FBI agents never asked Hillary Clinton about the intentions behind her mishandling of classified information, despite the fact that FBI Director James Comey said he declined to recommend charges against her because he found no evidence she intentionally thwarted the law, Rep. Trey Gowdy said.
"I didn't see any questions on the issue of intent," the South Carolina Republican said Thursday during an appearance on Fox News. "[Comey] said he didn't go forward with charges because she didn't have specific criminal intent."
"I didn't see the followup questions in the summary I read," Gowdy added.
The House Oversight Committee member was referring to classified notes from the FBI's July interview with Clinton, which was conducted just days before the bureau moved to conclude its year-long investigation of her private email use without recommending an indictment for anyone involved. Gowdy said he saw no reason why the summary should be considered classified.
Clinton's public statements on the email server have left the door open to questions about whether she treated records related to her family's foundation as work-related emails, Gowdy noted.
"So if she considered them to be personal, then we move into the facet where she and her lawyers had those emails deleted," he said. "And they didn't just push the delete button. They had them deleted where even God can't read them."
Gowdy said the former secretary of state had used a technology known as BleachBit to scrub her server, rendering much of its contents unrecoverable.
The FBI's interview, which was not transcribed, did not include questions about why Clinton set up the email system in her basement, according to Gowdy.
In testimony before Congress last month, Comey criticized Clinton's "extremely careless" treatment of classified material but stopped short of characterizing her behavior as criminal.
Earlier this week, the State Department revealed in federal court that the FBI had recovered roughly 14,900 emails from the servers and devices it confiscated from Clinton in 2015.
Agency officials are presently reviewing the new materials for release in an open records lawsuit.