Senate Republicans are considering the possibility to require testimony from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch after ex FBI Director James Comey raised concerns about her involvement in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, The Hill reports.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are seizing on Comey’s testimony earlier this month that he was concerned over the former attorney general telling the FBI to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter”, which resembled the Clinton campaign line.
The move could allow Republicans to steer away from the investigation into Russia’s election meddling, which top GOP lawmakers have signaled, belongs to the Intelligence Committee, and focus on Lynch, who has been a long time target of Republicans.
Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican who is a member of both the intelligence and judiciary committees, said it “would be very helpful” for Lynch to testify before the Judiciary panel, which oversees the Justice Department.
“Frankly, a lot of what Hillary Clinton was exposed to by Director Comey’s misconduct and the way he handled that was apparently in response to his lack of confidence in the attorney general, and I think there is a lot we could learn from that”, Cornyn said.
Senator Lindsey Graham also wants to hear from Lynch and is pushing for the Judiciary Committee to “get more involved”.
“The accusations now that … the current and former attorney general were political — that has nothing to do with Russia as much as it has to do with how the Department of Justice is being run. I want to find out all about that”, Graham said.
President Donald Trump has also seized on Lynch as the federal investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russia heats up, The Hill comments.
“A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes…gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!” Trump tweeted this week.
The Republican National Committee (RNC), have also questioned Lynch’s behavior.
“Why is no one investigating Attorney General Lynch’s Department of Justice for obstruction of justice in the Clinton email investigation… There is compelling evidence to back up the claim that AG Lynch engaged in obstruction of justice”, read one RNC talking point, published by Washington Post this week.
The talking points were in response to a Post report that after Comey’s firing last month, special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice. A spokesman for Senator Ted Cruz said the Texas Republican would “absolutely” support Lynch testifying.
Though GOP lawmakers have long been wary of Lynch, placing her back in the spotlight could backfire if it also keeps the public’s focus on Comey amid continued fallout over the FBI chief’s firing in early May, The Hill adds.