Attorney General Loretta Lynch intends to accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and federal agents make in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, a Justice Department official tells the Associated Press.
The statement was made amid a controversy surrounding an impromptu private discussion that Lynch had with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, aboard her plane at a Phoenix airport on Monday. That get-together has been criticized as inappropriate by Republicans and some Democrats at a time when the Justice Department has been investigating whether classified information was mishandled through Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Lynch told reporters that she and Bill Clinton did not discuss the email investigation. The statement offered anonymously today appeared intended to assuage concerns, particularly among Republicans, that Lynch might overrule any recommendations on criminal charges from the agents and prosecutors who have worked on the case. Disputes on charging decisions between the FBI and the Justice Department are not uncommon, particularly in national security cases, though many legal experts see any criminal prosecution of Clinton as exceedingly unlikely. Lynch is expected to discuss the issue publicly later today.