In his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to call the FBI’s probe into former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged use of a private server, not as an “investigation” but just a “matter.”
During the testimony, Comey also said that Lynch tried to get him to downplay the seriousness of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to carry out her duties as the secretary of state.
“At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it an ‘investigation,’ but to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” Comey said.
Comey indicated that the conversation was one of the main reasons he took the Clinton investigation public. He also pointed to a meeting between former President Bill Clinton and Lynch as one of the reasons.
The meeting between the former attorney general and the former president, according to Comey, helped him make his decision “in an ultimately conclusive way.”
“That was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department,” Comey said of the meeting.