Attorney General Loretta Lynch: No criminal charges in Clinton email investigation

Democratic Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears before the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Hillary Clinton email investigation is being closed without any criminal charges.

Lynch announced the Justice Department decision Wednesday, one day after FBI Director James Comey recommended against any prosecution.

The decision was largely a formality given Comey's public statement on the case.

Lynch said last week that she intended to accept whatever recommendations and findings were presented by the FBI and by her career prosecutors.

Lynch came under criticism herself in recent days after she had a private meeting on an airplane with Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized Lynch and the entire investigation process.

"Attorney General Lynch should not have been the person to make this decision after her meeting with President Bill Clinton last week, which was a lapse of judgment that created the appearance of a conflict of interest and makes any claim of impartiality insincere," Tillis said. "Attorney General Lynch should have recused herself and appointed a special counsel who would be impartial.

"It is clear that Secretary Clinton broke the law and endangered our national security through the use of her private email servers, and the American people deserve full transparency of how and why the FBI and Justice Department came to their conclusion," Tillis added. No person should be above the law. If one wonders why the American people have lost faith in their government, this charade explains why."

REACTION FLIES AS FBI SAYS CLINTON'S OFF THE EMAIL HOOK

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign says House Republicans are pursuing a "taxpayer-funded sham" by convening a formal hearing with FBI Director Comey on the agency's investigation of her email use as s secretary of state.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon says House Republicans are trying to hurt Clinton politically. He says GOP leaders are now second-guessing Comey's judgment "because his findings do not align with their conspiracy theories."

Fallon says career officials who handled the case determined no further action was appropriate. He is accusing Republicans of trying to politicize the situation.

Comey will testify Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The hearing will come two days after Comey said that while Clinton and State Department officials were "extremely careless" in their handling of classified material, no charges were appropriate.

"Over the coming days and weeks, Congress will be exercising its oversight authority to help get the American people the information and answers they deserve," Tillis said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also released a statement:

"This decision by President Obama's attorney general is a slap in the face to the many Americans entrusted with classified information who play by the rules and those who have been punished for lesser offenses.

"Many Americans will understandably have a difficult time believing the Obama Justice Department conducted a fair and impartial investigation when you have the attorney general secretly meeting with Bill Clinton and the Clinton campaign leaking Lynch could remain as AG, all just days before it was announced charges would not be pursued. Those who have mishandled classified information have had their security clearances revoked, lost their jobs, faced fines, and even been sent to prison, yet Hillary Clinton is being allowed to play by a different set of rules. By so blatantly putting its political interests ahead of the rule of law, the Obama Administration is only further eroding the public's faith in a government they no longer believe is on their side."


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