Loretta Lynch faces questions on policing, Hillary Clinton

But she repeatedly deferred to FBI Director James Comey's comments on the case, declining to elaborate herself.

But Republicans kept the focus on Clinton, trying to draw Lynch out on whether Clinton lied to the public or to Congress, and on a couple of occasions turning the conversation to then-president Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings 18 years ago.

Sensenbrenner cited a case of a military service member being prosecuted fo emailing a warning out to his fellow personnel about an imminent danger and said the public senses that there is a double standard.

It was the beginning of a tough afternoon for Lynch as representative after representative grilled her on why she chose not to bring charges against Clinton for mishandling classified emails.

Comey himself said at a House Oversight Committee hearing last week that he believed Clinton had violated the law, which governs how officials must create and preserve federal records.

Lynch caused a stir by meeting with Bill Clinton last month aboard her plane in Phoenix. But campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said last week that Republican actions on the email investigation were "another taxpayer-funded sham of an inquiry to try to hurt Hillary Clinton politically".

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is repeatedly deflecting questions about the conclusion of the Justice Department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

But Republicans on the panel strenuously criticized Lynch over her decision.

Comey also accused Clinton of "extreme carelessness" in her handling of classified emails on a private server, but said there was no evidence that she or her aides meant to violate laws governing classified actions, and therefore no reasonable prosecutor could bring a case.

"Every individual whether they are a former Secretary or anyone else has to be reviewed with the facts and the law there", she said.

"It's equally troubling that she met privately with former President Clinton just days before FBI Director Comey announced that he does not recommend criminal charges be filed against Secretary Clinton", Goodlatte said.

Despite the prodding, Lynch wouldn't budge in her refusal to discuss the investigation and the decision-making process.

But Comey also said there was no evidence that Clinton or her aides meant to violate laws governing classified actions, and therefore no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case.

"As we grapple with the aftermath of these events, the Department of Justice will continue to do everything in our power to build bonds of trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the communities we serve", she said.

Democratic lawmakers on the committee asked Lynch about a separate range of issues, from tighter gun control in the wake of shootings of clubgoers and police in Orlando and Dallas, as well as ways to reduce fatal police shootings of unarmed African Americans amid ongoing protests over the issue.

Lynch insisted the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while at the State Department wasn't discussed, but she acknowledged in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival on July 1 that her encounter with Bill Clinton "cast a shadow" over the probe and said she "certainly wouldn't do [it] again".

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, says in his opening statement for Tuesday's hearing that the decision "defies logic and the law".

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