Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe

Officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI discussed the possibility of opening an investigation into corruption related to the Clinton Foundation several months ago, according to one US official.

"The right-wing organization [Judicial Watch] behind this lawsuit has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s and no matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents", Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin told CNN in an emailed statement, "the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation".

In 2009, a Lebanese billionaire who donated millions to the Clinton Foundation contacted went through a Clinton Foundation employee to contact the State Department for a face-to-face meeting with the US ambassador to Lebanon.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure.

The Justice Department declined to investigate, according to the report, because it had already looked into similar allegations and found there was not sufficient evidence to open a case.

Because the DOJ was unable to find sufficient evidence, it pushed back against opening a case when meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier in the year.

The report comes just days after new Clinton emails were revealed, including one where an aide to Bill Clinton inquired about a meeting for a Clinton Foundation donor.

"The DOJ's decision to deny the FBI's request is an obstruction of justice and a flagrant dereliction of duty from our elected officials", the Republican presidential nominee's petition reads.

The Clinton Foundation is under increased scrutiny this week.

Earlier this week, Judicial Watch, a conservative advocacy group, published 44 exchanges which it said were not previously turned over to the State Department during probes surrounding Clinton's emails as secretary of state. The interview led many to believe that Hillary Clinton was using her position as the secretary of state to carry out work for the Clinton Foundation, sending her chief of staff to perform work for the foundation that would be a conflict of interest if Mills was paid by the State Department for her work with the Clinton's non-profit.

According to CNN, Cheryl Mills, while working as Clinton's chief of staff, traveled to New York City in June 2012 to interview two high-level business executives - reportedly from Pfizer and WalMart - in an effort to help the Clinton Foundation find a new leader.

Frustrated reporters struggled in vain Wednesday to get a straight answer out of State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau about the latest batch of Hillary Clinton's emails. She received no pay and no government funds were used to finance the short trip.

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