National Security

Attorney general promises ‘independent’ review of Clinton email case

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday promised that any Justice Department review of possible criminal charges connected to Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information would be “independent,” without regard to politics or outside influence.

While a recommendation from the FBI about how to proceed could be months away, Lynch promised House lawmakers that the Justice Department’s course of action will be guided by the law alone.

{mosads}“That matter is being handled by career independent law enforcement agents — FBI agents — as well as career independent attorneys in the Department of Justice,” Lynch told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “They follow the evidence, they look at the law and they’ll make a recommendation to me when the time is appropriate.”

“This will be conducted as every other case, and we will review all the facts and all the evidence and come to an independent conclusion as to how to handle it,” she maintained.

Lynch’s comments echo those of FBI Director James Comey, who has previously pledged to Capitol Hill that his bureau doesn’t “give a rip about politics.”

The attorney general refused to comment on the progress of the Clinton probe, which has dragged on for months. Clinton’s personal email server is now in the hands of the FBI, and some law enforcement veterans have called for the Justice Department to charge the former secretary of State or her top aides with mishandling classified information.

Roughly 1,700 emails from Clinton’s personal server have been classified at some level upon release by the State Department in recent months. Twenty-two were classified at the highest level of “top secret” and were not released in even redacted form.

Republican critics of the Obama administration have worried that the matter might be politicized, given comments from President Obama seeming to dismiss the issue. 

However, Lynch said on Wednesday that she is “aware of no efforts” to “undermine” the investigation.

Multiple Republicans have called for Lynch to appoint a special prosecutor for the Clinton matter, given the heated politics surrounding Clinton. Some have pointed to the more than $10,000 Lynch has contributed to Democratic politicians in recent years as signs of bias. 

So far, the Justice Department has declined to take the step of appointing a special prosecutor.

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