James Comey was facing a revolt among his professional staff. If the case were sent to Lynch for adjudication, which is the usual process, the story would be that the FBI had “cleared” Clinton and therefore Justice was closing the case. In this case, Comey knew that one or more of his senior people, in order to defend the FBI, would either walk (unlikely because no one has principles that are going to cost them a six-figure income) or leak like a sieve (highly likely). This would make Comey the bad guy. It would make him corrupt to the core instead of merely the feckless p***y he’s has been revealed to be.
Knowing what was coming, Lynch wanted to get rid of this particular ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, she had no real reason to recuse herself from the process as her department was overseeing the case.
Enter the “chance meeting.” This enabled Bill Clinton to throw his old friend a lifeline. By meeting informally and in near secrecy with Clinton, Lynch suddenly had a reason to essentially recuse herself from the case by “accepting the FBI’s recommendation.”