Government & Politics

Lynch's Smug Testimony

The attorney general effectively stonewalled about Clinton's email scandal.

Lewis Morris · Jul. 13, 2016

Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivered a predictably unhelpful testimony Tuesday before a House Judiciary Committee panel seeking answers about the FBI’s refusal to press charges against Hillary Clinton. The committee sought to clear up FBI chief James Comey’s muddled explanations last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

You’ll recall that Comey laid out a perfectly sound case that Clinton broke the law with her multiple transgressions regarding handling classified material, only to say later that there was no case to be made. When pressed for clarification, Comey hid behind questions over intent and the lack of Clinton’s technological sophistication with her private server (which she should not have been allowed to have in the first place, but it appears we’re beyond that now).

Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) reasoned that if Comey couldn’t give direct answers as to why the FBI chose not to pursue a case against Clinton, perhaps his boss the attorney general could.

No such luck.

Lynch spent much of her time before the committee referring questions back to Comey or simply refusing to answer. “While I understand that this investigation has generated significant public interest, as an attorney general, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the underlying facts of the investigation,” Lynch bloviated.

What could be inappropriate about getting into the details of the investigation? That is, after all, why these hearings are supposed to be taking place. But facts are painful things for the left, particular the Clinton camp, of which Loretta Lynch is a dutiful soldier. It is not surprising that they would consider it “inappropriate” to get into details about this case.

Goodlatte ticked off a grocery list of statements that Clinton made over the preceding months about the email server debacle, pointing out a number of occasions during which she contradicted herself and said things that have been proven to be patently false. Yet Comey categorized her actions as nothing more than “extreme carelessness.”

When Lynch was asked why she endorsed Comey’s recommendation to drop the investigation, she refused to go into details about how she arrived at that conclusion. She could not give any legal reason as to why she was sworn to silence, choosing instead to punt back to Comey a question that was pointedly directed at her.

Goodlatte noted, “The law does not require evidence that a person intended to harm the United States in order to be criminally liable for the mishandling of classified information.”

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) added that military personnel have been prosecuted for exactly the actions that Clinton committed. He told Lynch, “You have a burden, I think, to convince the American public that there’s not a double standard.”

Lynch didn’t do herself any favors trying to convince the committee or the public otherwise, but then again, maybe she doesn’t care. Take for instance her response to questions about her remarkably coincidental meeting with Bill Clinton days before the FBI dumped its case against Hillary.

“I agreed to say hello,” Lynch said. “We had a social conversation.”

When the sitting attorney general of the United States, the nation’s top cop, has a meeting with the former president of the United States, whose wife happens to be a candidate for president and who’s under FBI investigation, it’s a bit hard to believe the topic of conversation is going to be grandchildren and golf. Particularly when a week later that presidential candidate is cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation that the AG is overseeing.

Lynch stuck to her narrative, then doubled down when Goodlatte asked why she didn’t recuse herself from the case because of her prior relationship with Bill Clinton, who appointed her as chief federal prosecutor in Brooklyn in 1999.

“The matter was handled like any other matter,” Lynch said. “In considering the matter there was no connection, there was no need” for a special prosecutor. How comforting that Lynch took it upon herself to decide that there was no conflict of interest regarding her involvement in the Clinton case.

Lynch and Comey have done their part to bury the Clinton case and hopefully move the narrative back to putting Hillary in the White House. Thankfully, and much to the annoyance of the Left, this is not the end of the story.

Goodlatte, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, have formally asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether Clinton perjured herself about statements she gave regarding her emails during her Benghazi testimony last fall. And the State Department is reopening its investigation into her email server, an investigation that was suspended during the FBI probe.

It is unlikely that either thread will lead to an indictment, but at the very least, it will keep the story very much alive through her presidential campaign. It may be only by reminding people just what’s in store for them if she wins the White House that Clinton can be kept from becoming president.

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