State Department to conduct internal probe of Clinton email case

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[July 08, 2016]  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it will conduct an internal review of whether Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her aides mishandled classified information, after the Justice Department declined to bring criminal charges.

The State Department said in April it had suspended plans for an internal review at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which conducted a yearlong probe of Clinton's use of private email servers while she was secretary of state.

"Given the Department of Justice has now made its announcement, the State Department intends to conduct its internal review," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

"I cannot provide specific information about the Department's review, including what information we are evaluating. We will aim to be as expeditious as possible, but we will not put artificial deadlines on the process," he said.

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she would accept the recommendations of the FBI not to bring criminal charges against Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for the Nov. 8 election.

FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday Clinton had been "extremely careless" in the handling of classified information, and Republicans have criticized the decision not to prosecute.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Comey told a congressional hearing on Thursday that FBI employees who mishandled classified material in the way Clinton did as secretary of state could be subject to dismissal or loss of security clearance.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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