Former FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday in public hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In this exchange with Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Comey revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to call the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server a “matter” instead of an investigation. Following is the transcript of the video.
SENATOR RICHARD BURR: Let me go back, if I can very briefly, to the decision to publicly go out with your results on the email. Was your decision influenced by the attorney general’s tarmac meeting with the former President Bill Clinton?
JAMES COMEY: Yes. In a ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department.
BURR: Were there other things that contributed to that that you can describe in an open session?
COMEY: There were other things that contributed to that. One significant item, I can’t, I know the committee’s been briefed on. There’s been some public accounts of it which are nonsense, but I understand the committee’s been briefed on the classified facts.
Probably the only other consideration that I guess I can talk about in an open setting is, at one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me.
But that was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.
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