U.S. attorney general to accept FBI
findings in Clinton email probe
Send a link to a friend
[July 02, 2016]
By Julia Edwards and Adam DeRose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney
General Loretta Lynch, seeking to tamp down a firestorm over meeting
with former President Bill Clinton, said on Friday she will accept the
recommendations of career prosecutors and the FBI director on whether to
charge Hillary Clinton for mishandling emails.
The United States' top law enforcement officer, however, stopped
short of saying she would recuse herself from the investigation of
the Democratic presidential candidate.
"I will be informed of those findings, as opposed to never reading
them or never seeing them, but I will be accepting their
recommendations and their plan for going forward," Lynch said.
She was responding to questions from a Washington Post journalist
who was introducing a talk by Lynch at the Aspen Ideas Festival, a
gathering of government, technology and other business leaders in
Republicans, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee
Donald Trump, have said a political appointee like Lynch should not
be involved in the email investigation and that the Monday night
meeting with Bill Clinton shows Lynch is too close to the Clintons.
With a regretful tone, Lynch said on Friday she would not privately
meet with Bill Clinton again and that she understood how the meeting
"casts a shadow" over the perception of the Justice Department's
probe into Hillary Clinton's email use.
The attorney general said she has received many questions about her
role in the investigation and "whether someone who was a political
appointee would be involved in deciding how to investigate."
Republican lawmakers have called for an independent investigation of
Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of
state, saying the Obama administration's Justice Department could
not be free of bias.
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a daily news
briefing that the investigation is being handled completely
independently of the White House and President Barack Obama.
Lynch was appointed by the Democratic president and sworn in on
April 1, 2015, well after Hillary Clinton left Obama's Cabinet in
Career prosecutors are not appointed by a president and may serve
through different administrations. The FBI director is appointed by
the president but is not part of his Cabinet and is considered
Lynch said on Friday that she had already decided to accept whatever
recommendations prosecutors presented her before her meeting with
[to top of second column]
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks to Reuters in an
exclusive interview in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., June 28, 2016.
The private meeting with the former president took place on Lynch's
plane after she landed in Phoenix on Monday night. Bill Clinton was
leaving the airport after a rally for his wife earlier that day.
Lynch told reporters earlier this week that she did not discuss the
email probe or other matters pending before the Justice Department
with Bill Clinton, calling their meeting "primarily social."
The FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton's email use and whether
laws were broken as a result of a personal email server kept in her
Chappaqua, New York, home while she was secretary of state, an issue
that has overshadowed her campaign.
She apologized last year for using the server, saying that while she
did nothing wrong, she should have used two email accounts: one for
State Department business and another for personal matters.
Representatives for her campaign could not be reached immediately
for comment on Friday.
Trump on Thursday called Lynch's meeting "a sneak" and questioned
the judgment of both Bill Clinton and the attorney general.
In a tweet on Friday, the wealthy businessman said the meeting
showed the U.S. political system was "totally rigged" and that
Hillary Clinton had bad judgment.
"Bill's meeting was probably initiated and demanded by Hillary!"
Trump said on Twitter.
The Justice Department, along with the White House, has said the
probe should be free of political interference.
(Reporting by Julia Edwards and Adam DeRose; Writing by Susan
Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Jonathan Oatis)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.