Former FBI Director James Comey writes in his new book then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch took a "tortured" approach to the Hillary Clinton private email investigation, calling it "half-out, half-in."
Comey, who said last year he felt "queasy" when Lynch instructed him to refer to the FBI's investigation of Clinton's email use as a "matter," writes in A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership about the email probe and his interactions with President Donald Trump before being fired last May.
The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the book before its release, reports:
Comey is critical of then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, saying she had a "tortured half-out, half-in approach" to the Clinton investigation and that he considered calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
One day shortly before the election, Lynch and Comey met privately. Comey writes that the attorney general wrapped her arms around him and implied that she thought he had done the right thing.
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"Let me say that at no time during the pendency of the email investigation, beginning, middle, or end, did I ever direct or coerce anyone to say or do anything inappropriate, or to come to me with a specific recommendation or conclusion," she said.
Lynch took criticism for an impromptu, private meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in the midst of the investigation into his wife, although she said they never discussed the probe.
Hillary Clinton continues to blame Comey and his handling of the email investigation for her election loss to Trump. She often cites his October 28, 2016, letter to Congress announcing newly discovered emails related to her investigation during a separate probe of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top aide Huma Abedin.