Election 2016

In email probe, echoes of another time prosecutors weighed charging Hillary Clinton with a crime

washingtonpost.comHillary Clinton, the first lady at the time, stops to talk to reporters in January 1996 before testifying in front of a grand jury in the Whitewater investigation. (Susan Biddle/The Washington Post)

Over the course of 16 hours, prosecutors and FBI agents agonized over whether to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime. In the end, after weighing every ounce of evidence, examining piles of documents and gaming out whether a jury would ever convict her, the group made its wrenching decision: no charges.

Nearly 20 years before FBI Director James B. Comey declared that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a criminal case against Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, Clinton narrowly escaped a similar legal peril amid the Whitewater investigation that engulfed much of her husband’s time as president.

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