The Department of Justice walked back statements from Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton. While Lynch said she would accept any recommendation from FBI Director James Comey (without recusing herself from the case), a DoJ spokeswoman says Lynch will be “the ultimate decider.”
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday that she will take a step back from the decision whether to charge anyone in the Hillary Clinton private email server probe. But a Justice Department spokeswoman quickly clarified her remarks, telling Yahoo News that top political appointees will remain involved in the investigation and that the attorney general will be “the ultimate decider.”
Lynch told Washington Post journalist Jonathan Capehart in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival that she will accept whatever recommendations the FBI and career prosecutors make. (Career prosecutors are Justice Department lawyers who were not appointed by the president.)
“The recommendations will be reviewed by career supervisors in the Department of Justice and in the FBI and by the FBI director. And then, as is the common process, they present it to me and I fully expect to accept their recommendations,” Lynch said.
But Lynch’s remarks, intended to calm a political storm over her impromptu meeting with former President Bill Clinton, did not fully outline the Justice Department’s process for handling one of its most politically sensitive investigations in years.
The Justice Department’s chief spokeswoman confirmed to Yahoo News that at least two political appointees — Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates — will review the recommendations of career prosecutors and agents before any final determination is made.