U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was prepared to discuss a wide range of topics with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, except one.
"As you are aware, last week I met with Director Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted [the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email system during her time at the State Department]," she said. "I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.
"While I understand that this investigation has generated significant public interest, as Attorney General, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the underlying facts of the investigation or the legal basis for the team's recommendation. I can tell you that I am extremely proud of the tremendous work of the dedicated prosecutors and agents on this matter."
And, as Republicans asked her questions relative to her role in that investigation, she continued to steadfastly refuse to comment. And, after about an hour of the attorney general's stonewalling, committee chairman U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued a statement through the committee's website.
"It's clear that, a little over an hour into today's hearing, Attorney General Lynch has no intention of answering any of our questions regarding the Department's decision not to charge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, even the most basic questions about the legal elements the government is obligated to prove in a criminal prosecution," he said. "Instead of providing the Judiciary Committee with the candor provided to Congress last Thursday by FBI Director Comey, Attorney General Lynch instead is dodging any responsibility to be forthright to Congress by referring members to the statements of her subordinate.
"If Attorney General Lynch doesn't want to answer questions about the investigation, then she should have appointed a special prosecutor at the start of the investigation. Instead, she never even sought to recuse herself, despite the fact that Secretary Clinton is the wife of her former boss, President Bill Clinton.
"It's equally troubling that she met privately with former President Clinton just days before FBI Director Comey announced that he does not recommend criminal charges be filed against Secretary Clinton. The American people deserve transparency about this investigation."
Goodlatte's questioning of Lynch may be viewed below.
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