Republican lawmakers on Thursday used blunt testimony from the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to try to build a case that Hillary Clinton repeatedly lied to the public and Congress as she defended her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
Under withering criticism from Republicans, Mr. Comey stood his ground on his recommendation against criminal prosecution for Mrs. Clinton and her aides. But he said Mrs. Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for president, had been “negligent” in her handling of classified material, and he said that her lawyers probably deleted classified material as they destroyed thousands of her emails.
Mr. Comey — who maintained his composure except for one flash of anger when Republicans questioned his integrity — repeatedly acknowledged that the public statements by the former secretary of state, including some she delivered during a sworn appearance before Congress last year, were contradicted by the facts uncovered during the F.B.I. investigation.