What (Really) Happened, Day #6
In June 2016, in the midst of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch held a secret meeting in Phoenix.
Controversy had already reached a tipping point about whether Lynch could oversee a truly independent investigation into Clinton’s emails.
Instead of doing everything they could to stay as far away from each other as possible, Clinton and Lynch played right into voters’ worries. The duo met on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport — and did so in total secrecy until the meeting was revealed by ABC15, a local TV outlet in Arizona.
(According to the New York Observer, the former president went out of his way to make sure the meeting happened, even delaying his plane’s takeoff in order to get the timing right.)
FBI Director James Comey was later asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee if his decision to hold a press conference about the bureau’s findings was influenced by the tarmac meeting. His answer? Yes.
“Yes. In an ultimately conclusive way, that [meeting] was the thing that capped it for me,” Comey told the committee in June 2017. “That I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and Justice Department.”