One of the more revealing items that surfaced in Comey’s Senate testimony on Thursday was that his boss, then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, directed him to refer to the Hillary Clinton email probe not as an investigation, but merely as a “matter.” Comey further indicated that Lynch’s scandalous secret meeting with Bill Clinton on an Arizona tarmac in conjucntion with her insistence that he characterize the criminal investigation as a routine “matter” was the deciding factor that prompted him to break with Department of Justice protocols, supercede Lynch’s authority and convene a press conference where he absolved Clinton of any criminal liability. “Yes, that was the thing that capped it for me,” Comey said, referring to the private meeting between Lynch and the spouse of an individual who was the subject of a criminal investigation. “I needed to protect the investigation and the FBI.”
It is interesting to note, that throughout the FBI email investigation, Hillary Clinton repeatedly called the matter a routine “security review,” a false and misleading characterization that was in no uncertain terms put to rest during Comey’s July, 2016 press conference. Lynch’s insistence that Comey downplay the serious nature of the pending criminal investigation clearly seemed to indicate that she was trying to assist Hillary’s campaign. This makes eminent sense when one considers that her directive to Comey occurred at approximately the same time as her private meeting with Bill Clinton.
Though there has been much incendiary rhetoric and speculation about how Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the election, a more plausible explanation, and one that is supported by the facts, is that Hillary lost the election, because of her husband’s intermeddling in a criminal investigation. In the eyes of some voters, the clandestine and unseemly private meeting was so outrageous, that it confirmed their already dim view of Washington as a cesspool of corruption and insider dealing.
As an attorney, Lynch clearly knew that the meeting was wholly inappropriate and a violation of the Canons of Professional Responsibility which governs the conduct of attorneys. Even if one assumes that she and Bill Clinton only spoke about their grandchildren, the appearance of impropriety, by itself, was even worse than the subject matter of their conversation. Many voters viewed the illicit meeting as further proof of the Clintons corruption and duplicity and found the prospect of another Clinton presidency simply intolerable.