It’s Time To Get Rid Of Loretta Lynch
At the risk of being flagged for piling on, what in the name of Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress was Bill Clinton thinking? Wait. The question answers itself.
The better question is: How in the name of Lady Justice can Loretta Lynch continue as the United States attorney general?
That’s right. Lynch needs to step down.
Back to the private sector, away from any job that involves the public’s trust. Maybe there are firms on Wall Street or K Street that won’t mind if she retreats behind closed doors with the next-of-kin of a someone under investigation for high crimes, but the American people deserve better.
To recap: Lynch, head of the agency investigating Hillary Clinton for abuses of national security related to her home brew email server (and more, but let’s stick with front-burner concerns), welcomed Bill Clinton (who, through improprieties linked to his foundation, is also implicated) onto her private plane for an impromptu 30-minute chat when both just happened to be at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport the other day.
Lynch, who soon enough will be called on to act on recommendations from a lengthy FBI probe, says nothing compromising came up during their visit. The discussion was limited to grand babies and golf and maybe Brexit, she says, not depositions or hackers or reckless disregard or the implications of unprotected classified information passing through Chappaqua on its way to rival governments even the foundation having traded on Hillary’s role as Secretary of State to squeeze foreign benefactors.
Maybe that’s the absolute truth. Maybe their conversation was as pure as a commercial for Hallmark cards. Know what? It doesn’t matter. Not even a little bit.
The head of the Justice Department cannot have any sort of meeting with someone whose spouse is the target of a criminal investigation. None. It wouldn’t matter if it was at center court of Madison Square Garden, surrounded by cameras, microphones and 20,000 witnesses. You just don’t do it.
It also doesn’t matter that they’re ancient friends who really might have stuff to talk about besides how weird it was that the first time Hillary publicly addressed her private server she showed up in an orange-is-the-new-black pantsuit.
No. One thing matters. Hillary Clinton, Bill’s wife and the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president, has to clear the so-called James Comey primary to have any shot at the White House. And, as FBI director, Comey’s boss is Loretta Lynch.
There’s an excellent chance Lynch will never have a bigger professional decision to make than the one about what to do with the FBI’s findings and Comey’s recommendations. How big? What she does will comprise the first line of her obituary.
Nonetheless, she let Bill Clinton crash any appearance of neutrality. And it cuts both ways. Rather than confirming Hillary’s boast that she’ll never face indictment, by allowing the Big Dog to come on board, Lynch might have made it impossible not to bring charges HRC. Because appearances and untoward influences and all that.
We will allow others to advance their conspiracy theories about a campaign-ending indictment being exactly what Bill really wants.
Back here in reality, we’re still weighing this whole business of getting knotted up over mere appearances. Please. What Lynch allowed to happen isn’t just the appearance of impropriety. It is impropriety itself. It is impropriety defined.
Lynch’s failure to slam a wall between herself and someone whose interests pivot on a tough decision she has to make displays the worst sort of judgment. The course of U.S. justice has been compromised. And she alone is responsible.
But the calls for Lynch to recuse herself fall short of the mark. By failing to see Bill Clinton as an obvious threat to her bubble of impartiality — which was already going to be a tough go — Lynch has betrayed her office, the career prosecutors who try to stay above politics, and the American people.
Loretta Lynch has shown she cannot be trusted to separate the personal from the professional, a fatal flaw in a nation committed, fundamentally, to rule by law, not by people. She must go.