Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch claimed she did not instruct ex-FBI Director James Comey to refer to Hillary Clinton’s email investigation as a “matter,” according to her closed-door congressional testimony.
When asked by congressional investigators if she asked Comey to refer to the investigation as a “matter” as he had testified to in 2017, Lynch flatly denied in December 2018.
“I did not,” Lynch responded. “I have never instructed a witness as to what to say specifically. Never have, never will.”
“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.”
“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,” Lynch continued. “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.”
Lynch’s testimony directly contradicts Comey’s June 2017 under-oath testimony.
“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 testified. “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.’”
“The Clinton campaign, at the time, was using all kind of euphemisms — security review, matters, things like that, for what was going on. We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to have to testify and talk publicly about. And I wanted to know, was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation?”
“…And she said, ‘Yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter.’ And I said, ‘Why would I do that?’ And she said, ‘Just call it a matter.’”
Obviously, one of these Obama officials lied to Congress.
But which one?
Read Lynch’s full testimony below: