Did Loretta Lynch Try to Stifle the Clinton Email Probe? Senators Send Her Questions

By Susan Jones | June 27, 2017 | 8:37am EDT
President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(CNSNews.com) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is probing alleged political interference by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Last Thursday, two Republicans and two Democrats on the committee sent letters to four people, including Lynch.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) signed the letters, all pointing to an April 22, 2017 New York Times report that said the FBI obtained an email or memo "written by a Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far."

In his testimony to Congress on May 3, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey said he believed Lynch could not credibly announce an end to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, especially after her secret meeting with Bill Clinton on a private plane in Arizona a few weeks earlier. Comey said that's why he stepped in last July and announced that although Clinton had been extremely careless in her email practices, she would not be prosecuted.

At a hearing on June 8, after he was fired by President Trump, Comey confirmed that Lynch directed him, during the campaign, to refer to the Clinton email probe as a "matter," not an investigation -- an apparent attempt to minimize the seriousness of what Clinton did.

The four Judiciary Committee members asked Lynch to provide answers to a series of questions by July 6, including:

-- During your time in the Justice Department, did you ever have communications with Rep. Wasserman Schultz, her staff, her associates, or any other current or former DNC officials about the Clinton email investigation? If so, please describe the communications and provide all records relating to them.

-- To the best of your knowledge, did any of your Justice Department staff or your other associates communicate with Rep. Wasserman Schultz, her staff, her associates, or any other current or former DNC officials about the Clinton email investigation? If so, please describe the communications and provide all records relating to them.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) chaired the Democrat National Committee until the eve of the Democrat National Convention, when hacked DNC emails showed she was favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

The Judiciary Committee also asked Lynch if either she or any of her staff ever communicated with Amanda Renteria, a senior Clinton campaign staffer.

A May 24 report in the Washington Post said the FBI, in early March 2016, had received a "Russian intelligence document" that "referred to an email supposedly written by the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and sent to Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations."

According to the WaPo article: "[i]n the supposed email, Wasserman Schultz claimed Lynch had been in private communication with a senior Clinton campaign staffer named Amanda Renteria during the campaign. The document indicated Lynch had told Renteria that she would not let the FBI investigation into Clinton go too far."

In addition to the letter and questions sent to Lynch, the four senators also sents letters and questions to Rentaria, Benardo, and Gail Scovell, who, like Benardo, works for the Open Society Foundations.

Also See:
Feinstein: ‘We Need to Know More’ About AG Lynch’s Directive to Comey (June 12, 2017)

Did AG Lynch Give Hillary Clinton 'Political Cover'? FBI Director Says, 'Subject Is Classified' (May 3, 2017)

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