It was one of the most corrupt, sleazy moves in recent political history. And the backlast cost Attorney General Loretta Lynch serious political points
Lynch admitted that her meeting with Bill Clinton while his wife is under federal investigation “cast a shadow” on the public’s perception of a case playing heavily into the presidential campaign this Friday.
The meeting created immediate bipartisan angst and underscored the political consequences of the FBI-led probe into the former secretary of state’s email.
Her statements were aimed at tamping down concerns that the investigation could be politically tainted or that Lynch, an Obama administration appointee, might overrule the findings of agents and prosecutors who have spent months looking into the possible mishandling of classified information on the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state.
Some critics remain unconvinced. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton called for her immediate resignation.
Others applauded her actions, saying that by recusing herself from the Clinton investigation, it removes a “safety net” for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Conservative political pundit Dick Morris said Friday, “It really effectively removes the safety net that Hillary had under her like a circus performer walking on a high tightrope, they fall off, they’re caught by the net.”
Lynch said she understood that her private meeting with Clinton aboard her plane in Phoenix might be seen as compromising the neutrality of the investigation, even though she said the probe of Hillary Clinton was not discussed.
Asked what she was thinking in permitting the meeting to occur, she said, “I completely get that question, and I think it is the question of the day.”
The outcome of the investigation is bound to influence the presidential campaign, whether to Clinton’s benefit if she emerges unscathed or Republican rival Donald Trump in the event that she or anyone close to her winds up prosecuted. Bill Clinton’s approach of the attorney general also could reinforce suspicions that the Clintons play by different rules than anyone else and aggravate questions of trust that already hang over Hillary Clinton in the minds of some voters — even if she’s never charged.
Trump tweeted that “Bill’s meeting was probably initiated and demanded by Hillary,” without offering evidence of that. “Does anybody really believe that meeting was just a coincidence?” he asked. The Clinton campaign declined to comment on Lynch’s remarks.
Bill Clinton, like his wife’s campaign, declined through spokespeople to comment.
It’s certainly not the first time the ex-president’s missteps, often on behalf of his wife, have attracted negative attention. In February, for instance, he compared supporters of Clinton opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders to GOP tea party activists and more recently described the controversy over his wife’s private email server as a “game.”
Congressional Republicans seized on the meeting between the former president and the attorney general.
“The notion that the prosecutor, the person who runs the Justice Department, would spend 30 minutes in a private conversation with the spouse of someone her department is investigating raises all sorts of red flags and even Democrats have admitted it,” GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told Miami 610 WIOD Radio.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
Main Street says
Very basic practice that a prosecutor doesn’t socialize with a family member they are investigating. Is Ms. Loretta really investigating? Congress does nothing.
Arthur Hartsock says
Is it not correct that Bill Clinton delayed his flight over an hour, so he could speak with Ms. Lynch? This was no accidental innocent conversation about grand kiddies. Everything the Clintons do is cold and calculated. And Ms. Lynch will probably be paid off with a highly paid attorney job after she is no longer AG. Which will be November no matter who is elected.
Alan Humphries says
I love how the puppets are out saying it was a “chance” meeting and all they “talked” about was grandchildren and golf. The lame stream media is complicit in this manure.Now they regret the meeting LOL,no, they regret getting caught.Billie boy Intentionally delayed his departure so he could put Ms. Lynch in her place. This is all a sham.
And we expect more of the clintons. They need to pack up and return to Arkansas. I don’t trust them and it’s obvious they have no honor.