U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch further clarified her role in the investigation into presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton Friday, after a private meeting she had with former President Bill Clinton raised concerns about the impartiality of the ongoing case.
The investigation “predates my tenure as attorney general,” Lynch said in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, adding that the career staffers “are working independently.”
“I’ll be briefed on it and I will be accepting their recommendations,” she added.
Lynch spoke with Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post opinion writer, and she had been scheduled to talk about policing and criminal justice reform.
But the attorney general also found herself addressing the brief meeting she had had with the former president, after came under fire this week for talking to him while the Justice Department is conducting an investigation into his wife.
Lynch briefly met with former President Bill Clinton Monday after she had flown into Phoenix for an event. When Clinton, who was set to depart from the same airport, heard she had arrived, he spontaneously asked to meet. The attorney general said Wednesday to reporters that the conversation, which lasted about 20 minutes, only touched on social topics like their grandchildren and golf, the New York Times reported. Lynch said that they did not mention the ongoing email investigation of Hillary Clinton being led by the FBI.
But after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed dismay with the optics of the meeting, the Justice Department said earlier Friday that Lynch would accept whatever decision the FBI made on the merits of the case.