News & Politics

Lynch Dodges Republicans' Questions About Email Probe During Tense Hearing

Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch repeatedly dodged questions Tuesday regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the FBI’s decision not to recommend she be charged.

Not that Lynch doesn’t have opinions on any number of issues – – police brutality, copyright laws, Chinese espionage —  she just doesn’t have any regarding the very issue that brought her before the House Judiciary Committee this morning.

Via Fox News:

The nation’s top law enforcement official was peppered with questions by the House Judiciary Committee, her first congressional appearance in the wake of the Clinton decision. But she repeatedly deferred to FBI Director James Comey’s comments on the case, declining to elaborate herself.

“I would refer you to those statements,” Lynch said. “I, as attorney general, am not able to provide any further comment on the facts or the substance of the investigation.”

Even as Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., noted it was her conclusion in the end on whether to act, Lynch would not comment in detail, specifically when pressed on Comey findings that conflicted with Clinton’s public statements on her email use.

Republicans, though, ramped up their criticism not only of Clinton but of the Justice Department’s handling of the case. Goodlatte said the conclusion not to pursue charges “defies logic and the law” — and once again criticized her for meeting on a tarmac in Phoenix with former President Bill Clinton just a week before the decision was announced.

“The timing of and circumstances surrounding this announcement are particularly troubling,” he said.

Goodlatte suggested that and other factors could have been grounds for recusal, but Lynch rebuffed the notion. And she insisted that the discussion with the former president was “social” and did not pertain to the email investigation.

Lynch has nevertheless expressed regret for the meeting and acknowledged that it had “cast a shadow” on the public perception of the Justice Department’s independence.

Democrats, in the meantime, did what they do best: attacked Republicans for holding the hearing and changed the subject to issues that promote their political agendas. Lynch was more than happy to play along. The hearing can be seen here.