U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has drafted a formal letter asking the Director of National Intelligence, John Clapper, to deny Clinton access to classified briefings given to presidential nominees before the general election. Ryan states that giving Clinton access to this information is a threat to national security. The request comes just days after FBI Director, James B. Comey, recommended no criminal charges be filed against Clinton for mishandling classified information while serving as Secretary of State.
Ryan first proposed the idea during an interview Tuesday night after Comey announced that FBI would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton over her private email use as secretary of state. During the announcement Comey also admitted that her behavior was “extremely careless.” The next day, Wednesday, Ryan once again called on Clapper to deny Clinton’s access to classified information during a news conference.
Presidential candidates have been provided access to classified information in the months leading up to the election for decades. Ryan warns that providing Clinton with more classified information will put that information in danger due to her “carelessness.”
Ryan wrote in the letter to Clapper:
“There is no legal requirement for your to provide Secretary Clinton with classified information, and it would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation’s secrets if you choose to provide her access to this information despite the FBI’s findings. I firmly believe this is necessary to reassure the public that our nation’s secrets are secure.”
Ryan also addressed Comey in a letter questioning the FBI’s decision to not recommend prosecuting Clinton, a decision that has left many Americans and politicians baffled.
“I have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, However, many people — myself included — struggle to reconcile the case you made against Secretary Clinton with the decision against recommending prosecution.”
Ryan is one of many Republicans that have written to Comney asking for more information on their decision. Several Republicans are asking the House to appoint a special prosecutor to review the case.