The Cable

Attorney General Will Listen to Prosecutors in Clinton Email Inquiry

The decision comes days after Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton.


U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday that she would accept whatever decision prosecutors come to regarding whether to bring charges against presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Lynch’s announcement, made days after she met privately with former President Bill Clinton, removes any doubt that a political appointee might overrule investigators looking into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

“My meeting with him raises questions and concerns. Believe me, I completely get that question,” Lynch said Friday morning at the Aspen Ideas Festival. She added that these questions were “reasonable.”

“I fully expect to accept their recommendations,” Lynch continued, referring to the inquiry’s findings. “This case will be resolved by the team that’s been working on it.”

Her announcement, made before the long July Fourth holiday weekend, comes after furor from both Democrats and Republicans over an unplanned meeting between Lynch — who was appointed by President Barack Obama — and Bill Clinton. On Monday night, the two serendipitously met at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“He did come over and say hello and speak to my husband and myself, and talk about his grandchildren and his travels and things like that,” Lynch said Wednesday. “That was the extent of that. And no discussions were held into any cases or things like that.”

This explanation did little to quell Republican anger over the meeting, and it means the shadow of the email scandal will continue to hang over her presidential bid. On Friday, her likely GOP rival, Donald Trump, again seized on the meeting to accuse Clinton of being corrupt and to suggest the U.S. political system is rigged.

Many in the GOP said the meeting between the former president and the sitting attorney general showed the potential for bias in the inquiry over whether Hillary Clinton disseminated classified information over a private email server while she was Obama’s secretary of state.

“In light of the apparent conflicts of interest, I have called repeatedly on Attorney General Lynch to appoint a special counsel to ensure the investigation is as far from politics as possible,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement on Thursday.

The move ensures Clinton will not get the same treatment as David H. Petraeus, the former Army general and CIA director. FBI investigators sought to bring felony charges against Petraeus for mishandling classified information and lying about it. But former Attorney General Eric Holder intervened and reduced the charge against the former general to a misdemeanor.

Photo credit: ALEX WONG/Getty Images

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