U.S. attorney general closes Clinton
email probe, says no charges
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[July 07, 2016]
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The investigation
into Hillary Clinton's use of private email while secretary of state is
closed, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday, removing
a legal cloud that threatened the presumptive Democratic nominee's
Lynch said she accepted the Federal Bureau of Investigation's
recommendations that no charges be brought in the probe, as
Republicans made clear they would not let Clinton's email headaches
fade away easily.
"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," Lynch said in a statement.
With the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential and congressional elections
beginning to heat up, Republicans called on the administration to
make public key documents in the Clinton email case.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president,
speaking at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, accused Clinton,
his likely Democratic opponent, of bribing Lynch to decide not to
He was referring to reports, including in the New York Times
this week, that Clinton, if elected president, might ask Lynch to
stay on as attorney general.
"She said she’s going to reappoint the attorney general and the
attorney general is waiting to make a determination as to whether or
not she’s guilty. And boy was that a fast determination, wow," Trump
said, adding, "That's bribery folks."
On Capitol Hill, Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House of
Representatives Republican, reacted to Lynch's announcement by
proclaiming: "Secretary Clinton broke the law and lied about it."
Senior Senate Republicans insisted that the FBI's investigation be
made available to the public, including a transcript of the more
than three hours Clinton spent last Saturday in an interview
conducted by the agency.
Shortly before Lynch's announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell told reporters, "I think the next step...is to compare
what Hillary Clinton said to the FBI with what Hillary Clinton's
been saying to all of us over the last couple of years during this
In a blistering attack on Clinton, John Cornyn of Texas, the
second-ranking Senate Republican, said on the Senate floor: "The
bottom line is Secretary Clinton actively sought out ways to hide
her actions as much as possible" by using a private email account
while heading the State Department. "And in so doing, she put our
country at risk" by leaving those emails vulnerable to computer
Democrats have questioned Republicans' motives and accused them of
squandering taxpayer dollars with lengthy investigations that have
failed to uncover illegal activities.
"Republicans are in such desperate shape because of Trump (that)
they would seize upon anything" to divert attention, said Senate
Democratic leader Harry Reid.
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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers a
campaign speech outside the shuttered Trump Plaza in Atlantic City,
New Jersey, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
And Senator Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Senate
Judiciary Committee, said in a statement following Lynch's
announcement: "This investigation is closed and that should be the
end of this matter."
On Tuesday, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey
said Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had
been "extremely careless" in her use of a private email server while
she was secretary of state, but he recommended no criminal charges
be filed in the case.
Comey, who was deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush
administration before becoming FBI director in 2013, is scheduled to
testify on Thursday before a House committee, where Republicans and
Democrats are expected to press him on his findings in the Clinton
Lynch said she met on Wednesday afternoon with Comey and the career
prosecutors and agents who had investigated whether Clinton broke
the law as result of email servers kept in her Chappaqua, New York,
home. One question is whether she mishandled classified information.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said on Wednesday it appeared
Clinton received preferential treatment from the FBI.
Asked whether a special prosecutor should be named to investigate
the matter, Ryan said the House would not "foreclose any options."
But Ryan did say that because of her messy handling of emails while
serving as secretary of state, Clinton should be denied access to
classified information during the campaign.
Presidential candidates normally get such briefings once they are
formally nominated. McConnell, Ryan's Senate counterpart, stopped
short of calling for such action.
Clinton's campaign was anxious to move on after Comey's
announcement, saying in a statement on Tuesday it was pleased with
the FBI decision.
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney
and Andrew Hay)
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