FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton did not preclude Attorney General Loretta Lynch from pursuing an indictment. She was not bound in any way by Comey’s findings and conclusions and could have drawn independent conclusions of her own. She chose however, to play it safe and toe the party line.
When Lynch took over for Eric Holder – who transformed the U.S. Justice Department into a bastion of radical leftist extremism – there were high hopes. Despite some reservations, Lynch had a decent reputation and besides, no replacement could have possibly been worse than Holder, whose antics in dealing with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee nearly got him cited for contempt of court.
Sadly however, the same partisan forces that drove Holder and dictated his corrupt actions have not dissipated with the changing of the guard. Lynch has proven to be as adept as her predecessor in twisting the law and carrying out justice on a selective basis. Her testimony today before the House Judiciary Committee, where she dodged, deflected and obfuscated, served to underscore the fact that justice under the Obama administration is carried out on a selective basis. That basis has absolutely nothing to do with the law and everything to do with political persuasion and party affiliation.
Under questioning from House committee members, Lynch repeatedly deferred to Director Comey and refused to address in any detail matters relating to Clinton’s use of an unsecured bathroom server to send and receive 110 classified emails. Lynch’s evasive testimony stands in marked contrast to Director Comey, whose forthrightness in addressing tough questions by House committee members was commended by some Republicans.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-S.C.), noted that Lynch’s “lack of clarity is bad for the republic.” That sentiment was echoed by Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) who bluntly told Lynch that she was “sending a terrible message to the world,” and that her “lack of clarity” before the committee was “pretty stunning.”
The harsh tone was understandable. Americans pride themselves in having the best and most developed justice system in the world. But Lynch’s shameful conduct during this whole sordid affair and in particular, before the House Judiciary Committee, casts a pall over the entire judicial process and conveys the message that criminal investigations conducted by the Justice Department are guided by political expediency and ideological dictates.
Lynch should have recused herself from this case for three reasons. First, she was charged with potentially prosecuting a person who was appointed by her boss and that calls into question her boss’s judgment. Second, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. And third, she conducted an inappropriate ex-parte meeting with Bill Clinton in Phoenix.
She subsequently claimed they discussed nothing of substance and limited their talk to “grandchildren,” “golf,” and other tangential topics. However, even if that pathetic excuse was to be believed, her meeting with the husband of the target of a high-profile criminal probe was still highly irregular and wholly inappropriate and represents nothing short of a gross appearance of impropriety. This is something they teach you not to do in first year law school ethics class.
Moreover, each of the three reasons noted for recusal would have by themselves justified the appointment of a special prosecutor. Collectively however, they would have cried out for one. But the appointment of a special prosecutor, not constrained by political dictates and expediency would have thrown a wrench in the master plan and wrested control away from those who sought to ensure that Clinton would never be indicted.
Naturally, Democrats on the committee chose to overlook all egregious transgressions by both Clinton and Lynch. “The criminal investigation is closed,” said Rep. John Conyers, (D-Mich.), adding that, “there was no intentional wrongdoing.”
But the American people see it differently. An ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 56 percent disagreed with the FBI’s recommendation not to pursue charges against Clinton. Only 35 percent agreed with Director Comey’s recommendation. Moreover, an NBC news tracking poll shows that Trump has managed to significantly narrow the gap with Clinton, who now maintains a paltry three-point lead. Additionally, a new JMC poll has Trump leading by five points in Florida, a key battleground state.
It looks as though some mud has miraculously managed to stick to Clinton, and Lynch has done her colleague no favors today with her opaque and evasive testimony. Lynch did however, manage accomplish one thing with today’s testimony. She has shamefully exposed her Justice Department as being nothing more than a vassal of politics as usual. She has disgraced her office and should resign forthwith.