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Lawmakers Question Loretta Lynch On Clinton Email Probe


Republican lawmakers spent three hours pressing the attorney general for details on the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. And NPR's Carrie Johnson reports they came away with few answers.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley zeroed in on the Justice Department's most sensitive investigation - whether classified information was compromised in the email set up by the former secretary of state who's now running for president.


CHARLES GRASSLEY: Given the politics involved, the potential for improper influence over the work of the investigators and career prosecutors is high.

JOHNSON: Hillary Clinton has said she's not worried about the FBI investigation and that none of her aides have been told they're targets in the case, but that hasn't dampened interest in the investigation, especially among Republican lawmakers, like John Cornyn of Texas. Here he is trying to pin down Attorney General Loretta Lynch about who will decide any criminal charges.


JOHN CORNYN: Doesn't the buck stop with you in terms of whether to proceed to seek an indictment, to convene a grand jury and to prosecute a case that's referred to you by the FBI?

LORETTA LYNCH: There's many levels of review at various stages of a case, and so I would not necessarily be involved in every decision as to every prosecutorial step to make.

CORNYN: Right. It would be you or somebody who works for you, correct?

LYNCH: Everyone in the Department of Justice works for me, including the FBI, sir.

JOHNSON: The Justice Department recently granted immunity to a man who helped Clinton set up her private e-mail server, but Lynch declined to offer details about the arrangement. And under prodding from Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, she made clear she's not talking to anyone outside the Justice Department about where the investigation's headed.


LINDSEY GRAHAM: Have you ever discussed the Clinton email investigation with President Obama or anyone at the White House?

LYNCH: No, sir, I have not.

JOHNSON: No matter what the Justice Department concludes in the e-mail probe, the broad issue will remain a theme on the campaign trail this year. The Republican National Committee filed two new lawsuits, demanding text messages and emails from Clinton and top aides at the State Department. Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Carrie Johnson is a justice correspondent for the Washington Desk.
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