Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and ex-FBI Director James Comey do not see eye-to-eye on the agency’s “matter” into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server.
The author of “A Higher Loyalty” once told lawmakers that he got a “queasy feeling” after being told to refer to the FBI’s investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of government documents as “matter,” but Mrs. Lynch says that he never expressed concerns with her order.
The claim was made in a wide-ranging interview published Monday on her time at the Justice Department.
“[Mr. Comey] said it made him feel strange,” NBC’s Lester Holt said during an exclusive interview. “He noted it. What did you mean when you said ‘matter’ instead and not a investigation?”
“My first response was, ‘where, what is the issue here?'” Mrs. Lynch replied. “I remember specifically talking with him — as we talked about sensitive things on a number of occasions. We often would have to discuss sensitive matters, sensitive issues, terrorism and the like, law enforcement policy and the like.”
The former attorney general then said that “everyone knew” that they were dealing with a “very sensitive investigation” as of fall 2015.
“So Comey says you want to call it the Clinton ‘matter,’ he wants to call it the Clinton ‘investigation.’ To the extent though, that he noted it, that it bothered him — did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?” Mr. Holt asked.
“We typically do not confirm or deny investigations into anything, with rare exceptions,” Mrs. Lynch replied. “I can tell you that it was a meeting like any other that we had had, where we talked about the issues. We had a full and open discussion about it.”
“He didn’t raise any concerns?” Mr. Holt interjected.
“Concerns were not raised,” she said.
The interview also addressed her infamous Phoenix tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016, which came shortly before she closed the case against Mrs. Clinton on July 7.
Mrs. Lynch told the network that she merely entertained “innocuous” issues and a “long but charming story” about grandchildren.
She previously said that she “regrets” meeting Mr. Clinton, given the appearance of impropriety it caused during Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“My greatest concern has always been making sure that people understand that the Department of Justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally,” Mrs. Lynch told CNN’s Jake Tapper in December 2016.
NEW: In one-on-one interview with @LesterHoltNBC, former AG Lynch addresses Trump criticisms, and discusses the Phoenix tarmac encounter with former President Clinton in June 2016. https://t.co/EB4GK8lHz0 More tonight on @NBCNightlyNews.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 9, 2018
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