Lynch: No charges against Clinton

Lynch: No charges against Clinton
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to visit Georgia next week Former NY Rep. Claudia Tenney to face Anthony Brindisi in House rematch Powell takes on Trump over Confederate flag MORE will face no charges over her use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of State, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday.


“Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation,” Lynch said in a statement. “I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.”

The news was widely considered a given after Comey announced Tuesday that he did not recommend an indictment of Clinton. 

Lynch largely relinquished her role overseeing the investigation following outrage that she met privately with former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonKanye West says he had coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening Fox News apologizes for 'mistakenly' cropping Trump out of photo with Epstein, Maxwell MORE, Hillary Clinton's husband, on the tarmac at Phoenix's airport, in what she has described as a purely social but nonetheless inappropriate encounter. After facing backlash last week, Lynch said she would defer to the FBI and prosecutors' recommendations. 

The Justice Department's decision Wednesday nonetheless formally closes the book on the investigation into Clinton, which began with a referral from inspectors general at the State Department and intelligence agencies one year ago. The issue has loomed over Clinton’s campaign for longer, and criticism will likely continue to haunt her through the presidential election in November. 

Some critics questioned Comey's decision to get out in front of Justice Department lawyers since prosecutors — not the FBI — ultimately decide whether to press ahead with charges. As such, his public announcement of his recommendation could be seen as tipping the scales.

“I disagree with the FBI necessarily telling the prosecutors, ‘Here’s what you should do,’” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Biden campaign adds staff in three battleground states Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? MORE (R-N.C.) told The Hill off the Senate floor on Wednesday. “That should be left up to the Justice Department.”

Burr nonetheless maintained that he had faith in the FBI’s “thorough” investigation, he said.

Comey told reporters on Tuesday that he was taking the unusual step of detailing his bureau’s investigation due to the heightened politics surrounding the probe and the expectations that critics would allege impropriety. 

“I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest,” he said at the outset of his announcement.

Still, the decision has inflamed criticism on Capitol Hill, where Republican lawmakers questioned how Clinton escaped indictment despite Comey’s scolding of her behavior as “extremely careless.”

Comey will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday to respond to critics’ allegations and defend the FBI's efforts.