Attorney General Loretta Lynch sparked national furor this week by privately meeting with Bill Clinton while the FBI and DOJ are investigating his wife, Hillary Clinton.
The fallout was immediate, so Lynch did some quick media to clarify her position.
On Friday, she came out and took an extra step, promising to defer the decision to career prosecutors and the FBI.
But was her promise legitimate?
Yahoo News reports:
The Justice Department’s chief spokeswoman confirmed to Yahoo News that at least two political appointees — Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates — will review the recommendations of career prosecutors and agents before any final determination is made.
“They all expect to receive and accept the recommendations,” Melanie Newman, the Justice Department’s chief of public affairs, said when asked about the role of Carlin and Yates, both of whom are appointees of President Obama. “But it is true they will all be in the process.”
Asked if either Carlin or Yates could overrule the recommendations of FBI agents and career prosecutors, Newman replied: “It is unlikely there will be such a circumstance. But, obviously, that possibility exists.” And, she added, “The AG is the ultimate decider.”
To repeat Lynch’s comments earlier on Friday:
“The most important thing for me as attorney general is the integrity of this Department of Justice. And the fact that the meeting I had is now casting a shadow over how people will view that work is something that I take seriously and deeply and painfully.”
An indictment is expected before the election, and if this week is any indicator, the scrutiny on the DOJ will only intensify.