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Lynch Acknowledges Meeting With Clinton ‘Cast a Shadow’ Over Investigation But Won’t Recuse Herself

• July 1, 2016 12:18 pm

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged Friday that her private meeting with Bill Clinton "cast a shadow" over the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, but she added she would not recuse herself from the case.

In a laugh-filled interview with liberal Washington Post blogger Jonathan Capehart at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Lynch said interest in her meeting with Clinton was "reasonable." However, she maintained that their dialogue had not touched on the criminal investigation of the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee.

"Certainly my meeting with him raises questions and concerns … The matter's being handled by career agents and investigators with the Department of Justice," Lynch said. "They've had it since the beginning. They are—"

"Which predates your tenure as attorney general," Capehart finished.

"It predates my tenure as attorney general. It is the same team, and they are acting independently," Lynch said. "I fully expect to accept their recommendations."

Lynch clarified she would not recuse herself from the case, explaining that she would not even be briefed on the findings if she were fully removed.

"The final determination as to how to proceed will be contained within the recommendations in the report, in whatever format the team puts it together. That has not been resolved," Lynch said. "There will be a review of their investigation. There will be a review of what they have found and determined to have happened and occurred, and there will be their determinations as to how they feel that the case should proceed."

Lynch, who drew bipartisan flack for the meeting with Clinton and the appearance of impropriety, said the conversation centered on grandchildren.

"It really was a social meeting," she said. "As I've said before though, I do think that no matter how I viewed it, I understand how people view it … Because of that and because of the fact that it has now cast a shadow over how this case may be perceived, and no matter how it's resolved, it's important to talk about how it will be resolved.

"It's important to make it clear that that meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter's going to be reviewed, resolved and accepted by me, because that is the question it raises."