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US attorney general to accept FBI findings in Clinton email probe

United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks to Reuters in an exclusive interview in Phoenix

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Friday she will accept the recommendations of career prosecutors and the FBI director on whether or not to bring charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her email use.

Republicans, including party presidential front-runner Donald Trump, have said a political appointee like Lynch should not be involved in the investigation.

The United States’ top law enforcement officer did not go so far as to say she would completely recuse herself from the case, something Republican lawmakers have called for her to do.

“I will be informed of those findings, as opposed to never reading them or never seeing them, but I will be accepting their recommendations and their plan for going forward,” Lynch said while speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.

The move, first reported by the New York Times, came amid an uproar over Lynch’s meeting this week with former US President Bill Clinton while his wife, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the White House, was under federal investigation.

Lynch said she understands how her meeting with Bill Clinton “casts a shadow” over the perception of the Justice Department’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s email use.

The private meeting took place on Lynch’s plane after she landed in Phoenix on Monday night and Bill Clinton was leaving the airport after a rally for his wife earlier that day.

Lynch, appointed by Democratic US President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this week that she did not discuss the email investigation or other pending matters before the Justice Department with Bill Clinton, calling their meeting “primarily social.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing Clinton’s email use and whether laws were broken as a result of a personal email server kept in her Chappaqua, New York, home while she was secretary of state, an issue that has overshadowed her campaign.

Clinton last year apologised for using the server, saying that while she did nothing wrong, she should have used two email accounts: one for State Department business and another for personal matters.

Representatives for her campaign could not be reached immediately for comment on Friday.

Clinton’s likely rival in the presidential race, Republican Donald Trump, on Thursday called Lynch’s meeting “a sneak” and questioned the judgement of both Bill Clinton and the attorney general.

Trump, in a tweet on Friday, said the meeting showed the US political system was “totally rigged” and that Hillary Clinton had bad judgement.

“Bill’s meeting was probably initiated and demanded by Hillary!” Trump said on Twitter.

The Justice Department, along with the White House, has said the probe should be free of political interference.

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