Fox News reports that the December 2018 transcripts–released yesterday by ranking House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) show that Lynch was “quite surprised” by Comey’s repeated claims that she instructed him to call the Clinton email probe a “matter” instead of an investigation.
When asked if she ever asked Comey to call the investigation a matter, Lynch replied, “I did not.”
“I have never instructed a witness as to what to say specifically. Never have, never will,” she continued.
“In the meeting that I had with the Director, we were discussing how best to keep Congress informed of progress and discuss requesting resources for the Department overall. We were going to testify separately. And the concern that both of us had in the meeting that I was having with him in September of 2015 was how to have that discussion without stepping across the Department policy of confirming or denying an investigation, separate policy from testifying.”
She added, “Obviously, we wanted to testify fully, fulsomely, and provide the information that was needed, but we were not at that point, in September of 2015, ready to confirm that there was an investigation into the email matter — or deny it. We were sticking with policy, and that was my position on that. I didn’t direct anyone to use specific phraseology. When the Director asked me how to best to handle that, I said: What I have been saying is we have received a referral and we are working on the matter, working on the issue, or we have all the resources we need to handle the matter, handle the issue. So that was the suggestion that I made to him.”
In a June 2017 House Intelligence Committee interview, Comey said Lynch wanted him to downplay the email probe.
“The attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me,” Comey said. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.’”
Lynch said in the December 2018 interview, “I was quite surprised that he characterized it in that way. We did have a conversation about it, so I wasn’t surprised that he remembered that we met about it and talked about it. But I was quite surprised that that was his characterization of it, because that was not how it was conveyed to him, certainly not how it was intended.”
For the full report, click HERE.