Comey: AG Lynch Urged Me to Use Clinton Campaign Language to Describe Email Investigation

Thursday during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, former FBI Director James Comey said former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch had asked him to call the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State and then-Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information on a private email server a “matter.”

When asked about it a second time, Comey said “I wanted to know—was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation? She said, ‘Yes, but don’t call it that. Call it a matter.’ I said, ‘Why would I do that?’ She said, ‘Just call it a matter.’ And again, you look back in hindsight and say, should I have resisted harder? I said this isn’t a hill worth dying on. I just said, ‘Okay.’ The press is going to completely ignore it. That’s what happened. I said, ‘we have opened a matter.’ They reported, ‘the FBI has an investigation open.’ That concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that’s concerning.”

He added, “And again, I don’t know whether it was intentional or not. But it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. We had a criminal investigation open before the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We had a criminal investigation open at the time, and so that gave me a queasy feeling.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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