04:59 GMT28 January 2020
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    The initial definition of Clinton’s handling of classified information, which carried with it a crime punishable by a prison sentence, was replaced with a lighter one, not involving any prison time. According to sources, Comey and three other top FBI officials were involved in the affair.

    An early memo by former FBI Director James Comey accused Hillary Clinton of "gross negligence" in the handling of classified information, The Hill reported.

    The statement concerns the investigation into Clinton using a private email server for official communications during her tenure as Secretary of State.

    "There is evidence to support the 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," the early statement said, according to anonymous sources.

    According to the report, the statement was then edited, with the specific phrase "grossly negligent" being replaced with the less incriminating definition of "extremely careless."

    READ MORE: Trump Calls for Faster Release of Clinton Emails, Uranium Deal Investigation

    "The red-line history clearly shows the original statement was designed to allege Clinton committed gross negligence and then someone changed it to extreme carelessness. Clearly there was a difference of opinion on the term derived from the statute," one of the sources said.

    The sources also said that at least three top FBI officials helped Comey edit the statement, including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker and Chief of Staff Jim Rybicki.

    The Hill reached out to both the FBI and Clinton for comment, but they’ve not yet responded.

    Clinton used a private server for official business during her tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 contrary to US regulations and established practice.

    The FBI conducted a criminal investigation into whether Clinton intended to violate US laws, but closed it and then reopened it again on account of new evidence just days before the November 8 election.

    In both instances, former FBI Director James Comey recommended that the Justice Department do not criminally charge Clinton.

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    Tags:
    investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hillary Clinton, James Comey, United States
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