Lynch: Comey Didn’t Question Calling Clinton Case a ‘Matter’: ‘Concerns Were Not Raised’

• April 9, 2018 12:52 pm


Former Obama administration Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch said former FBI Director James Comey didn’t question the terminology she wanted him to use for the investigation of Hillary Clinton over her private email server.

Comey testified in June that Lynch asked him to refer to the investigation of Hillary Clinton as a "matter," which he said made him feel "queasy." She downplayed the role she played in influencing Comey and also claimed that he did not even raise concerns with her about the use of the word "matter."

In an interview airing Monday on "NBC Nightly News," Lester Holt asked her whether Comey questioned her comments at the time.

"You wanted to call it the Clinton ‘matter,’ he wanted ‘investigation.’ To the extent he noted it, it bothered him," Holt said. "Did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?"

"I can tell you it was a meeting like any other we had where we talked about the issues," Lynch replied. "We had a full and open discussion about it."

"He didn't raise any concerns about it?" Holt asked.

"Concerns were not raised," she said.

When Holt asked Lynch what she meant, she said it was unclear to her what Comey was even concerned about.

"I didn't watch [Comey's testimony] at the time, but it was brought to my attention later," Lynch said. "People were raising it with me. My first response was, ‘What is the issue here?’"

She described the investigation as one of many "sensitive matters" her and Comey discussed, and she pointed out it was unusual for the Department of Justice to confirm investigations.

"We often would have to discuss sensitive matters, sensitive issues, terrorism and the like, law enforcement policy and the like. This was a very sensitive investigation, as everyone knew," she said. "The issue when he and I sat down at that time—which I think was early in the fall of 2015—was whether or not we were ready as a department to confirm an investigation going on, when we typically do not confirm or deny investigations into anything, with rare exceptions."

Comey described the interaction somewhat differently during his testimony, saying he was confused by Lynch's comments.

"At one point, 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 said in June.