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PolitiFact parses truth from fiction in the Clinton email controversy


There’s just one week left before the Nov. 8 election. In the run-up to that historic event, PolitiFact Georgia will be looking at how Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have fared on fact-checks about major issues in the race for president of the United States.

Today we look at statments about Clinton’s email.

Hillary Clinton on Friday, October 28th, 2016 in a press conference:

Says FBI Director James Comey’s letter about new developments in the investigation into her emails “only” went “to Republican members of the House.”

Clinton was incorrect to say that the letter “only” went to Republican members of the House of Representatives. Democrat members received the letter, too.

The letter was addressed at the top to the chairmen of various congressional committees, who are all currently Republican because the party controls both the Senate and the House. But the second page of the letter indicates that Comey also circulated the letter to ranking Democrats on those committees, as well.

PolitiFact contacted Clinton’s campaign. The campaign said Clinton misspoke.

We rated Clinton’s claim False.

Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook on Sunday, October 30th, 2016 in comments on “Meet the Press”:

There are Justice Department policies against” FBI Director James Comey discussing details of a federal investigation “so close to an election.”

The department prohibits its employees from interfering with elections. That policy generally has included being sensitive about what information is released about pending or active investigations in the days and weeks leading up to the election.

However, there is no hard and fast rule, and an expert said Comey has the ability to exercise his judgment based on the facts as he knows them.

Mook’s claim is accurate but needs that additional information.

We rated Mook’s statement Mostly True.

Hillary Clinton on Thursday, May 26th, 2016 in an interview on ABC:

“It was allowed,” referring to her email practices

No one ever stopped Clinton from conducting work over her private email server exclusively. But that’s not the same thing as it being allowed.

Offices within the State Department told an independent inspector general that if she had asked, they would not have allowed it.

The report from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General shatters one of Clinton’s go-to phrases about her email practice.

We rated Clinton’s claim False.

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 in the third 2016 presidential debate:

“We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election.”

We don’t know how many separate investigations into the attacks they were. But the Director of National Intelligence, which speaks for the country’s 17 federal intelligence agencies, released a joint statement saying the intelligence community at large is confident that Russia is behind recent hacks into political organizations’ emails.

The statement sourced the attacks to the highest levels of the Russian government and said they are designed to interfere with the current election.

We rated Clinton’s statement True.

Donald Trump on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 in a speech:

The man who was in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton accepted essentially from Hillary Clinton $675,000 that went to his wife.”

Trump is correct that hefty donations were given from a Clinton ally to a candidate whose husband was an FBI official.

But the timeline doesn’t add up, nor do Trump’s allegations stand up to independent scrutiny.

At the time of the contribution, the candidate’s husband was not directly involved in the FBI probe of Clinton’s email server, according to the FBI. The bureau says that by the time he had some oversight role in the Clinton investigation, the election involving his wife had been over for three months.

Meanwhile, the decision not charge Clinton was a recommendation made by the director of the FBI.

Trump’s statement contains a small element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a completely different impression.

We rated Trump’s claim Mostly False.


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