July 1st, 2016

Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch: they’ve got to stop meeting like this

Why did Bill Clinton and AG Loretta Lynch have a chat this past Monday? No one knows, although that doesn’t stop everyone from speculating. Lynch says it was purely social—golf, grandkids, you know the drill. For about 30 minutes.

The ABC article I just linked to added this:

The meeting was a chance encounter as the two crossed paths at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, according to Lynch.

“As I was landing, he was headed out,” Lynch said at a press conference Wednesday. “He did come over and say hello and speak to my husband and myself.”

When I first heard the news several days ago, I pictured them strolling past each other by accident (with their respective retinues, of course), recognizing each other, and having a chat. That’s the way one would ordinarily interpret “chance encounter” and “crossed paths.”

But that’s not what happened. Actually, “Clinton was about to leave Phoenix when he was informed Lynch was arriving,” and he went to her private plane to have the conversation.

That’s a “chance encounter” in the sense that it probably wasn’t planned way ahead of time, but in order to “cross paths” a rather large effort had to be made. They did not just bump into each other in the corridor.

At any rate, we don’t know what was said. However, AGs and people connected with a matter that’s being investigated by that AG are not supposed to have conversations about golf or anything else. They’re supposed to scrupulously avoid any situation that has the appearance or impropriety or offers the possibility of impropriety. Both parties here are and/or should have been well aware of that. Anyone who pretends otherwise is either ignorant or disingenuous.

The repercussions in terms of what will happen to Hillary Clinton are unknown, but the upshot is that in the ensuing hue and cry over the meeting, Lynch has said she will accept the recommendation of the FBI in the matter of the Hillary Clinton investigation. That leaves FBI Director James Comey in a more powerful position than anyone had expected.

Unless, of course, Lynch wanted for some reason to get off the hot seat on the Clintons. I don’t happen to believe that; I think Lynch wanted to remain in the position of being the driver on this no matter what the FBI said.

Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection says that it’s even worse than it looks on the surface, and that Lynch should resign:

The NY Times and initial reports on MSNBC indicated this was tantamount to a recusal, but the DOJ is now walking it back just a little, saying the likelihood of her overruling the FBI is very low, but not zero.

I pointed out on June 29 that the real story here is not just the meeting, but also that Lynch and Clinton kept it secret until a local reporter found out about it…

But for that sleuthing local reporter, the public never would have known about the grossly improper meeting between the husband of a woman (Hillary) under FBI investigation and as to whom Lynch has the ultimate power to prosecute or not.

As Larry O’Connor at Hot Air points out, it’s even worse than that because Bill Clinton himself and the conduct of the Clinton Foundation are under investigation. So Lynch not only met with the husband of someone under investigation, she met with someone whose foundation is under investigation…

And, on top of that, O’Connor points out, there was an active effort to conceal the meeting, with FBI and Secret Service preventing photos or video…

Professor Jacobson also points out that President Obama has previously commented on the Cllinton email furor and that this constitutes “impermissible interference, signalling to the FBI what is expected of it.”

A Lynch resignation is not going to happen, IMHO. And of course the FBI knows what’s expected of it, probably even without any signaling from Obama. Everyone knows what’s riding on this, with Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

I have said from the start that I do not believe Hillary Clinton will be indicted, although I think it’s fairly clear that she should be. I was basing that, however, on the idea that the DOJ (Lynch) would be making the decision. I still think it will go that way (note that the Times has planted the seed of the idea that Lynch still could overrule the FBI if need be), but it is slightly less in the bag. Only slightly, however. This is way too big a deal to be left to the judgment of people who are impartial.

Of course, if Clinton is indicted—and depending on who replaces her—the Democrats may be more likely, not less, to win the presidency than if she were running.

24 Responses to “Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch: they’ve got to stop meeting like this”

  1. OM Says:

    Bill is always

    “Looking for love in all the wrong places, Looking for….” or

    “Some enchanted evening, you may meet a stranger…”

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The meeting had be initiated by Lynch. Bill Clinton had to have been informed that she wished to meet with him. Information had to be the purpose of that meeting, information that Lynch (Obama) wanted Bill to pass on to Hillary. My guess is to inform Hillary of how Obama wished to coordinate with her. They’re “getting their ducks in a row”.

    I’ve come round to thinking that Obama does not want Hillary indicted, and former prosecutor Jeanine Pirro offers the most cogent explanation I’ve yet heard;

    ‘It’s a Charade’: Judge Pirro on Why Hillary Won’t Be Indicted for Her Emails

    “Justice host Judge Jeanine Pirro told the hosts of Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends she believes the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server has essentially been turned into nothing more than a high profile dog and pony show.

    Pirro explained that the stage has been set for Clinton not to be indited, largely because of the close involvement of President Barack Obama. Clinton has frequently stated that her use of the email server was common knowledge, including by the president. “Everyone knew about my email situation, everyone in Washington knew,” Pirro said, imitating Clinton. “Translation: Mr. President, this ain’t happening, because you’re my first witness.’”

    “The reason she will not be indicted is because her first witness as a defendant in a criminal case is the president of the United States. Why? Because Hillary Clinton emailed President Barack Obama. He knew she had a private email server. So he is complicit. And they will not allow a constitutional crisis where the President of the United States knew about the risking of security of the United States,” Pirro said.”

    As always, self-interest lies at the heart of otherwise inexplicable behavior.

  3. ScottJ Says:

    This is probably a scandal for the ages. Not only is the President implicated by being in the email chain, the investigation probably names numerous high profile politicos on both sides of the aisle. Full disclosure could conceivably collapse the government and would seriously damage many carefully constructed political structures not to mention ending the lucrative careers of said politicians. This is a BIG deal, and the elites are scrambling to figure out how to handle it.

    And don’t forget the Obama vs Clinton clan wars. Both sides are maneuvering for advantage.

    I imagine rank and file FBI law enforcement types are seriously angry at the lawlessness they see. It will be interesting to see how much information leaks out.

  4. CapnRusty Says:

    Regarding the email investigation, Loretta Lynch stated today “I will be accepting their recommendations” and “the case will be resolved by the same team that has been working on it from the beginning.” Ms Lynch is an operative for the party whose hero is the suspect’s husband. That man famously debated the meaning of “is.”

    Given that background, in her statement:
    “I will be accepting their recommendations”

    (1) what does “accepting” mean?
    (2) to whom does “the[y]” refer?
    (3) what document will establish those “recommendations?”

    And, in the following statement:
    “the case will be resolved by the same team that has been working on it from the beginning”

    (1) what does “case” mean?
    (2) what does “resolved” mean?
    (3) who is on “the same team”
    (4) when did said “team” begin working on “the case”?

  5. Oldflyer Says:

    My wife and I have a discussion going. Whenever one of the talking heads, I mean reporter, says it was a mistake for Lynch to meet Clinton, I get angry.
    I say it is not a mistake when you perform an intentional act that you know is wrong. A mistake in my mind is something that is inadvertent, or something that is excusable. This does not rise to that level, to borrow from an older phrase. She does not agree.

    Another phrase that makes me grind my teeth is “bad optics”. Really? Just looks bad? Just a lapse in judgement? Again, this was a premeditated meeting–had to be since it was on a private jet; they didn’t just pass in the TSA line. When people at that level do something that is premeditated, I don’t call it a lapse in judgement. A lapse in judgement implies a spontaneous action. And it more than “looks bad”; it is bad.

    The claims by the perpetrators, as well as the reporting, smacks of attempts to paper over Islamic Terrorism.

    My take. Other opinions may differ.

  6. RohanV Says:

    There’s an article in the Observer suggesting that Clinton was the one who arranged the meeting by delaying his flight, and the Lynch was unaware that he would do this.

    The source is one of the people providing security for her:

    http://observer.com/2016/07/exclusive-security-source-details-bill-clinton-maneuver-to-meet-loretta-lynch/

  7. mezzrow Says:

    “We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”— Malcolm Muggeridge

  8. mezzrow Says:

    Many things become possible for those who are truly shameless. The Clintons exist to always remind us of this fact.

  9. Yancey Ward Says:

    It was to intimidate, and I think it was believed to have been secret. That it was found out was not anticipated, and it hurts Clinton, and it does give Comey more power.

    I still think the most likely outcome is for Clinton to leave the race before the Democratic Convention. For the Democrats, it is the safest and most rational path- you can’t control the leaks if the plan is to sit on any recommendation made by the FBI. Imagine what happens in September when it is leaked that the FBI recommended indictment of Clinton and/or anyone in her staff, and the AG hasn’t made a decision. Clinton would not only be toast, but it would be too late to replace her. They need to dump her now.

  10. Ann Says:

    At JustOneMinute:

    Of course, they had a lot to talk about. If the conversation about Hillary’s emails lagged, there was the question of whether Hillary passed along State Dept. info about a Greek bailout to her hedge-fund son-in-law, with Bill as a possible conduit.

    The article at the link has this:

    In 2012, Mezvinski, the husband of Chelsea Clinton, created a $325 million basket of offshore funds under the Eaglevale Partners banner through a special arrangement with investment bank Goldman Sachs. The funds have lost tens of millions of dollars predicting that bailouts of the Greek banking system would pump up the value of the country’s distressed bonds. One fund, exclusively dedicated to Greek debt, suffered near-total losses.

    Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2013 to run for president. But newly released emails from 2012 show that she and Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared “protected” State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband at the same time that her son-in-law aimed his hedge fund at Greece.

    That America’s top diplomat kept a sharp eye on intelligence assessing the chances of a bailout of the Greek central bank is not a problem. However, sharing such sensitive information with friends and family would have been highly improper. Federal regulations prohibit the use of nonpublic information to further private interests or the interests of others. The mere perception of a conflict of interest is unacceptable.

  11. vanderleun Says:

    Soon this will be released on the Lifetime Channel as the dramadocumentary, Snakes On A Plane 2

  12. parker Says:

    Thanks to the donald, there is no need to dump hrc a second time. If the delegates in Cleveland dump trump, the dnc would be wise to hang out hrc to twist in the wind. I assume the obamas have plenty of dirt on the clintons and that is reciprocated by the clintons. So hrc looks safe from indictment. Yet, its been a very weird roller coaster ride so far and almost anything seems possible.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The FBI is not going to recommend indictment. It’s all been a dog & pony show. Indicting Hillary would reveal Obama’s complicity. She’s guilty as hell. Obama’s guilty as hell. This has all been pretense and misdirection in order to avoid prosecution. The Democrat party could survive Hillary’s prosecution but it could not survive the proof that Obama is an unindicted co-conspiritor.

  14. OM Says:

    If the Republicans can survive Trump the Democrats can surely survive Hillary and Obama.

    Yogi Berra – “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

  15. Richard Saunders Says:

    Oldflyer — It’s a mistake to get caught!

  16. Beverly Says:

    Well, folks, the National Enquirer (yep) has done some real reporting on the whole OTHER half of the Clinton Slime Empire — the Clinton Foundation money-laundering operation/pay-to-play racket.

    And I’m serious. They also put Hildabeast on the front cover, with “CORRUPT!” in headlines:

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/photos/hillary-clinton-corrupt-scandals-clinton-foundation-national-enquirer-report/photo/162618/

    “$139 Million for Political Favors”
    “Fraud and Bribes: Foundation Used as a Slush Fund”
    “Top Aide Exposes Corrupt Hillary”
    –Clintons took in close to $140 million from Middle East sheikhs and billionaires
    –Under Hillary’s leadership, the STate Dept. approved $165 BILLION of commercial ARMS SALES to 20 nations whose governments had “donated” to the Foundation
    –Foundation steered money improperly to for-profit companies owned by Clinton cronies
    –One donor (quarter mil $$) scored an appointment to a State Dept. nuclear STRATEGY advisory board despite having NO qualifications
    –Oil-rich ME nations funneled at least $137 million to the Foundation
    –E.g.: Bill took away some $15 million in “guaranteed payments” after brokering a deal with Dubai’s ruler, Al Maktoum, tax records reveal
    –In one deal, Putin masterminded an arrangement that gave Russia control of ONE FIFTH of America’s uranium production capacity. Since U is considered warzone weaponry with implications for national security, “Hillary had to approve the deal. She did, and four donations totalling $2.35 million made their way to the Foundation.”

    There’s a LOT more. They worked on this for a month and a half, and developed sources, dug through tax records, and more. Shoot, this makes the Watergate kerfuffle look like Tiddlywinks. Hell, it’s not even in the same universe.

    Don’t worry about your neighbors noticing you’ve bought a copy of the N.E., just do it. This is worth reading: four pages of print with many specific allegations, all of them criminal and/or glaring violations of ethics, national security, decency, you name it.

    Ain’t it grand that the only journos who are doing actual Fourth Estate, you know, DIGGING are the guys in the most famous tabloid?

  17. AesopFan Says:

    Beverly Says:
    July 1st, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    Well, folks, the National Enquirer (yep) has done some real reporting on the whole OTHER half of the Clinton Slime Empire — the Clinton Foundation money-laundering operation/pay-to-play racket.

    And I’m serious. They also put Hildabeast on the front cover, with “CORRUPT!” in headlines:

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/photos/hillary-clinton-corrupt-scandals-clinton-foundation-national-enquirer-report/photo/162618/

    Ain’t it grand that the only journos who are doing actual Fourth Estate, you know, DIGGING are the guys in the most famous tabloid?

    ***
    They hit pay-dirt before. But it’s a sad thing when you can get better information from a tabloid than from Respectable Journalists.

    Couple more links for fun:
    http://observer.com/2016/07/awkward-encounters-clinton-and-lynch-were-not-discussing-grandchildren-and-golf/

    because:
    http://heavy.com/news/2016/07/loretta-lynch-husband-stephen-hargrove-married-family-wife-kids-children-daughter-attorney-general-meeting-bill-clinton/

    “Loretta Lynch and Stephen Hargrove did not have kids together after marrying in 2007, but Hargrove has two children from a previous marriage.

    These two stepchildren are 21 and 22 years old, and Lynch says she loves being with them, although she knows that she can’t ask them to devote too much of their time to her.”
    LL has changed her story to discussing A grandkid, not OUR grandkids.
    ““I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as I was leaving, and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” Lynch told reporters. “Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels.”
    Earlier statements read thusly:

  18. AesopFan Says:

    (continued)
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2016/06/30/oh-loretta-lynch-had-a-private-meeting-with-bill-clinton-wednesday-n2185593
    Lynch said the private meeting on the tarmac did not involve these topics.

    “Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix,” said Lynch Tuesday afternoon while speaking at the Phoenix Police Department.”

    ***
    Clinton has 2 grandchildren, Lynch has none.
    I think it is very likely they DID discuss what might happen to the Clinton grandbabies if their mother, grandmother, and grandfather were sent to jail – it is inconceivable that Chelsea was not complicit in some of the shenanigans at the Foundation, if not also at State.
    (typo earlier should be: TWO grandchildren, not A grandchild)

  19. M J R Says:

    mezzrow, 5:00 pm —

    “Many things become possible for those who are truly shameless. The Clintons exist to always remind us of this fact.”

    Rush Limbaugh has said, with respect to the Clintons or to liberals generally, or very possibly/probably with respect to both — they’re anatomically different from normal people like you and me: they have no shame gland.

  20. A_Nonny_Mouse Says:

    It’s already dropped off Drudge, but I BELIEVE I recall a headline to the effect that “FBI agents demand no photos, no recordings” of the plane that Lynch and Clinton had their meeting in.

    Is preventing newsworthy events from being documented now a part of the FBI’s Official Job Description?

    (Waaay back when Mr. Bill was still in office, I had read something-or-other that made it sound like the FBI at that time was part of Bill’s “sanitation crew”, ever-ready to whisk away evidence of indiscretions… or evidence of anything else that might “tarnish the Office” of the President. I hate the thought that it might be true … but with the Clintons, sleazy as they are and have always been, I can’t say I DISbelieve it. Do any of the Faithful Commenters here have knowledge of what comprises the FBI’s duties-to-the-President?)

  21. F Says:

    A-N-M:

    I don’t think the FBI people were there with the President: I think they were The AG’s protective detail. Each federal agency supplies it’s own protective detail for its No. 1. Reporting I have seen said there were “FBI agents and Secret Service Agents present.” The former would have been with Lynch, the latter with Clinton (who gets SS protection for life.)

  22. JuliB Says:

    “with FBI and Secret Service preventing photos or video…”

    This seriously offends me as an American.

  23. blert Says:

    Rush Limbaugh’s theory is the best I’ve read so far.

    Think of this as ‘pre-deflation’ — a media manipulation technique that Bill Clinton is a master of.

  24. Cornhead Says:

    Given the documented lawbreaking and corruption of the Clintons it shocks me she polls above 40%.

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