charged phrase “extremely careless”:
That was not the only passage heavily edited by Comey’s team, some of whom have since come under fire for partisan bias. In a January report, The Hill highlighted the key changes, including removing “five separate references to terms like ‘grossly negligent'” and “delet[ing] mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations.”
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 Hill was first to report late last year that Comey originally concluded Clinton was “grossly negligent” — the statutory term supporting felony mishandling of classified information — when she and her aides transmitted 110 emails containing classified information through her non-secure server but that subordinates edited the term to the lesser “extremely careless.”
“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 wrote before that passage was edited to remove references to “gross negligence” and “misdemeanor statutes,” using instead the generic phrase “potential violations of the statutes.”
In 2014, Attkisson famously resigned from CBS News, where she had worked for two decades. Her reason, as Politico reported at the time, was that she had “grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting.”