Senate

Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe

Getty Images

A top Senate Republican is pushing Attorney General Loretta Lynch about reports that the Department of Justice refused to green light an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Lynch Friday after CNN reported the DOJ had rejected a push earlier this year by FBI field offices to open an investigation into the relationship between the State Department and the foundation. 

{mosads}Cornyn noted that both the FBI’s recommendation not to charge Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, for her use of a private email server while secretary of State and the DOJ declining to open a probe into the foundation “favors Secretary Clinton.” 

“This contrast does little to instill faith in the Department, part of why I called for an appointment of the Special Counsel in the email matter. But greater clarity for the public on the basis for your decision may,” the Senate’s No. 2 Republican wrote. 

Critics have seized on a collection of emails released by conservative group Judicial Watch as they look for new ammunition against Clinton. They argue the emails show a corrupt relationship between Clinton’s State Department and her family’s foundation. 

In one email from early 2009, Doug Band, a former close aide to President Bill Clinton who helped create the Clinton Global Initiative, asked State Department aides to “take care of” an unidentified associate as a “favor.”

CNN also reported that Cheryl Mills, a top Hillary Clinton aide, interviewed job candidates for the Clinton Foundation while working as her chief of staff at State. 

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, defended Mills, noting that the interviews took place during “personal time” and “the idea that this poses a conflict of interest is absurd.”

But Cornyn called the recent reports and leaked emails the latest in a string of “unacceptable” behavior. 

“It violates the commitment Secretary Clinton made to Congress and the Executive Branch following her nomination to be Secretary of State,” Cornyn wrote. “That and her proven record of extreme carelessness with national security warrant a careful examination of Secretary Clinton’s other conduct, and that of her staff.”

Cornyn is asking Lynch if the CNN report is accurate and wants to know when and why the FBI recommended the DOJ “open a case and pursue criminal charges” tied to the foundation. 

According to CNN, the Justice Department declined to pursue a case because it had determined a year earlier that there wasn’t enough evidence.

The Texas Republican also wants Lynch to list which DOJ employees were involved in the decision not to pursue a case and if Lynch and Bill Clinton discussed the Clinton Foundation during a recent meeting. 

Lynch came under fire earlier this year for a private meeting with Clinton in at a Phoenix airport. She defended the meeting, saying the sit-down was largely personal and “was a great deal about his grandchildren.”

Tags Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton John Cornyn

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video