The watchdog group Cause of Action on Tuesday filed a request for Justice Department records related to a meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, saying it raised "serious concerns" about the department's neutrality in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's server.
"The requested records concern a private meeting between the highest-ranking member of the Department of Justice and the target of investigations her department is conducting," the nonprofit stated in a Freedom of Information Act request filed Tuesday afternoon.
"This behavior raises serious concerns about the department's impartiality and the responsive records will influence the public's perception of the result of those investigations."
The group is seeking a copy of Lynch's schedule as it appeared at the end of June, records of the meeting and information on the FBI's decision to prevent reporters from using cell phones or taking pictures. The group is also asking for records of contact between Lynch and her department's Office of the Secretary and Office of Legal Counsel on the issue of whether she should recuse herself.
The former president spoke with Lynch, who he appointed as a district attorney in 1999, on a Phoenix tarmac at the end of June. The two described the meeting as a chance encounter, but critics have suspected something more nefarious. Their concerns were amplified in the wake of the FBI's Tuesday announcement that it would not recommend charges against the former secretary of state related to her private server.
"A private meeting between President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch raises serious concerns about impartiality at the Department of Justice," CoA President Alfred J. Lechner, Jr. said in a statement. "[The] announcement that the FBI will not recommend pursuing charges against Hillary Clinton does not remove the public interest in knowing what was discussed."