Politicos inside the beltway and out are awaiting a DOJ Inspector General report that is due out any day — a report detailing their findings on the FBI’s investigation into then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails. Unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s recalled messages, Clinton’s were eventually found and former Obama administration officials appear to be getting out in front of the potential fallout of an issue they hoped had died.
But like the current trend of resurrected 1980’s television shows and movies, juicy storylines never die—not in Washington anyway.
During congressional testimony last summer, not long after he had been fired by President Trump, former FBI Director James Comey said under oath that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch told him to call the criminal investigation into Clinton a simple “matter.”
“It concerned me,” Comey said to Congress. “The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, ‘security review,’ ‘matter.’ Things like that.”
For what was going on. We were getting to a place where the Attorney General and I were going to have to testify and talk publicly about it, and I wanted to know if she would authorize us to confirm we had an investigation,” he continued. “And she said yes, but don’t call it that, call it a ‘matter.’ And I said why would I do that? And she said just call it a ‘matter.'”
“You look back in hindsight, should I have resisted more? I just said this wasn’t a hill worth dying on, so I said, okay, the press is going to completely ignore it, and that is what happened. When I said we opened a matter, they all reported the FBI had an investigation open,” he added. “And that concerned me because the language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that is concerning… 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, so that gave me a queasy feeling.”
Lynch appears to disagree with Comey’s assessment of their conversations about the “matter.” She spoke to Lester Holt during an interview on NBC saying that Comey did not express any concerns to her about downplaying the language in the public.
LESTER HOLT: But, so Comey says you want to call it, “The Clinton matter.” He wants to call it, “The Clinton investigation.” To the extent, though, that he noted it, that it bothered him did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?
LORETTA LYNCH: Well, look I can tell you that, you know, it was a meeting like any other that we that we had had where we talked about the issues. And we had a full and open discussion about it.
LESTER HOLT: And he didn’t raise any concerns about?
LORETTA LYNCH: And concerns were not raised.
McCabe told reporters in the wake of his firing “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”
One thing is certain, someone, or a few someones, are still not telling the whole truth.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Associated Press