The Green Party’s likely presidential nominee said federal officials should prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information and endangering national security.
In a Wednesday statement, Jill Stein echoed Republican criticism of the Obama administration, saying that the FBI “is giving Clinton a pass” by declining to recommend criminal charges related to her use of a private email system while serving as secretary of State.
“All the elements necessary to prove a felony violation were found by the FBI investigation,” Stein said in a statement.
“Her staff has said Secretary Clinton stated she used her private email system because she did not want her personal emails to become accessible under [Freedom of Information] laws,” she added.
“This is damning on two counts — that she intended to disregard the protection of security information, and that she had personal business to conceal.”
FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday said the investigation found little evidence to suggest Clinton and her aides intended to mishandle sensitive information, though they did appear to be “extremely careless.”
Still, that did not meet the legal standard of “gross negligence,” Comey said.
Stein disagreed and said that details about the setup revealed by the FBI “undermined the defenses Clinton put forward.” Aides to Clinton have not claimed she was aiming to thwart the Freedom of Information Act in particular, though in emails she said she didn’t “want any risk of the personal [messages] being accessible.”
Insisting that Clinton be prosecuted for mishandling classified information is an unexpected position for Stein, who, like Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, has hoped to take advantage of the high public disapproval of both Clinton and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Stein has made a blatant appeal to supporters of Clinton’s primary opponents Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
But Sanders has repeatedly refused to attack Clinton over the email issue, memorably shutting the conversation down in October, saying voters were “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
Stein on Wednesday also alluded to potential conflicts of interest during Clinton’s time in office, such as the relationship between her official duties as the nation’s top diplomat and benefactors of her family foundation.
“The blurring of the lines between Clinton family private business and national security matters in the secretary of State office underscores evidence on many other fronts that Hillary Clinton is serving the 1 percent, not we the people,” Stein said.
“The secretary of State’s office should not be a place to conduct private back room business deals.”