Former FBI Director James Comey said that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to minimize the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails by not calling it an investigation.
“Probably the only other consideration that I guess I can talk about it in an open setting is that at one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” he said during his testimony to Congress Thursday.
Comey said her request helped him decide to put some distance between Obama’s Justice Department and Hillary’s email investigation until the investigation ended.
“That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly,” he said.
Former President Bill Clinton’s unplanned tarmac meeting with Lynch “ultimately” convinced him to announce the result the FBI probe into Clinton’s emails, he said.
“That was the thing that capped it for me that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department,” Comey said.
Comey’s statements should come as no surprise considering that he believed that Lynch attempted to give Clinton “political cover” during the presidential campaign by trying to call the investigation a “security review.”
When asked about that report during an oversight hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee in May, Comey simply responded: “The subject is classified.”
As we recently reported, Comey has a long history of protecting the Clintons and coordinating with Lynch.
In 2011, Lynch oversaw the HSBC money-laundering investigation which ultimately led to a “deferred prosecution settlement” of $1.9 billion, a fine former HSBC vice president called “a joke.”
It’s worth noting that Comey joined HSBC’s board of directors two years later to serve in an “independent, non-executive” capacity.