As congressional Democrats continue raising the stakes in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Senate Republicans have returned fire with their own salvo of calls for former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify about her questionable role in shielding Hillary Clinton from the FBI’s criminal investigation into her private email scandal.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) kicked off the process on Wednesday by sending a letter to ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (CA) that called for an investigation in no uncertain terms.
“There should be no improper interference with FBI investigations to favor any elected official or candidate of either party,” the letter read. “The Committee has an obligation to pursue all evidence of such misconduct.”
Feinstein expressed agreement with Grassley’s call during an appearance on CNN last weekend but noted that a Lynch probe should be kept separate from the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Russian interference.
Grassley disagreed: “The Administration has referenced both Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation and Russia investigation as factors in his decision to fire Mr. Comey,” he wrote.
Now, Grassley has been joined by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), also a member of the Committee, in demanding Lynch’s testimony.
“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,” he said.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) echoed the sentiment: “The accusations now that … the current and former attorney general were political – that has nothing to do with Russia as much as it had to do with how the Department of Justice is being run. I want to find out all about that.”
Lynch’s role in protecting Clinton from prosecution has been hinted at by three troubling shreds of evidence: a tarmac meeting between Lynch and former President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport that remains shrouded in mystery; Comey’s testimony that Lynch ordered him to downgrade the Clinton investigation to a “matter,” seemingly without credible reason; and a rumored document proving that Lynch was compromised, one that may have been hacked by Russian intelligence officials.