GOP Rep. Presses Lynch On Why She Didn’t Recuse Herself In Clinton Probe

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday morning, committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) asked Lynch why she did not recuse herself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use, suggesting that Lynch decided not to prosecute the former secretary of state for political reasons.

Goodlatte mentioned that Lynch was appointed as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York by then-President Bill Clinton in 1999.

“Given she was a political appointee of your current boss and more importantly the wife of your previous boss, why did you not see fit to recuse yourself from the investigation? Wouldn’t recusal or appointment of a special prosecutor have removed any appearance of impropriety given your service during Bill Clinton’s presidency?” Goodlatte asked Lynch about the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.

In response, Lynch told Goodlatte “there was no need for recusal or an independent prosecutor that the investigation.”

She added that the investigation “was received and referred to experienced, dedicated career agents and prosecutors who handle matters of this type every day with independence, with efficiency, with thoroughness, and the matter was handled like any other matter.”

Goodlatte then brought up Lynch’s recent meeting with Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Arizona.

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“Why was this meeting, particularly in light of your previous appointment by President Clinton, not grounds for recusing yourself?” he asked Lynch.

Lynch replied by describing her meeting with Bill Clinton as “a social conversation,” and said the two did not discuss the email investigation.

During her opening statement, Lynch said that she would not be able to answer questions about specifics regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton.

“While I understand that this investigation has generated significant public interest, as attorney general it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the underlying facts of the investigation or the legal basis for the team’s recommendation,” she said.

Lynch then repeatedly declined to answer questions and referred to FBI Director James Comey’s comments on the probe when asked about the investigation into Clinton’s email server.

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