In his new tabloid-style memoir, former FBI director Jim Comey said Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch “jeopardized” the Clinton investigation.
In his book, Higher Loyalty, due out this week, he said everyone but those two made decisions without considering politics.“I never heard anyone on our team — not one — take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations,” he said.
They all just debated, argued, listened, reflected, agaonized, played devil’s advocate, and so on, according to Comey.
Former president Barack Obama and former FBI director Loretta Lynch, however, “jeopardized” the probe.
“Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama. He had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was “a mistake” that had not endangered national security,” Comey writes. “Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.”
He said he didn’t understand why the President did it, proving he’s a dope.
Comey also criticized Lynch’s politicization of the Clinton case, telling him to refer to the Clinton probe as a “matter”.
“It occurred to me in the moment that this issue of semantics was strikingly similar to the fight the Clinton campaign had waged against The New York Times in July. Ever since then, the Clinton team had been employing a variety of euphemisms to avoid using the word ‘investigation,’” Comey writes.
“The attorney general seemed to be directing me to align with the Clinton campaign strategy. Her “just do it” response to my question indicated that she had no legal or procedural justification for her request, at least not one grounded in our practices or traditions. Otherwise, I assume, she would have said so.”
Comey added that many people in the FBI who were with him in the meeting saw her request as political as well.
Loretta Lynch responded to his criticisms in a statement today.
“Everyone who works for the Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the work of the Department. That is why, at the critical early stages of this case, I followed the Department’s long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying the fact of an ongoing investigation,” Lynch said in a statement obtained by CNN.
“This policy both predates my tenure in the Department and will live on long after the current debate is over,” she continued. “Any suggestion that I invoked this bedrock policy for any other reason is simply false.”
Statement from former AG Loretta Lynch on Comey pic.twitter.com/w9lRIT0dwS
— Laura Jarrett (@LauraAJarrett) April 15, 2018
Last week, she pushed back on the same accusation.
“It was a meeting like any other that we had had, where we talked about the issues,” Lynch said. “You know, we had a full and open discussion about it. And concerns were not raised.”