US attorney general defends decision on Clinton email probe

Washington: US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday steadfastly defended her decision not to charge Hillary Clinton in her email investigation, but also refused to discuss details of the case despite Congressional Republicans' grilling. "I accepted that (FBI) recommendation. I saw no reason not to accept it," said Lynch here at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. "The matter was handled like any other matter," she added. After a year-long federal investigation into whether Clinton had mishandled classified information during her stint in the US State Department, FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 his agency would not recommend any criminal charges against Clinton while blasting Clinton and her senior aides as being "extremely careless" in handling sensitive information, Xinhua reported. One day later, Lynch announced the Justice Department's decision to end the investigation with no criminal charges after her meeting with Comey. The announcement immediately drew criticism from Republicans and raised concerns that Clinton was treated on a double standard. However, Lynch on Tuesday refused to discuss details on the federal investigation into Clinton's email practices despite Congressional Republicans' request for more details of her decision. "While I understand that this investigation has generated significant public interest, as attorney general, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the underlying facts of the investigation or the legal basis for the team's recommendation," said Lynch. Lynch's hearing came five days after Comey underwent a marathon congressional hearing, in which the FBI director in a rare move offered detailed information on the case. It was during that hearing Comey confirmed to US lawmakers that while the FBI found no basis to conclude that Clinton had lied to the FBI, some of the former US secretary of state's email defences were false.