Attorney General Loretta Lynch indicated Wednesday that the law doesn’t require the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email system, even if the FBI recommends criminal charges.
Lynch was asked in a hearing by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, what her department would do if the FBI were to recommend that step. “If the FBI were to make a referral to the Department of Justice to pursue a case by way of indictment and to convene a grand jury for that purpose, the Department of Justice is not required by law to do so, are they — are you?” Cornyn asked.
Lynch didn’t answer directly, but seemed to indicate the department has some wiggle room, and can consult with officials before deciding what to do.
“It would not be an operation of law, it would be an operation of procedures,” Lynch said in reply. She added that the decision to pursue a criminal case would be “done in conjunction with the agents” involved in the investigation. “It’s not something that we would want to cut them out of the process.”