The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee called Sunday for a congressional investigation into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she’s concerned by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday that Lynch asked him to downplay his “investigation” into the Democratic presidential nominee as merely a “matter.”
Comey said the political request called into the question the credibility of Lynch’s Department of Justice and made him “queasy.”
“I would have a queasy feeling too,” Feinstein admitted Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to know more about that. And there’s only one way to know about it and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”
Lynch, a President Obama nominee, ultimately had to distance herself from the FBI probe after meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix during the height of the election campaign and email investigation.
Lynch said the meeting was impromptu and they didn’t discuss Clinton’s private email server, but the appearance of impropriety forced her to back off and for Comey to become the public face of the probe.
Asked whether Lynch provided improper political cover for Clinton, Feinstein said: “I can’t answer that,” but a “separate investigation” is worthwhile to find out.
Feinstein also sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling into the 2016 election. She, however, believes it’s the Judiciary Committee that needs to investigate whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice when he allegedly asked Comey to back off his criminal investigation into former Trump aide Michael Flynn.
Feinstein has formally asked the GOP chairman of the committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to open an additional review of the president.
“Right now, this is [about] the total integrity of the president of the United States,” Feinstein said. “This is a very big deal. It should be all hands on deck. And everybody should welcome a second committee getting involved, particularly on the technical legal aspects of obstruction of justice.”
Feinstein also wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify before the Judiciary Committee. He’s expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, but Feinstien believes the Judiciary committee is the proper oversight venue.
Trump was not under investigation regarding the Russia probe, Comey said.
But now Special Counsel Robert Mueller will review Comey’s memos and make a determination whether the president sought to obstruct justice by pressuring him to back off the Flynn investigation.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Written by Marisa Schultz and published by the New York Post ~ June 11, 2017.
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