Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton in Arizona on Tuesday, but Ms. Lynch told reporters that the two didn’t discuss the investigation into his wife’s email use as secretary of state.
Ms. Lynch said at a press conference that the Clinton meeting was unplanned. Mr. Clinton was apparently waiting to fly out of the Phoenix airport when Ms. Lynch’s plane coincidentally landed there. The former president then walked over to the attorney general’s plane to speak to Ms. Lynch and her husband.
“Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels,” Ms. Lynch told reporters in Phoenix on Tuesday.
“We talked about former Attorney General Janet Reno, for example, whom we both know, but there was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body. There was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of the State Department emails, by way of example,” she said.
The two did discuss the recent vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union, but the Justice Department isn’t involved in that issue, she said.
An aide to Bill Clinton said no topics were discussed beyond what was described by Ms. Lynch. A spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
But others suggested the meeting could send the wrong message. “It’s probably ill-advised because it does create the appearance of impropriety,” said Ken Sukhia, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida who is now running for Congress as a Republican. “You don’t necessarily have to talk about the subject to garner some good will [from prosecutors] by having that kind of conversation.”
Mr. Clinton nominated Ms. Lynch as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she held from 1999 to 2001.