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LISTEN: 8 Excerpts From The Attorney General's Post-July 4 Grilling On Capitol Hill

Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
Alex Wong
Getty Images
Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified before the House Judiciary Committee for several hours on Tuesday, fielding questions about the probe of Hillary Clinton's emails during her tenure as secretary of state, the backlog of cases in immigration courts, the mass shooting in Orlando, the two police shooting deaths in Minnesota and Louisiana, and the murders of police officers in Dallas, among other things.

But not surprisingly, the Clinton emails — and Lynch's decision to accept FBI Director James Comey's recommendation not to bring charges against the Democratic presidential hopeful — dominated the hearing.

Let's mine those hours of testimony for these highlights:

1. Why Hillary Clinton should not get a pass
Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., questioned whether someone who was not in Clinton's position would have fared as well with the FBI as she did. He then went on to lay out reasons he thinks she was given an unwarranted pass:

2. Why didn't Lynch remove herself from the case?
Goodlatte asked the attorney general why she didn't recuse herself from the investigation, considering that Clinton was a political appointee of Lynch's current boss and the wife of her previous boss, former President Bill Clinton. He went even further and asked why Lynch's meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix wasn't grounds for recusal:

3. Does Lynch believe Hillary Clinton?
In this exchange, Goodlatte and Lynch go back and forth over whether she agreed with some of the statements FBI Director James Comey made disputing assertions Clinton made about the emails:

4. Why is this such a mystery?
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, asked a question he said was "one of the great mysteries of this case," something other members of the panel asked as well:

5. Is there a double standard at play?
Like Goodlatte, several congressmen pressed Lynch on this issue. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said that several servicemen had been prosecuted over the years for doing what Clinton was accused of, but Chabot took it one step further and asked Lynch to acknowledge something that he says Comey did:

6. Why doesn't the attorney general provide detailed answers?
Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Lynch if there was a legal reason that prohibited her from giving information, which led to this back and forth between the two:

7. Did Lynch and the Clintons ever talk about the emails?
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, questioned the attorney general closely about whether she had discussed the case with the Clintons, and here is how she responded:

8. Why are we still talking about this case?
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., joined Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and others in chastising their Republican colleagues for focusing on the Clinton emails. Johnson also had some strong words for members about bringing up sexual harassment allegations made against President Clinton in the late 1990s.

Goodlatte and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, made good on a promise Chaffetz made during a hearing last week and have asked the U.S. attorney for D.C. to investigate Clinton's testimony before Congress.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tanya Ballard Brown is an editor for NPR. She joined the organization in 2008.