NYT: Lynch didn't want Comey to notify Congress on Clinton emails

NYT: Lynch didn't want Comey to notify Congress on Clinton emails
© Getty Images

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not want FBI Director James Comey to send a letter to Congress about the discovery of new emails pertinent to the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Former presidents, first ladies come together to honor Barbara Bush Romney: Parts of Comey book read 'too much like a novel’ MORE’s private server before the November election, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The Times writes that Lynch was "stunned and confused" to hear that Comey was planning to send the letter just weeks before Election Day.

Justice has rules on election year sensitivities that would not have expressly forbid the disclosure, but they have been widely interpreted by officials in both parties to mean the FBI should avoid releasing information that might turn the result of an election so close to Election Day.

ADVERTISEMENT
Aides for Lynch talked to Comey's staff about putting off the decision, according to the Times. 

Lynch could have ordered Comey against sending the letter. But the Times reports that her aides also advised her against doing that, reasoning that if Comey refused, Lynch might be put in the position of having to fire him. That would have brought more unsettling political scrutiny. 

Comey ultimately sent the letter to Congress, informing lawmakers that emails relevant to the Clinton investigation had been discovered in a separate FBI probe. The emails had been discovered during an investigation into former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who is married to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Lynch did not call Comey to discuss the matter, the Times said.

Just a few days before the election, the FBI announced that it had found no information to change its earlier conclusion to not bring charges against Clinton.

President Trump ended up defeating Clinton on Election Day in what was seen as an upset. Clinton and her aides have blamed the FBI and Comey as one reason why they lost the tight race.