The pundit class was convinced former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress would be the end of Trump.
It didn’t work out that way.
But the hearing took a surprising turn when one sentence delivered the worst news of Loretta Lynch’s life.
When Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was grilled about his conduct during the Clinton email investigation.
He shocked Americans when he described how Loretta Lynch pressured him to lie to the public about the investigation.
Comey claimed Lynch insisted he call the investigation a “matter,” which matched the Clinton campaign’s talking points designed to downplay the seriousness of the investigation.
The Daily Caller reports:
Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general under Barack Obama, pressured former FBI Director James Comey to downplay the Clinton email server investigation and only refer to it as a “matter,” Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
Comey said that when he asked Lynch if she was going to authorize him to confirm the existence of the Clinton email investigation, her answer was, “Yes, but don’t call it that. Call it a matter.” When Comey asked why, he said Lynch wouldn’t give him an explanation. “Just call it a matter,” she said.
Comey added later that he was concerned about that direction as it was false. He was further concerned because it aligned with the Clinton campaign’s spin on the investigation.
Lynch’s order, Comey said, “concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning.”
“I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general [Lynch] was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate,” Comey added.
Comey complied, in his words, because it “wasn’t a hill worth dying on.” In February 2016, the FBI confirmed in a letter that the agency was “working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”
Even liberal pundits were shocked, and described the hearing as a disaster for Lynch.
Loretta Lynch is having a surprisingly bad day in the Comey testimony
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 8, 2017
And it led to new calls for an investigation into Loretta Lynch’s conduct.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 9, 2017
In many ways, Loretta Lynch set this whole train in motion.
It was her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton that Comey says tipped his decision to go public with his findings in the Clinton investigation.
That “duty to correct” led him to make his October announcement about how the investigation was reopened when emails were discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Because of the outcry on the left over this involvement in the election, critics believed Comey tried to balance the scales by publicly announcing an investigation into the Trump campaign and supposed ties with Russia.
But while Comey made that public, they refused to announce what he was telling everyone in private, namely that Trump himself was not under investigation.
This frustration led Trump to ultimately fire Comey.
It’s fitting that the big news of the hearing ended up revealing the unethical — and maybe illegal — behavior of the individual whose actions knocked over the first domino in this affair.