In response to former FBI Director James Comey accusing Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch of taking actions that “jeopardized” the Justice Department’s status amid the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the former attorney general released a statement to the Associated Press defending her reputation.
Lynch, who helped oversee the investigation during her tenure under Obama, responded to the criticisms Comey presented in his upcoming book — which focus on her telling him to call Clinton’s email scandal a “matter” instead of an “investigation” — by saying he “never” raised any concerns with her.
Additionally, Lynch argues that her actions followed the Justice Department’s ” above politics” tradition of not stating whether or not a suspect is under investigation.
Read Lynch’s full statement below:
“Over almost two decades as a federal prosecutor I have aggressively prosecuted drug dealers, violent gangs, mobsters, and money launderers, upheld the civil rights of all Americans, and fought corruption of all types — whether by elected officials from both sides of the aisle or within organizations like FIFA. Through it all I have never hesitated to make the hard decisions, guided by the Department of Justice’s core principles [of] integrity, independence and above all, always doing the right thing. The Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation under my leadership was no exception. It was led by a team of non-partisan career prosecutors whose integrity cannot be overstated and whom I trusted to assess the facts and make a recommendation — one that I ultimately accepted because I thought the evidence and law warranted it. Everyone who works for the Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the work of the department. That is why, at the critical early stages of this case, I followed the departments long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying the fact of an ongoing investigation. This policy both pre-daters my entire tenure in the Department of Justice and will live on long after my current debate is over. It neither misleads nor misinforms, but instead both protects investigations and guarantees equal treatment of those under scrutiny, whether well-known or unknown. Any suggestion that I invoked this bed rock policy for any reason is simply false. Throughout the process I did what I always do: rise above politics and uphold the law. At non time Did I ever discuss any aspect of the investigation with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the DNC. I have known James Comey about 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issues in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.”
[images via screengrab]