Con­gress to ques­tion Obama of­fi­cials in probe

For­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral, am­bas­sador will an­swer ques­tions


Com­mit­tees fo­cused on Rus­sian med­dling in 2016 elec­tion

Two high-rank­ing Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials — for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Loretta Lynch and for­mer United Na­tions am­bas­sador Sa­man­tha Power — will soon an­swer ques­tions from con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing into al­le­ga­tions of Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Power is sched­uled to meet with the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee in a closed-door ses­sion Fri­day morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to a con­gres­sional aide who did not have au­tho­riza­tion to speak on the record.

Lynch will an­swer ques­tions on Capi­tol Hill next week, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter but not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss it pub­licly. She is likely to meet be­hind closed doors with both the House and Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tees.

The com­mit­tees are fo­cus­ing on sus­pected Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence and pos­si­ble col­lu­sion between the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sian of­fi­cials. The pan­els also have been in­ter­ested in talk­ing to Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server while she was sec­re­tary of State.

Repub­li­cans on the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee have fo­cused on the “un­mask­ing ” of Trump cam­paign aides by for­mer Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials. Pres­i­dent Trump and House In­tel­li­gence Chair­man Devin Nunes, R-Calif., com­plained that Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials dis­closed the names of Trump’s cam­paign aides in clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence re­ports that were leaked to the news me­dia.

The un­mask­ing is­sue has been raised by the White House and Trump sup­port­ers as a sug­ges- tion that the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion is po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. Democrats largely dis­missed it as an at­tempt to di­vert at­ten­tion.

Power is likely to be ques­tioned Fri­day about whether she asked that the names of Trump aides be dis­closed in clas­si­fied doc­u­ments. For­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Su­san Rice an­swered sim­i­lar ques­tions be­fore the House and Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence com­mit­tees this year.

Lynch was at the cen­ter of sev­eral con­tro­ver­sies in­volv­ing the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server. For­mer FBI di­rec­tor James Comey told the Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee at a pub­lic hear­ing in June that he got “a queasy feel­ing ” when Lynch told him to re­fer pub­licly to the Clin­ton in­ves­tiga- tion as “a mat­ter” rather than as an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Comey said Lynch’s di­rec­tion gave the “im­pres­sion” that the govern­ment aligned its work with the Clin­ton cam­paign.

Comey con­cluded that Clin­ton was “ex­tremely care­less” in han­dling clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion, but there was no ev­i­dence she in­tended to break the law. He did not seek any charges against her.

Lynch drew crit­i­cism for meet­ing with Bill Clin­ton on his air­plane at an Ari­zona air­port in June 2016 while the Depart­ment of Jus­tice was in­ves­ti­gat­ing his wife. Lynch and the for­mer pres­i­dent said the chance en­counter was noth­ing more than an ex­change of pleas­antries. Lynch ex­pressed re­gret over the meet­ing.

Trump fired Comey in May as the di­rec­tor was lead­ing the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion. Con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into Comey’s fir­ing as part of their in­quiries.

Comey said he was fired af­ter Trump asked him to drop his in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Michael Flynn, the pres­i­dent’s for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser. Trump fired Flynn in Fe­bru­ary af­ter Flynn mis­led Vice Pres­i­dent Pence about his con­ver­sa­tions with Rus­sian Am­bas­sador Sergey Kislyak.

Loretta Lynch drew crit­i­cism for meet­ing with Bill Clin­ton on his air­plane while the Depart­ment of Jus­tice was in­ves­ti­gat­ing his wife.


Loretta Lynch, at­tor­ney gen­eral un­der Pres­i­dent Obama, was in­volved in the Clin­ton email con­tro­versy.

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