[WASHINGTON] US attorney general Loretta Lynch said Wednesday she has accepted the FBI's recommendation that no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server while secretary of state.
Ms Lynch made the widely-expected announcement following a meeting with FBI Director James Comey as well as prosecutors and agents who led the high-profile investigation, which has weighed heavily on Democrat Mrs Clinton's White House campaign.
"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," Ms Lynch said in a statement.
The attorney general had previously pledged to respect FBI and prosecutors' decisions on whether to bring charges after it emerged she met briefly with Mrs Clinton's husband, Bill, last week - prompting Republicans to cry foul over possible government interference.
The FBI recommended on Tuesday that no charges be brought over Mrs Clinton's email use, saying its investigation does not support a criminal prosecution.
But its assessment found that Mrs Clinton was "extremely careless" in sending classified information via her personal email account.
Mr Comey said 110 emails contained classified information - Mrs Clinton said there were none whose content was classified at the time they were written - and said her emails could have been hacked.
While the former first lady can breathe a sigh of relief at avoiding criminal charges that could have ended her campaign, the damning FBI assessment could still complicate an increasingly tight race against Donald Trump.
Mr Trump and fellow Republicans immediately seized on the findings to brand Mrs Clinton a liar and charge that the system was rigged.