"After former president Clinton met on the plane with the Attorney General [Lynch], I considered whether I should call for a special counsel and I decided that would be an unfair thing to do, because I knew there was no case there," Comey told the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
Congressional Republicans have compared the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in the current Russia investigation with Lynch’s refusal to appoint one in the 2016 probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server for government communications.
The attorney general maintained she and Clinton discussed only personal matters during the tarmac meeting.
US Senator John Cornyn, who questioned Comey on Thursday, noted that he called in February 2016 for Lynch to step aside in the Clinton investigation.
Following a months-long investigation, Comey said in July that Clinton was extremely careless for using a personal server to send classified information, but her behavior did not warrant criminal prosecution.