AG Loretta Lynch Must Recuse Herself on Clinton E-mail Case

by Diane Dimond on May 16, 2016

Headline Writers Call - or the Reporter's

Headline Writers Call – or the Reporter’s

A federal prosecutor friend wrote me recently and attached a news article with the headline, “Decision Time for FBI on Clinton.”

“Why does the media say stuff like this?” he asked.  “The FBI has no say in this or any investigation.” And he went on to muse about how reporters just don’t seem to understand that the only entity that can make a “decision” on whether to indict Hillary Clinton for the way she (mis)handled her State Department e-mails is the office of the U.S. Attorney General.

He’s right. The the final decision is up to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. With that said, I figure it is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Elephant, is thy name partisan politics?

It will be A.G. Lynch who makes the ultimate decision about whether then-Secretary of State Clinton broke the law when she bypassed the government’s computer system and re-routed her e-mails through a non-secure server at her home. And the clock is ticking on the A.G.’s conclusion.

Does AG Lynch Have a Conflict of Interest With Hillary?

Does AG Lynch Have a Conflict of Interest With Hillary Clinton’s E-mail Case?

The democratic convention is 10 weeks away and it’s a given that the pressure is on to announce the decision to proceed or drop the case before the party gathers in Philadelphia. The FBI is, reportedly, wrapping up its final interviews with top Clinton staffers and will soon send its findings to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

We would all like to believe the nation’s top cop is above political motivations but let’s take a look at Lynch’s background. She’s Harvard educated, worked as a litigator for a white glove law firm in New York City and in 1990 she became a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. She rose in the ranks and in 1999 President Bill Clinton appointed her to the post of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Lynch was responsible for several high profile prosecutions and, by all accounts, she was a terrific and tough U.S. Attorney. In 2014, President Obama nominated her to come to Washington to head the Department of Justice as Attorney General of the United States.

See a pattern there? In these times of rough-and-tumble presidential campaigns one should never discount the possibility of partisan politics rearing its ugly head. Realize, Lynch is being asked to decide the fate of the democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee, a woman whose husband appointed her to a prestigious position in 1999. Furthermore, Lynch got her current high profile job from another democratic president who certainly does not want a republican in the White House.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton Speak on Benghazi

President Obama and Secretary Clinton Speak on Benghazi

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Speak on Benghazi Massacre

No matter what the nabobs say about a simmering feud between the Obamas and the Clintons there is no way Barack Obama wants to be even marginally responsible for a republican taking his job. This is not to suggest the president has sent word to Lynch, or had a conversation with her, to go easy on Hillary Clinton. There need be no such conversation. Lynch knows what’s on the line. If she announces she’s seeking an indictment, or taking the case to a grand jury, Hillary Clinton’s years-long attempt to be president is in serious jeopardy.

It begs the questions: how tough is it to put personal allegiances aside when deciding a life-changing legal issue? Ask yourself, would you be able to go against people who had so significantly helped your career? Where does loyalty end and responsibility take over?

Back to my no-nonsense federal prosecutor friend. I asked what he thinks Lynch might do now that the State Department says classified information did, indeed, flow through Clinton’s home server.

Equal Justice For All, Right?

Equal Justice For All, Right?

“Classified info cannot be possessed anywhere but a secure government location,” he wrote. “I have no way of predicting what will happen but most of us in the field believe (Hillary Clinton) has (already) been given a silent, preemptive pardon.”

When I pressed him on that point he responded, “Anyone else would have been locked up. (T)hen the investigation would continue with that person in jail awaiting trial.”

Obviously, that hasn’t happened. And Hillary Clinton has repeatedly denied she put any classified material within reach of foreign operatives who might have hacked into her non-secure server. Her camp maintains the “classified” and “top secret” designations were slapped on the emails after-the-fact as the State Department prepared the documents for public release.

It’s not just federal prosecutors who are watching how their boss handles this political hot potato. Journalists who know about personal conflict of interest ethics should be watching too. I for one think Lynch should recuse herself and let someone with no connection to the Clinton’s or the White House make the decision.

The world is watching and history will certainly make note of how Loretta Lynch handles it.

hometypewriter-150x150

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:47 am

ABQ Journal Reader Sue Frow writes:

“Diane,

Hmmm. Maybe a coda to your piece would add more of a fair and unbiased tone to it. Two Republicans (!!) also communicated outside the official channels: Condi Rice and Colin Powell. So there is a precedent.”

Sue Frow=

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:48 am

Sue,

That’s sort of like saying there were spies against the United States before Benedict Arnold — so its okay that the spied.
Besides, I would maintain, no other high ranking public official set up and maintained their own UNSECURED server in their own home. So easy to hack into its laughable.
This isn’t a REPUBLICAN vs DEMOCRATIC issue in my mind. Its an issue of common sense. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:49 am

Reader Marian Gardner writes:

“I agree that the Attorney General should be replaced for this decision, the e-mails of Hillary Clinton. It is not fair to her or the cause of justice to have her make this decision.
However, what I would really like to see is the contents of all the e-mails of all of the major government job holders. Let’s be bi-partisan about this. Hillary didn’t invent this sometimes sloppy, too busy to think, procedure.”
Thank you, D Hawkins

Reply

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:51 am

Noozhawk Reader soulglow999 writes:

“Anyone else would have been locked up. (Then) the investigation would continue with that person in jail awaiting trial.”….was Patreus ever jailed as his investigation continued? I dont think so. Maybe your prosecutor friend should make use of prior precedents instead of using hypothetical normal average civilians or low level people with low level security clearances.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

Noozhawk Reader Paul R. Jones writes:

“A reminder, there is a very large ‘elephant in the room’ known as the NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL that have very sharp teeth! The final decision may flow from the COUNCIL whose members have a vested interest in the unconscionable ‘gross negligence’ by Hillary in handling of classified information. To insert politics into the final determination of what Hillary did and didn’t do, defeats the rule of law for one and leaves We, the People, with politicians who are ‘above the law’…a truly frighting prospect. Whether AG Lynch and or President Obama ‘pokes’ the COUNCIL in the eye by giving a ‘silent preemptive pardon’ remains to be seen. The prima facie evidence against Hillary from all media accounts is overwhelming…if politics interferes with the rule of law, that leaves We, the People with what? President Nixon ran that gambit in his lawyer’s argument before the United States Supreme Court. The Court’s decision was unanimous against President Nixon deciding he was not above the rule of law! This Republic survived Nixon; and, in the event the FBI and NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL members investigating Hillary’s actions returns a bill to indict citing violations of national security protocol explicitly outlined in Title 18 & 50, then Hillary is subject to the Rule of Law. Even returning a bill to indict Hillary’s minions with Hillary being an un-indicted co-conspirator may be sufficient to permanently remove Hillary from politics. I am grateful Hillary was not this Republic’s Secretary of State during World War II with the plans for OPERATION OVERLORD sitting in her un-locked desk draw at her home in New York….22-TOP SECRET-SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS is bad enough!”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

Noozhawk Reader Justice bro writes:

“The FBI can arrest Hillary, book her, then send the FBI case file to DOJ prosecutors. The FBI does not need the permission of the U.S Attorney General to arrest someone, just probable cause.”

Reply

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

Justice Bro:

Not the way it works. Especially not the way it works in an ultra-high-level case such as this one. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

ABQ Journal Reader T.J. Kong

Ross Beedle writes:

“She donated to Hillary, she must recuse and take ABC’s George Stephanopolis with her! “

Reply

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 8:59 am

ABQ Journal Reader TJ Kong writes:

“If you are interested in Hillary Clinton’s email issue you will want to read “An Expert and Insider Opinion on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal” See: https://ridethebomb1.wordpress.com/…/an-expert-and…/ “

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

ABQ Journal Reader John A Ingram writes:

“Anybody remember that infamous lawyer Kenneth Starr and his multi-million dollar taxpayer funded (by extreme right wing Republicans in Congress) investigation of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton?

Oh, you forgot or didn’t know?

Well, Mr. Starr admitted to Congress that he found NOTHING after years of looking.

When are we going to read Ms. Diamond’s hit piece on the greatest hater of women, Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans of all time? Who is that you ask?

That would be Donald “The Duck” Trump, America’s newest fascist.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

ABQ Journal Reader Effie Osborne writes:

“There’s classified security secrets and then there’s selling influence. hiLIARy sold arms to the bloodiest regimes on the planet (who also persecuted women) after they contributed tens or hudreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. We don’t even get to see 30,000 deleted “personal” emails which certainly would include Clinton Foundation correspondences.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Facebook Friend Kurt G. Kaner writes:

“She should recuse herself. It is pretty evident that’s she’s towing the political agenda. That’s a slippery slope. Now the Republicans can do the same once they yield the power to do so.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Facebook Friend Susan Alloggio writes:

“NOT a fan of Loretta Lynch.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Facebook Friend Richard W Brady Jr writes:

“Agreed. Sadly won’t happen.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Facebook Friend Ellen Drury Whitehurst writes:

“Brilliantly written and, unfortunately, going to turn out to be a predictive statement too. She’ll get off and all those people wanting Bernie will once again have to keep being Sisyphean and pushing that rock up the literal Hill.”

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Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Facebook Friend Alan Fountain writes:

“Yes This stuff Happens too often with ethics standards. If only due to appearances.”

Reply

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Twitter Pal MAJMikeLyons writes:

“@DiDimond is spot on here – AG Loretta Lynch Must Recuse Herself on Clinton E-mail Case shar.es/1dWWIi”

Reply

Diane Dimond May 16, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Noozhawk Reader William Smithers writes:

“The proposition that the Obama – or any – administration would not act to protect any of its favored members from strict application of any law is silly.

Of course President Obama will seek to protect his former Secretary of State, and current probable Democratic Party presidential nominee, from political and/or legal ramifications, no matter what her actual culpability.

You really hope to see a political appointee of the president voluntarily step aside when the political stakes are high?

You really have hopes that a political appointee of the man who broke almost every campaign promise he made, who oversaw the murder via drone strike of innocent American and other citizens, who prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president, who continued George Bush’s policy of prisoner torture via “rendition,” who consistently denied prisoners right to trial, who threatened prosecution of journalists who printed the revelations of whistleblowers, you have hopes that this man will properly oversee the scrupulous behavior of his appointees?

For anyone who has doubts as to Hillary Clinton’s lies. evasions and misrepresentations regarding her lodging government work-related communications on a server of her New York home, failure to return these to government security before leaving office, and doubts as to the seriousness of her actions, please refer to (1) FactCheck.com and (2) the comments of Edward Snowden as to the relative security of communications held by the government versus those stored on private servers.”

WS

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Don McMillan May 17, 2016 at 4:32 am

Only IMO, she will NOT recuse herself; Obama will NOT force her to recuse. So they will soft-pedal this fiasco on thru Nov, election, Meaning, haters will elect Trump, or, if Hillary survives as the Clintons always do, we are in for 4 – 8 yrs. of unsustainable homeland Social Programs, among other financial ruins, and be assured of perpetual Foreign Intervention, So, I see this whole Stink as a Lose, Lose Proposition for America. Unless, Tell Me Please?

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Diane Dimond May 17, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Facebook Friend Bill Voinovich writes:

“I STILL say the only reason they’re politicians is because NONE of them could SURVIVE if they had REAL JOBS………..
It’s just NOT in their makeup to be anywhere CLOSE to HONEST…….”

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John R. Austin May 18, 2016 at 11:45 am

I found your article provocative and on point. There are literally dozens of samples of such cronyism in the Clinton(s) political history bag. The bag began to fill in the 1970s with the likes of Troopergate, filegate, Travelgate and Whitewater. Does anyone think that the pardoning of Jim McDougal by Mr. Clinton, wasn’t a planed event. The silence of the U.S Attorney Generals office on the e-mail matter is defining. The Clinton clan a big broom, and with it the e-mail conundrum will be swept under the rug. Unless maybe Mills or Abedin will step up.

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Lisa May 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Diane,
Me and you both know Lynch will give a statement that will make no sense why Clinton isn’t being indicted.
Not to go off subject here, look how Hillary wins states when Bernie actually wins the State. And Saturday Night Live just did a skit on Hillary winning, drinking at a bar, toasting Bernie and saying she’s winning a mathematically, it was funny.
When sanders gave out Debbie W. phone number; she said the system has been the same since 2014. Um, didn’t Obama run with no opponents on the Dem side? Why did it change in 2014?
Anyhow,
Why I love reading your work, you blast both sides in politics and don’t back down.

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