Senate panel seeks details on Lynch role in Clinton probe

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The Senate judiciary committee sent a letter Friday to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to disclose any conversations with Hilary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee about the FBI's investigation into the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee's use of a private email server.

The existence of the Russian intelligence memo was first disclosed in April by The New York Times, which said it played a role in Comey's decision a year ago to bypass the normal chain of command and make a public announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not recommending criminal charges against Clinton.

Notably, the letter does not ask Lynch to comment on Comey's testimony about treating the email investigation as a "matter". Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far, according to several former officials familiar with the document. "The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director", the statement read. Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond.

The group is seeking details about Lynch's communication with a Clinton campaign aide, Amanda Renteria, as well as copies of documents and information about whether the FBI investigated the alleged communication. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. This all stems from a May 24 story in the Washington Post that reported that Lynch told Renteria that she would not let the FBI investigation of Clinton go very far.




The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel - exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes.

He also testified about the secret meeting between Bill Clinton and Lynch on a tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Lynch has denied knowing or talking to the person to whom she allegedly gave this assurance. Renteria likewise said she does not know Lynch.

Of course, it wasn't just this email that prompted Comey.

He told the committee that he was concerned over the former attorney general telling the FBI to refer to the Clinton investigation as a "matter," not an investigation, which resembled the Clinton campaign line. So even if the email was bogus there are some related questions the committee might want to ask about Lynch putting her fingers on the scales.

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