Well that didn't take long... HILLARY CLINTON WILL NOT BE CHARGED FOR E-MAILS, LYNCH SAYS
- *ATTY GENERAL LYNCH SAYS SHE MET TODAY WITH FBI'S COMEY
- *DOJ'S LYNCH ISSUES E-MAILED STATEMENT AFTER MEETING WITH COMEY
- *LYNCH ACCEPTING RECOMMENDATION NOT TO CHARGE CLINTON ON E-MAILS
- *LYNCH ACCEPTED FBI'S COMEY, AGENTS' UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATION
As AP reports,
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Hillary Clinton email investigation is being closed without any criminal charges.
Lynch announced the Justice Department decision Wednesday, one day after FBI Director James Comey recommended against any prosecution.
The decision was largely a formality given Comey's public statement on the case.
Lynch said last week that she intended to accept whatever recommendations and findings were presented by the FBI and by her career prosecutors.
Here is the full statement from the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch regarding the State Department's email investigation:
“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."
As The Hill adds, Lynch largely relinquished her role overseeing the investigation following outrage that she met privately with former President Bill Clinton, 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. Which, incidentally, may have sparked an even greater flame of public anger.
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 Burr (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.
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. Not like that will change anything, of course, because "what difference at this point does it make." Incidentally, none at all. All that matters is that "justice" has again been served: