WASHINGTON — Newly released transcripts of Loretta Lynch’s testimony before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee last December show the former Obama administration Attorney General now contradicts claims made by former FBI head James Comey.
When directly asked if she instructed Comey to call the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal a “matter,” she replied: “I did not.
“I have never instructed a witness as to what to say specifically,” she said. “Never have, never will. In the meeting that I had with the director, we were discussing how best to keep Congress informed of progress and discuss requesting resources for the department overall.”
“I didn’t direct anyone to use specific phraseology,” Lynch continued. “When the director asked me how to best to handle that, I said: ‘What I have been saying is we have received a referral and we are working on the matter, working on the issue, or we have all the resources we need to handle the matter, handle the issue.’ So, that was the suggestion that I made to him.”
Lynch’s claims directly contradict Claims Comey made to the New York Times, in which he said Lych specifically asked him to refer the Clinton investigation as “a matter.”
“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,” Comey told the Times in June, 2017.
Transcripts of Lynch’s testimony also show she denied allegations that her department never ordered politically motivated infiltration of then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
“Did President Obama, or anyone in his administration, ever make a demand or request that the FBI or DOJ infiltrate or surveil the Trump campaign for political purposes?” Lynch was asked by Rep. Jerry Nadler, (D)-N.Y..
“Never,” Lynch replied.
Asked how she would respond if she had received such a request, Lynch said, “I would have declined it and told them how inappropriate it was.”