US attorney general to accept FBI findings in Clinton e-mail probe

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at an interview in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 28, 2016.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at an interview in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 28, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Attorney General Loretta Lynch will accept the recommendations of career prosecutors and investigators on whether or not to bring charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her e-mail use, a Justice Department official said on Friday (July 1).

Lynch will discuss her decision later on Friday at an event in Aspen, Colorado, where she is scheduled to speak at 11am EDT (1500 GMT), the official said.

"The Attorney General expects to receive and accept the determinations and findings of the Department's career prosecutors and investigators, as well as the FBI director," the official said, speaking on background.

"Determinations as to whether to charge any individual, as well as the findings of the investigation, will be made by career prosecutors and investigators who have been handling this matter since its inception."

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

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 FBI is probing Clinton's e-mail use and whether laws were broken as a result of a personal server kept in her New York home while she was secretary of state, an issue that has come to overshadow her campaign.

Clinton last year apologised for using the e-mail server, saying that while she did nothing wrong, she should have used two e-mail 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 judgment 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 judgment.

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