Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified on Capitol Hill today that President Obama's opinion of the ongoing investigation by the FBI related to Hillary Clinton has no influence on the Department of Justice. Lynch made the comments after being questioned by Rep. Bob Goodlatte:
Goodlatte asked, "I want to cover one more topic that concerns me greatly. During the FBI's investigation of the IRS matter, the president stated on Super Bowl Sunday that there was not, quote, "even a smidgen of corruption at the IRS." At the end of that investigation, no charges were filed. Two weeks ago, the president stated with respect to Secretary Clinton's e-mails, 'This is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.' Should we expect that when the FBI finishes its investigation of this matter that no charges will be filed? Does the department allow statements by the president to dictate its investigative practices?"
"Mr. Chairman, the department reviews facts and evidence submitted before it. We apply the law to those facts and evidence. We take all the appropriate steps in every matter that we review. That is how we will essentially manage every matter under our purview, whether it relates to the IRS, to an e-mail matter or every matter that comes before us. And with respect to the president's comments, they have no influence or bearing on how the department manages these matters, and I would have to refer you to him for a review of those," Lynch replied.
Goodlatte followed up, "I'm glad to hear you say that. In your view, wasn't it inappropriate for the president to once again inject his personal views into an ongoing FBI investigation?"
"Mr. Chairman, I really don't have a comment on the president's expression of his views," said the attorney general.
"He's a chief executive officer of the United States and everything that operates within the executive branch is under his purview, including the very important independent nature of the FBI in conducting its investigations. Wouldn't it be better if the president of the United States did not comment on the merits of the those investigations while they're going on?" the congressman asked.
Lynch ended, "Mr. Chairman, I really don't have a comment on the president's statements."
FBI director James Comey talked about Chinese hacking -- and how basically every American company has been targeted -- last night on 60 Minutes. Comey said that it's not the Chinese are so good, it's that they're "prolific." He likened their hacking style to a "drunk burglar."
60 Minutes host Scott Pelley asked, "What countries are attacking the United States as we sit here in cyberspace?"
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, said tonight that Americans fighting for the Islamic State in Syria are "entitled to come back" because they hold American citizenship:
Comey estimated that a dozen Americans are fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. And he believes he knows
"How many Americans are fighting in Syria on the side of the terrorists?" asked 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley.
Four United States Senators have a written a letter to FBI director James Comey about the indictment of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. Senators Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are the four senators, all Republicans, to have signed the letter.
The letter quotes Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz as saying, "I can't help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. ... It smacks of selective prosecution."