The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch interfered politically in the criminal probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
From a statement by Judiciary panel Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.
In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.” Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.”
Comey testified to Congress earlier this month that Lynch’s instructions to him about how to frame the probe caused him to lose confidence in Lynch’s independence, and that of DOJ.
“At one point, [Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” Mr. Comey said. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”
The Clinton campaign was terming the investigation, which was in fact an investigation, a “matter.”