Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sunday again defended her handling of the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE’s use of a private email server while Clinton was secretary of State, hours before ex-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE gave his first television interview since testifying about their conversations on the matter.
In his new book, Comey wrote that Lynch instructed him to refer to the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton emails as a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” He testified the same thing to Congress last year, adding that he felt “queasy” following the exchange.
In a statement on Sunday, Lynch said the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation was no different than its approach to other matters.
“Everyone who works for the Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the work of the Department. That is why, at the critical early stages of this case, I followed the Department’s long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying the fact of an ongoing investigation,” Lynch said in a statement obtained by CNN.
“This policy both predates my tenure in the Department and will live on long after the current debate is over,” she continued. “Any suggestion that I invoked this bedrock policy for any other reason is simply false.”
Statement from former AG Loretta Lynch on Comey pic.twitter.com/w9lRIT0dwS— Laura Jarrett (@LauraAJarrett) April 15, 2018
Lynch pushed back against Comey’s account of their discussions about the probe last week as well, saying that Comey did not raise any concerns at the time of their conversation.
“It was a meeting like any other that we had had, where we talked about the issues,” Lynch said. “You know, we had a full and open discussion about it. And concerns were not raised.”
Comey drew criticism from Clinton supporters after he said no charges would be brought against her, only to say he was reopening the investigation weeks before Election Day in 2016.
He said in a preview for Sunday night's interview that the assumption Clinton would win the presidency played a role in his approach to the investigation.