Congressional committees are good for hauling shady people in front of cameras and generating tough-sounding headlines and sound bites a politician can point to as evidence of their hard, courageous work when they’re up for reelection. But how effective are they at actually bringing those shady people to justice.
The Washington Times reports that on October 20, Barack Obama’s former Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately met with Congressional Republicans about her “tarmac meeting” with former President Bill Clinton, husband of failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in June 2016. What they discussed is unknown, but many suspect it had something to do with the Obama Justice Department giving Hillary a pass on various scandals, particularly her illegal use of a private server to share classified material.
Surprise, surprise, Lynch didn’t feel much like talking:
“Mrs. Lynch has been accused of attempting to influence the FBI’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s private email use while secretary of state — and both she and Mr. Clinton say the meeting at the Phoenix airport was a chance social encounter.
In June, during highly anticipated testimony, fired FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting caused him to hold a press conference on Mrs. Clinton’s email case.
“At one point, the attorney general [Lynch] had directed me not to call it an investigation but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me,” Mr. Comey told the committee. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.”
On Friday, Fox quoted sources saying the former attorney general refused to answer three queries: whether she ever instructed Mr. Comey to characterize the DOJ’s Clinton email investigation a “matter,” whether she liaised with the White House to hold the tarmac meeting with Mr. Clinton and finally — if she could address any issues related to Mr. Comey’s June testimony.
Mrs. Lynch reportedly declined to answer any of the three queries.
Earlier this month FBI has admitted to possessing 30 pages or so of documents pertaining to the tarmac meeting, after denying that it had any such records the year before. The FBI was forced to change its tune after the conservative American Center for Law and Justice got its hands on and then released email exchanges between the FBI and DOJ confirming the records’ existence.
So Republicans ask Lynch to come clean, and Lynch says she doesn’t want to come clean. What do Republicans do now? Frown, issue a finger-waving press release, and say “oh well, we tried”? Or do they decide that suspects deserve to be treated like suspects, and bring greater pressure to bear?
This is why the whole idea of legislators taking the lead on all of this is a farce. We’re not talking about bad policies; we’re talking about crimes. Corruption. Abuse of power. The Justice Department should be taking the lead. Lynch needs to be asked these questions in court, under oath. And everyone needs to understand that at the end of the day, the truth will be found one way or another, and somebody will most likely be going to jail.
So while “what did you and former President Clinton talk about” is a good question, I have a better one: where is our Attorney General?
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