Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged Thursday to cooperate with a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into whether she assured the Hillary Clinton campaign last year that the FBI probe into Clinton’s emails wouldn’t go too far.
In a statement from her lawyer, Lynch also denied ever making such an assurance to a former Clinton campaign aide, Amanda Renteria — an allegation fueled by a Russian intelligence memo that’s credibility has been called into question.
“Ms. Lynch does not know Ms. Renteria, did not discuss the Clinton email investigation with Ms. Renteria, and did not communicate to Ms. Renteria, either in words or in substance, that ‘she would not let the FBI investigation into Clinton go too far,’ says a letter Thursday from her attorney, Robert Raben, to the leaders of the Judiciary panel.
“Likewise,” the letter continues, “to the best of her knowledge and recollection, neither Ms. Lynch nor any representative of the Office of the Attorney General discussed the Clinton email investigation with Ms. Renteria, Representative [Debbie] Wasserman Schultz or her staff, or any DNC official.”
The letter says Lynch “intends to cooperate fully” with the Senate probe.
Last month, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, along with other members of the panel, sent Lynch a letter seeking answers about the Russian intelligence memo.
The intelligence memo, which was obtained by the FBI, suggested Lynch had assured Renteria that the investigation into Clinton’s emails would not go too far.
The existence of the Russian intelligence memo was first disclosed in April by The New York Times, which said it played a role in Comey’s decision last year to bypass the normal chain of command and make a public announcement that the FBI was not recommending criminal charges against Clinton. He reportedly was worried that the Justice Department’s credibility could be called into question if the announcement came from Lynch, and Russia later leaked the document.
New details about the intelligence memo came to light in a Washington Post story in May that said U.S. intelligence officials believe it might be unreliable or even a fake.
Renteria and others involved in the issue told the Post they did not know each other and had never gotten such an assurance from Lynch.