Hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s sit-down interview with George Stephanopoulos aired, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement that hammered Comey.
In the statement, Lynch addressed the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, and her use of a private email server to handle classified documents.
She stated: I have known James Comey almost 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issues in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.
The released document came just hours before Comey’s highly anticipated sit-down interview with Stephanopoulos on ABC News. During the conversation, Comey talks about his decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email server in October of 2016; days before the election.
“I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump,” Comey said. “And so I’m sure that it was a factor. That she’s going to be elected President and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.”
Lynch’s full statement:
Over almost two decades as a federal prosecutor I have aggressively prosecuted drug dealers, violent gangs, mobsters, and money launderers, upheld the civil rights of all Americans, and fought corruption of all types — whether by elected officials from both sides of the aisle or within organizations like FIFA. Through it all I have never hesitated to make the hard decisions, guided by the Department of Justice’s core principles or integrity, independence and above all, always doing the right thing.
The Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation under my leadership was no exception. It was led by a team of non-partisan career prosecutors whose integrity cannot be overstated and whom I trusted to assess the facts and make a recommendation — one that I ultimately accepted because I thought the evidence and law warranted it.
Everyone who works for the Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the work of the department. That is why, at the critical early stages of this case, I followed the departments long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying the fact of an ongoing investigation. This policy both pre-dates my tenure in the Department and will live on long after the current debate is over. It neither misleads nor misinforms, but instead both protects investigations and guarantees equal treatment of those under scrutiny, whether well-known or unknown. Any suggestion that I invoked this bedrock policy for any other reason is simply false.
Throughout the process I did what I always do: rise above politics and uphold the law. At no time did I ever discuss any aspect of the investigation with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the DNC.
I have known James Comey almost 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issues in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.