Aspen Ideas: Loretta Lynch will accept FBI recommendations in Hillary Clinton email probe

Lauren Glendenning
The Aspen Times
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post interviews U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Aspen Ideas Festival Friday morning.
Photo by Dan Bayer/The Aspen Institute |

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday that she’ll accept whatever recommendations the FBI director and Department of Justice investigators bring to her regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Lynch had been scheduled to speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival for weeks for a talk called “A Conversation on 21st Century Policing, Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Reform,” but media reports this week about an unplanned meeting between former President Bill Clinton and Lynch while at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport have caused a political ruckus.

Lynch, during her Friday morning talk at the Ideas Festival, said the meeting with Bill Clinton was social — they discussed his grandchildren, his recent travels and former Attorney General Janet Reno, she said.

Bill Clinton reportedly walked over to Lynch’s government plane from his plane that was parked on the same tarmac Monday night.

“I do think that no matter how I viewed it, I understand how people view it,” Lynch said. “And I think that because of that and because of the fact that it has now cast a shadow over how this case may be perceived, no matter how it’s resolved, it’s important to talk about how it will be resolved. It’s important to make it clear that that meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter is going to be reviewed, resolved and accepted by me. Because that is the question that it raises.”

She noted that “career agents and investigators” from the Department of Justice are working the case to develop a chronology of events and the “factual scenario.” She said she wasn’t sure how much longer it would take before the FBI and prosecutors on her staff would make their recommendations for how to resolve the case based on those findings.

“I don’t have that insight into the nuts and bolts of the investigation at this time,” she said.

Lynch remained serious about the topic, even as The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart tried to lighten the mood by playfully asking Lynch, “What were you thinking?” when she let Bill Clinton onto her plane.

Lynch lightened up a bit when Capehart asked here what the one thing she wishes former Attorney General Eric Holder would have told her about the job.

“Where the lock on the plane door was,” Lynch said.