According to a new report from The Hill, early drafts of former FBI Director James Comey's statement on Hillary Clinton's email case accused the former Secretary of State of "gross negligence" in her handling of classified information as opposed to the "extremely careless" phrase that made its way into the final statement.
As The Hill further points out, the change in language is significant since federal law states that "gross negligence" in handling the nation's intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines whereas "extreme carelessness" has no such legal definition and/or ramifications.
An early draft of former FBI Director James Comey's statement closing out the Hillary Clinton email case accused the former Secretary of State of having been 'grossly negligent" in handling classified information, new memos to Congress show.
The tough language was changed to the much softer accusation that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information when Comey announced in July 2016 there would be no charges against her.
The draft, written weeks before the announcement of no charges, was described by multiple sources who saw the document both before and after it was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee this past weekend.
"There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information," reads the statement, one of Comey's earliest drafts.
Those sources said the draft statement was subsequently changed in red-line edits to conclude that the handling of 110 emails containing classified information that were transmitted by Clinton and her aides over her insecure personal email server was "extremely careless."