Henderson: ‘Chance’ Meeting Was Bad Blunder

Lynch-Clinton Meeting Looks Bad No Matter What

No matter how the Clinton camp wants to spin it, the “chance” meeting between former president Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was straight out of Amateur Hour.

Lynch’s department has been involved in a lengthy investigation about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. As everyone knows, that is not a little deal. Clinton may have violated federal law and could face charges that might sink her candidacy for president.

Republicans have been chafing for weeks about the slow pace of the investigation, eager for a resolution that could result in: A): Potential felony charges against Clinton; or B): … well, there is no “B.” They want Clinton’s next pants suit to come with prison stripes.
bill clinton

Bill Clinton just served up a giant plate of red meat for those who are certain his wife has been getting a free pass on a potentially serious allegation. Clinton “just happened” to see Lynch while the two were in separate planes on the tarmac at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.

They wound up meeting for about 30 minutes, and it might have stayed their little secret – wink, wink – except a local TV station got tipped off to the story and blew their cover.

The Clinton camp initially tried to say something like, “Oh, that? It was just old friends catching up.” Bill Clinton might as well have been saying, “I did not have sex with that woman.” No one is going to believe him, or his wife, or anyone who stands to lose if the investigation turns out badly.

Loretta Lynch

As a two-term president who faced impeachment over his lack of honesty about less-than-honorable meetings, Bill Clinton should know a thing or two about the way things work. With challenger Donald Trump regularly saying things and doing things that cause his poll numbers to tank, all Hillary Clinton has to do is stay away from unforced errors and she will likely become the next president. Then this came up.

Lynch should have told Bill Clinton, “Uh, this doesn’t look good” and quickly put an end to their “chance” encounter. But she didn’t, so now she made the only move she could. The FBI now gets to make the call on whether to press ahead with charges against Hillary, and it doesn’t take a great imagination to see how this could play out.

The mind boggles at the reaction if the FBI determines Clinton did, indeed, compromise U.S. security by receiving classified emails on her private server. Her poll numbers would crash faster than Dow Jones on the morning after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

It’s questionable whether her candidacy could survive that. Trump supporters can argue, correctly, that if she did break the law, Lynch should have found it out anyway. And when they laugh in the next sentence and say something like, “Yeah, right….” those words will carry a lot more weight and people will assume corruption.

Even if the FBI determines that colossally stupid is not the same as criminal and says no charges are warranted, critics will scream that the fix is in. They probably would have done that anyway in that case, but chances are their complaints would have been dismissed as just more Hillary bashing from the far right fringe.

But now? Those screams threaten to drown out anything Hillary Clinton has to say about policy and her vision for America’s future. She has her husband to thank for that.

After nearly 42 years as both a sports and news columnist, along with a variety of other roles, at the Tampa Tribune, Joe Henderson brings his slant on politics and sports to NewsTalkFlorida.com and SportsTalkFlorida.com. Originally from the small town of Lebanon, Ohio, Joe resides outside of Tampa with Elaine, his wife of more than 35 years. Their two grown sons stop by when there is time, and their faithful Watch Cat, Sassy is always on guard.