WASHINGTON — The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server is over, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said on Wednesday.
In a brief written statement, she said she accepted the F.B.I.’s recommendation that no one be charged in the case, which has engulfed Mrs. Clinton’s presidential ambitions for more than a year.
“I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation,” Mrs. Lynch said.
The attorney general said she met with James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., and other prosecutors and agents on Wednesday afternoon before closing the case. Ms. Lynch had promised to accept the F.B.I. recommendations after creating a political furor by meeting on her airplane last week for 30 minutes with former President Bill Clinton.
The announcement by Mrs. Lynch came on the eve of a congressional hearing Thursday morning at which Mr. Comey is scheduled to testify about the email investigation and the decision not to pursue charges. Mr. Comey announced his recommendation on Tuesday despite finding that Mrs. Clinton and her top aides were “extremely careless” in their distribution of classified information across unsecured email networks.
The apparent contradiction in Mr. Comey’s recommendation is expected to be the focus of sharp, bipartisan questioning at the hearing. But it is unclear whether Mr. Comey will be willing to provide any additional details about the investigation or the process investigators used to reach their conclusions.
For Mrs. Clinton, the public announcement by the attorney general formally ends a legal cloud that has been shadowing her campaign and comes just weeks before she will accept her party’s nomination to be president.
But as the Republicans’ quick decision to hold congressional hearings proves, the political damage from her use of a private email server is most likely not over. That damage was compounded on Tuesday when Mr. Comey said Mrs. Clinton should have known better than to allow such sensitive material to be sent over an unsecured network.
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said on Twitter, “With the AG accepting Director Comey’s recommendation, this case is resolved, no matter Republicans’ attempts to continue playing politics.”