On Friday U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch placed the onus in the Hillary Clinton email investigation directly on FBI head Jim Comey when she announced that she would accept the recommendations of the department on how to proceed.
“Comey is the center of gravity on this thing,” former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko told the Hill.
“There is a growing expectation that we the public need to hear the FBI, Jim Comey version of whether or not charges will be brought,” he said. “There has probably been increasing recognition by her that that’s true, that she is viewed as — regardless of her prior reputation as an effective prosecutor — she’s now the head of Obama’s DOJ, a political position in a Democratic administration that is deciding on the prosecution or not of the leading Democratic candidate.”
Lynch’s decision to accept the FBI’s recommendations came after days of criticism that followed an impromptu meeting between Lynch and former president, and husband of the woman being investigated, Bill Clinton.
A meeting that she admitted Friday “cast a shadow over how this case may be perceived.”
Former U.S. attorney and head of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust Matthew Whitaker believes Comey will rise to the occasion.
“He is a pro’s pro,” he told The Hill. “And I think this takes the pressure off of him that whatever the FBI recommends will be followed, where before I am certain he would be concerned that there will be political interference from the attorney general.”
Bradley Moss, an attorney in the field of secrecy issues and national security, told the Hill in an email that he can envision federal prosecutors and the FBI arriving at different conclusions on how to move forward.
“I could easily envision a scenario in which the FBI concludes there is enough evidence to make a case, but the DOJ prosecutors decide that the case is too weak to risk the legal precedent,” he wrote.
“The DOJ career prosecutors are truly the ones who are under the microscope at this point.”
We are likely to find out soon as the FBI appears poised to meet with Clinton this weekend.
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