Clinton email probe reportedly caused rift between Comey, Lynch
FBI Director James Comey reportedly did not trust former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior officials at the Justice Department, speculating they might provide Hillary Clinton some political cover over her email scandal during the presidential election.
Comey’s so-called “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton investigation emerged from suspicions that Lynch and other Justice Department officials might look to down play the email probe, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Comey’s suspicions may have been confirmed in a 2015 meeting when Lynch reportedly told him to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the probe. According to the Times, Lynch said that using the world “investigation” would raise other questions and argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming whether an investigation was ongoing.
Lynch was called to recuse herself from the Clinton email investigation after she had a private discussion with former President Bill Clinton in an airplane on the tarmac of Phoenix’s airport in June 16. Lynch did not recuse herself, but was forced to say she would accept the any conclusions reached by federal authorities.
Tensions boiled over after new emails were found through a separate investigation into former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, who was married to top Clinton confidant Huma Abedin.
Comey wanted to alert Congress about what it found on the laptop and feared that if he did not notify lawmakers, it would look like the FBI was withholding information before the election.
Lynch did not want Comey to send the letter to Congress about the findings, but decided against ordering him not to send it, according to The Times.