Dear Attorney General Lynch,
Recently, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey issued a statement describing the results of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the use of a private e-mail server by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. According to Director Comey, of the 30,000 emails that Secretary Clinton turned over to the State Department, investigators found 110 emails in 52 email chains that contained classified information "at the time they were sent or received." Eight of those email chains contained information classified as "top secret."
Director Comey stated that there was evidence that Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information." Further, Director Comey admitted that it is possible that "hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal e-mail account."
As a result of this thorough investigation, and after outlining the numerous ways Secretary Clinton and her staff potentially violated the law, Director Comey announced that he would not recommend prosecution because the FBI could not prove that it was Secretary Clinton's intent to violate the law. However, under federal law, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 793(f), mere "gross negligence" in the transmission of information related to the national defense is a crime subject to fine and/or imprisonment.
We share the concerns of the American people that an investigation as important as this ought not to be subject to political pressures. There is ample precedent, notably in the Valerie Plame case, of the Attorney General stepping aside and appointing a special prosecutor to a particularly high profile case, such as this one, in order to ensure the most independent investigation possible. In that case, then-acting Attorney General James Comey stepped aside and appointed a Special Prosecutor pursuant to sections 509, 510, and 515 of Title 28 of the U.S. Code to properly investigate the matter.
It is important to note that Director Comey, in stating that the FBI could not find facts that would support bringing criminal charges, conceded that any other person handling sensitive, classified information in similar circumstances would be subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that these steps were not being considered at the present moment. Furthermore, given that there is clear evidence of the mishandling of sensitive information, the FBI's recommendation that no charges be filed potentially demonstrates to the American people that the political class is above prosecution. In light of the circumstances of this case, we respectfully request that you, pursuant to your authority under federal law, appoint a Special Prosecutor to formally investigate the matter of Secretary Clinton's negligent use of a private e-mail server to transmit classified information related to United States national security. Doing so will help preserve the independence of our legal system and further promote this important principle in the American legal tradition.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss this request.