Tags: Hillary Clinton | Comey | FBI | Loretta Lynch | Email | probe | hillary clinton

Focus Shifts to Comey as Head of Clinton Email Probe

Image: Focus Shifts to Comey as Head of Clinton Email Probe
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 02 Jul 2016 10:24 AM

Attorney General Loretta Lynch's decision to accept the recommendations of FBI Director James Comey's and other prosecutors when it comes to Hillary Clinton's email investigation has not only made Comey the new public face of the probe, but helps shift the final decisions from a person serving in a key political position in the Obama administration.

"There is a growing expectation that we the public need to hear the FBI, James Comey version of whether or not changes will be brought," Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director and president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, told The Hill.

"There has probably been increasing recognition by her that that's true, that she is viewed as — regardless of her prior reputation as an effective prosecutor — she's now the head of Obama's DOJ, a political position in a Democratic administration that is deciding on the prosecution or not of the leading Democratic candidate."

Lynch on Friday said she is not removing herself from the case, as has been demanded by a growing crowd of Republican critics after she met on her government plane with former President Bill Clinton.

She admitted Friday in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival that the meeting between her and Clinton had "cast a shadow" over the investigation, even though she said they talked about family, travel and other topics rather than the probe.

She said she'd already made her decision to accept recommendations from the FBI and federal prosecutors privately, but decided to make the announcement public because of the growing controversy over the meeting between herself and the former president.

Clinton will meet with FBI investigators at her home in Washington, D.C., on Saturday — likely the final step in the agency's probe into her unorthodox use of a private email server for government business when she was secretary of state, according to a report in The Daily Caller on Friday.

Investigators have already questioned several of Clinton's key aides, including her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, and former chief of staff Cheryl Mills.

Lynch said on Friday that she will not have a role in the eventual findings, but she will be briefed on them and will accept the recommendations, falling short of removing not only herself, but other political appointees from the case.

Meanwhile, Comey is a Republican, but has clashed with both Democrats and Republicans on various matters, notes The Hill.

With the White House, Comey has disagreed on issues including vetting Syrian refugees, the "Ferguson effect" on the nation's policing matters, and the use of encryption technology. 

He also has been at odds with Republican leaders, dating back to 2004, almost a decade before he became FBI director three years ago. At that time, he sought to block President George W. Bush's administration from renewing a warrantless wiretapping program while then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was ill.

"He is a pro's pro," Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney and head of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a watchdog group, commented. "And I think this takes the pressure off of him that whatever the FBI recommends will be followed, where before I am certain he would be concerned that there will be political interference from the attorney general."

That matter is important, experts note, after former Attorney General Eric Holder a few years ago chose to charge former CIA Director David Petraeus with misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges the FBI wanted, after he had shared classified documents with his biographer/girlfriend.

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch's decision to accept the recommendations of FBI Director James Comey's and other prosecutors when it comes to Hillary Clinton's email investigation has not only made Comey the new public face of the probe, but helps shift the final decisions...
Comey, FBI, Loretta Lynch, Email, probe, hillary clinton
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2016-24-02
Saturday, 02 Jul 2016 10:24 AM
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