Though it was not their primary mission, FBI agents who investigated Hillary Clinton's email collected significant evidence suggesting she and her team violated federal record-keeping laws, including persisting to use a private Blackberry and server to conduct State Department business after being warned they posed legal and security risks, government sources tell Circa.The evidence was compelling enough to convince FBI Director James Comey that the Clinton team had not complied with record-keeping laws and to cause at least one witness to raise their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during an investigative interview, the sources said.
In public, the FBI recommended not filing criminal charges against Clinton on national security grounds. But in private, the Bureau chose to defer to the State Department on whether to recommend anyone to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution on records law violations, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.
Each email transmission of a government document that was not preserved or turned over to the State Department from Mrs. Clinton's tenure could theoretically be considered a violation of the Federal Records Act, the main law governing preservation of government records and data.
Other federal laws make it a felony to intentionally conceal, remove or destroy federal records as defined under the Act, punishable with a fine and imprisonment of up to three years. A single conviction also carries a devastating impact for anyone looking to work again in government because the law declares that any violator "shall forfeithis office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."
The FBI "indirectly documented hundreds, and likely thousands, of violations of the Records Act," one source with direct knowledge of the FBI's investigation told Circa.