World

Comey raises concerns 
about ex-AG's independence

WASHINGTON: Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey said he decided to speak out on the probe into Mrs Hillary Clinton's e-mail last year as he thought his boss, then attorney general Loretta Lynch, had been politically compromised.

Mr Comey's unilateral decision to announce last July he was closing the probe infuriated Republicans who thought the Democratic presidential candidate deserved to be prosecuted for mishandling classified information. Then weeks before the election, Mr Comey, again acting on his own, briefly reopened the probe.

Asked about the episode at a hearing, Mr Comey said a "deciding factor" was Ms Lynch's unusual meeting with Mr Bill Clinton last year in Arizona, where she joined the former president on his jet.

Mr Comey said he was concerned Ms Lynch was seeking to align the Justice Department with wording that Mrs Clinton's camp was using.

"(Ms Lynch) directed me not to call it an investigation and call it a matter - which confused me," Mr Comey said.

Republican Senator John Cornyn, grilling Mr Comey, said it appeared he believed Ms Lynch "had an appearance of a conflict of interest on the Clinton e-mail investigation".

Mr Comey said: "I think that's fair." - AFP

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