Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday that she “completely” gets why people raised “questions and concerns” about her meeting with Bill Clinton in a private plane in Phoenix earlier this week, adding: “I certainly wouldn’t do it again.”
Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Lynch was asked by the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart “what on earth were you thinking” by meeting with the former president, whose wife is under criminal investigation by the FBI.
Acknowledging that it was the “question of the day” Lynch said, “I think that’s a perfectly reasonable question… because people have also wondered and raised questions about my role in the ultimate resolution of matters involving the investigation into the State Department e-mails.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Was Bill Clinton Plea Bargaining With The Attorney General?)
“And to the extent that people have questions about that, about my role in that, certainly my meeting with him raises questions and concerns, and so believe me, I completely get that question, and I think it is the question of the day,” Lynch said. (RELATED: Investigation Sought Into Loretta Lynch’s Meeting With Bill Clinton)
Lynch went on to say that she thinks it is “important” for people to “see” what the process of the Clinton investigation “is like.”
“As I have always indicated, the matter is being handled by career agents and investigators with the Department of Justice. They’ve had it since the beginning. They are independent… [the investigation] predates my tenure as attorney general. It is the same team. And they are acting independently. They follow the law, they follow the facts.”
According to Lynch, the team of investigators looking into what Clinton did “will make findings, that is to say, they will come up with a chronology of what happened, the factual scenario. They will make recommendations as to how to resolve what those facts lead to. 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.”
Later, Lynch clarified that she “will be accepting” the FBI’s recommendation.
Upon further reflection about her meeting with Clinton, Lynch said, “I certainly wouldn’t do it again because I think it has cast this shadow over what it should not.”