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US House speaker: Clinton must not have access to classified intelligence

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to the media during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, on July 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan has formally requested that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton be denied access to classified information for the rest of her campaign in the wake of the email scandal.

“As a former vice presidential nominee, I am keenly aware that Secretary Clinton is set to begin receiving classified intelligence briefings after the Democratic National Convention,” Ryan said Thursday in a letter to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. 

“There is no legal requirement for you 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,” Ryan noted.

The House speaker made the request after James Comey, the FBI director, earlier in the week called Clinton's handling of classified material "extremely careless" but did not ultimately recommend criminal charges against her.

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," Comey said.

"In looking back at our investigations into mishandling of removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts," he added.

FBI Director James Comey testifies during a hearing before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 7, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Following the FBI’s decision, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch also said the investigation into Clinton's use of private email while secretary of state is over, adding that the Justice Department will not press charges against her.

This is while Republicans have made clear they would not let Clinton's email headaches fade away easily as the US presidential and congressional elections are approaching.

Speaking at a campaign rally earlier this week in Cincinnati, Ohio, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump accused Clinton of bribing Lynch to decide not to charge her.

"She said she’s going to reappoint the attorney general and the attorney general is waiting to make a determination as to whether or not she’s guilty. And boy was that a fast determination, wow," Trump said, adding, "That's bribery folks."

The real estate mogul had already expressed his displeasure with the FBI's recommendation, saying, "The system is rigged," and the judgement is "bad".

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