President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused former Attorney General Loretta Lynch of giving Hillary Clinton a "free pass" in how the Justice Department handled the investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server, and suggested she engaged in illegal activity.
"A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes…gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
A representative for Lynch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s accusation comes after former FBI Director James Comey testified last week that Lynch had instructed him to refer to the bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s private email server as a “matter,” a direction he said “gave me a queasy feeling.”
“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.’” Comey recalled during his testimony. “That concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that, that’s concerning.”
Lynch last week offered no comment in response to Comey’s testimony. However, a person familiar with the discussion Comey referenced said Lynch was seeking to uphold the Justice Department’s usual policy of not confirming criminal investigations.
Lynch also came under fire last year for briefly meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac as the investigation was ongoing. Comey ultimately held a news conference in which he declared that there was no reasonable case to prosecute against Hillary Clinton. He then announced the FBI was reopening the case shortly before the election because of new evidence, but the discovery did not ultimately provide new insight.