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FBI Director James Comey said he is not recommending criminal charges over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

"We are expressing our view that no charges are appropriate in this case," said Comey, adding that the investigation was done "competently and independently" and that he knows the recommendation will bring scrutiny. 

The announcement comes after Clinton was interviewed Saturday by the FBI for three-and-a-half hours. 

Comey said that despite his recommendation that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," the final decision rests with the Department of Justice.

He said the FBI cannot find a previous case "that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts."

Comey emphasized that no one in the government had any advance knowledge about his announcement. Before the announcement, he laid out the totality of Clinton's actions in mishandling classified information.

Comey said there were 110 emails in 52 email chains that were determined to contain classified information "at the time they were sent."

Comey said it was "extremely careless" for Clinton to send those messages on unsecured, non-government servers. 

He said the investigation found no evidence that Clinton intentionally deleted work-related emails to conceal them from the public. 

Comey said there was no "direct evidence" that Clinton's server was hacked, but personal emails of people to whom Clinton sent emails were compromised.

He said it's "possible" that hostile actors gained access to Clinton's emails.

Comey explained that Clinton used several servers and devices to send emails while she was at the State Department.

Comey said the investigation was "painstaking" and required thousands of hours of work by agents. He likened it to putting together a massive "jigsaw puzzle."

The recommendation from Comey comes after a private meeting between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week. 

Lynch, maintaining she did not discuss the case with Mr. Clinton, vowed Friday she would accept the FBI's recommendation on whether to pursue charges in the email case.

Watch the announcement above and the full remarks below.

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