June 23, 2017 01:34 PM EDT
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Watch| Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee this month saying that that President Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to call the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal a “matter” and not an “investigation.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Friday that is investigating whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch tried to thwart the FBI’s investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, to include Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley; ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., asked the Justice Department for a private communication between two political appointees obtained by the FBI.
In the memo a Democratic operative “expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far,” according to Grassley’s office.
The inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee probes the circumstances surrounding the removal of former FBI Director James Comey.
The private communication that was obtained by the FBI was part of a batch of hacked documents obtained by the FBI, and the Justice Department has not responded to requests from Grassley for a copy of the document, Grassley’s office said.
Circa reported recently that Comey briefed lawmakers of the past few months in multiple private sessions about a second confrontation he had with Lynch before the email probe was shut down.
Comey had told lawmakers during closed door sessions that he raised concerns with Lynch regarding her meeting with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, when she met with him at the Phoenix airport tarmac last year while the investigation was ongoing. He said, during the conversation, he confronted Lynch with a highly sensitive
piece of evidence, a communication between two political figures, suggesting Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton.
Comey said “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office,” said one source who was briefed.
The Washington Post reported a story earlier this year about individuals involved in these communications. It suggested that the email in question, was sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations. The story indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.” But the The Post also suggested that the email was a fake planted possibly by Russia.
Comey suggested at his last hearing that the Post story was inaccurate. Staffers at Grassely’s office say it is likely Lynch will be called in to testify before the committee.
Sara could not reach Lynch for comment.