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The State Department is reopening an internal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and top aides
The State Department is reopening an internal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and top aides, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. Although the former secretary of state's closest confidants have left the agency, they could still face punishment. The most serious is the loss of security clearances, which could complicate her aides' hopes of securing top positions on her national security team if she becomes president.
The State Department started its review in January after declaring 22 emails from Clinton's private server to be "top secret." It was suspended in April so as not to interfere with the FBI's inquiry. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the probe is restarting after the Justice Department's announcement Wednesday that it won't bring any criminal charges. "We will aim to be as expeditious as possible, but we will not put artificial deadlines on the process," Kirby said. "Our goal will be to be as transparent as possible about our results, while complying with our various legal obligations."
Additionally Thursday, Republican lawmakers said they would now ask the FBI to investigate whether Clinton lied to the committee. That announcement came in a testy hearing with FBI Director James Comey, who defended the government's decision not to prosecute Clinton over her private email setup.
Clinton was secretary of state until early 2013. Most of her top advisers left shortly thereafter. But Kirby said this week former officials can still face punishment. Options range from counseling and warnings to the revocation of an individual's security clearance.