Are you ORDERING me to keep new Clinton email bombshell SECRET? How FBI boss called attorney-general’s bluff before revealing Weiner breakthrough

MIND-NUMBING CORRUPTION IN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

  • Details of confrontation between Comey and Loretta Lynch, the attorney general emerge as White House backs him as man of ‘integrity’
  • On Thursday Comey’s aides told Lynch of plan to tell Congress about existence of trove of new emails 
  • Lynch made clear that  she thought his decision violated department policy, source tells Reuters
  • But then Comey challenged whether he was being ‘explicitly directed’ not to  inform Congress – and Lynch never gave such an order
  • He wrote to tell committee chairmen about development; then it emerged it was because of Huma Abedin emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop
  • Development sent shockwaves through both presidential campaigns and has left Clinton and her aides – including Huma Abedin reeling  

An astonishing confrontation between the attorney-general and the FBI director over Hillary Clinton’s emails was revealed Monday.

Sources told Reuters how James Comey, the FBI boss, challenged Loretta Lynch, the nation’s most senior prosecutor, over whether she was directing him to keep the bombshell discovery of new, ‘relevant’ emails secret from Congress.

The development was revealed by the news agency hours after the White House went out of its way to back Comey as a man of ‘integrity’ and rubbish Hillary Clinton’s attack on him.

It also slapped down claims by Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader, that Comey may have been breaking the Hatch act and influencing the election, saying the President did not believe he was doing such a thing.

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Head to head: Loretta Lynch was challenged by James Comey on whether he was being ordered not to tell Congress about the Clinton email development

Head to head: Loretta Lynch was challenged by James Comey on whether he was being ordered not to tell Congress about the Clinton email development

Head to head: Loretta Lynch was challenged by James Comey on whether he was being ordered not to tell Congress about the Clinton email development

Source: The emails were found on a laptop seized from Anthony Weiner which had emails his estranged wife Huma Abedin had sent and received. She was off the campaign trail on Monday

Source: The emails were found on a laptop seized from Anthony Weiner which had emails his estranged wife Huma Abedin had sent and received. She was off the campaign trail on Monday

The Comey-Lynch confrontation unfolded on Thursday, some time after Comey was fully briefed on the existence of the trove of emails uncovered by agents investigating Anthony Weiner’s sexting of a 15-year-old girl. 

Lynch made it known that she thought his decision violated department policy, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

As Comey and Lynch aides debated last Thursday whether alerting Congress about the emails would comply with longstanding Justice Department policy against announcing overt investigative steps that would influence an upcoming election, Comey asked whether he was being explicitly directed not to do so.

Lynch never gave Comey the order not to send the emails, a senior government official said.

Comey’s letter on Friday notifying members of Congress that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had discovered new emails apparently pertinent to the Clinton server probe has upended the presidential race and given new hope to Republican candidate Donald Trump that he can make a comeback and win on November 8.

Lynch’s office informed the FBI on Thursday that sending the letter conflicted with a memo containing official guidance that is sent to all Justice Department employees during presidential election years, according to the official.

The memo instructs employees to ‘never select the timing of investigative steps… for the purpose of affecting any election.’

But the Justice Department made no effort to block the FBI from obtaining a search warrant to review the emails, which the agency received on Sunday. The department is working closely with the FBI on the case.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik told several members of Congress in letters on Monday that the Justice Department was dedicating ‘all necessary resources’ to work with the FBI on its examination of the newly discovered emails ‘as expeditiously as possible.’

However, an official familiar with the FBI review said investigators could not predict how long the examination would take.

Clinton said at a Friday rally that Comey's letter to Congress revealing new emails that could be 'pertinent' to her email case is both 'strange' and 'deeply troubling'

Harry Reid accused Comey of violating the Hatch Act, which explicitly blocks most executive branch employees from engaging in political activity

The senior White House official said the president does not believe that the Republican law enforcement official is looking to ‘intentionally influence the outcome’ of the presidential election, despite Hillary Clinton and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s claims that he is