- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said the way FBI Director James B. Comey framed the decision not to recommend that likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton face charges over her private email set-up “doesn’t smell right.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said on Wednesday that he spoke with Mr. Comey after the director’s Tuesday announcement and asked him a series of questions about the decision — questions he also laid out in a letter to Mr. Comey.

“The FBI director actually reached out to me right after the announcement that he made because he wanted to assure me that he hadn’t called me in advance of the announcement or the attorney general because he didn’t think it appropriate to disclose what he was going to announce to anyone ahead of time,” Mr. Goodlatte said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I said I completely understood that, but I didn’t understand at all what he had announced and I had a number of questions, which I posed to him on the call,” he said.

“He said those were very important questions and he hoped to be able to answer them soon, but he didn’t answer them on the call, so I then reduced them to writing, and sent the letter to him yesterday afternoon … asking him if he found her to have likely violated this statute, and it’s clear that she did,” Mr. Goodlatte said.

“And he found no prosecutor would prosecute her. Why was it that during this administration, seven people have been prosecuted under similar circumstances?” he said.

“So we are continuing to demand those responses,” Mr. Goodlatte said.

Mr. Goodlatte also said Attorney General Loretta Lynch has a previously scheduled appearance before his committee next week.

“And obviously, most of these questions will be posed to her as well, because she does not have to take his recommendation that there’d be no prosecution,” he said. “She’s already said she would take that recommendation.”

“But in and of itself, it’s not unheard of, but it’s unusual for a prosecutor to say they’re going to take the FBI’s advice when they have that discretion themselves,” he said. “It’s unusual for the FBI director to say no prosecutor would take this case.”

“It just doesn’t smell right that he would pose it to them in a way that [gets] them a complete off the hook,” Mr. Goodlatte said.


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