Loretta Lynch tried to stop Comey’s bombshell letter to Congress, sources say: ‘You don’t do this’

FBI Director James Comey broke rank with Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he sent a letter to Congress informing them the bureau found news emails related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Comey made the bombshell revelation Friday and said in a memo to FBI employees that the bureau did not “know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails,” but Lynch is apparently worried his action may impact the election.

An Obama administration source told The New Yorker that Lynch advised Comey to adhere to the Justice Department’s practice of not taking actions that could influence the outcome of an election and not send the letter.

His decision to do so was “a striking break with the policies of the Department of Justice,” the magazine reported.

Photograph by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call
Photograph by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

“You don’t do this,” a former senior Justice Department official told The New Yorker. “It’s aberrational. It violates decades of practice.”

The unidentified source said the reason behind the stance “is because it impugns the integrity and reputation of the candidate, even though there’s no finding by a court, or in this instance even an indictment.”

The so-called “tradition” was formalized four years ago by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in a memo to Justice Department employees, according to The New Yorker.

Perhaps the Justice Department can begin a new tradition where the sitting U.S. Attorney General refrains from meeting privately with the spouse of individuals being investigated.

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Tom Tillison


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