Ex-FBI Director James Comey has privately told members of Congress that he had a frosty exchange with Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year when he confronted her about possible political interference in the Hillary Clinton email investigation after showing Lynch a sensitive document she was unaware the FBI possessed.
During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday, Comey alluded to the second exchange after publicly discussing an encounter with Lynch, where she ordered him not to refer to the criminal probe of Clinton’ handling of classified emails not as an “investigation” but rather as a “matter.” He suggested it smacked of political spin rather than the way professional law enforcement officers talk.
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“That concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey testified.
Comey said the conversation occurred well before the email probe was shut down and shortly before both Comey and Lynch were expected to testify in Congress and possibly field questions about candidate Clinton’s email issues. He said her request gave him a “queasy feeling.”
On CNN Sunday, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “I would have a queasy feeling too, though, to be candid with you I think we need to know more about that and there’s only one way to know about it and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”
In multiple private sessions over the last few months, Comey has told lawmakers about a second, later confrontation with Lynch shortly before the email probe was shut down.
Comey told lawmakers in the close door session that he raised his concern with the attorney general that she had created a conflict of interest by meeting with Clinton’s husband, the former President Bill Clinton, on an airport tarmac while the investigation was ongoing.
During the conversation, Comey told lawmakers he confronted Lynch with a highly sensitive piece of evidence, a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton.