Laura Ingraham reacted to the private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton.
The meeting took place Tuesday at the Phoenix airport on Lynch’s plane shortly after she landed. She later told reporters that the conversation was “primarily social and about our travels” and that “there was no discussion of any matter pending before the department or any matter pending before any other body,” including Benghazi or State Department emails.
Greta Van Susteren asked Ingraham how they could be “so tone deaf” to meet privately while the DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton about her emails.
Ingraham said it goes back to the former president’s conduct in the White House, when everyone wondered how Clinton could be so “stupid” about his affairs.
“There is a brazen effort to undermine U.S. law and at the very least the appearance of impropriety and ethical considerations, which you and I know as lawyers, people take very seriously.”
Ingraham said the appearance of a conflict of interest can be just as damaging as the actual conflict. She added that the last thing the DOJ needed was “further undermining of the objectivity of this investigation.”
Skip to 6:20 of this morning’s interview with Salem’s Mike Gallagher for the key bit. Trump meanders a bit but he nails the key point: The Lynch/Clinton huddle is indeed splashy evidence that “the system is rigged” and that no one enjoys the rigging as much as the Clintons do. There’s no way to explain the attorney general agreeing to schmooze with a former president whose spouse is under federal investigation apart from them both being blinded to the appearance of impropriety by the arrogance of their own power. It’s freakishly stupid since it creates a gift-wrapped excuse for Trump to challenge the outcome of the feds’ investigation if, as everyone expects, Hillary ends up not being indicted. It’s not that she didn’t do anything wrong, Trump will say, it’s that she has powerful liberal cronies at the highest levels of government willing to subvert justice to protect her. Lynch meeting with Clinton is proof that they’re not even embarrassed enough about it to try to hide it. If you’re a middle manager in the federal bureaucracy and you mishandle classified information, you go to prison; if you’re Hillary Clinton, you go to a dinner party with Loretta Lynch. Trump can and should hang that around Hillary’s neck every day from now until November.
William Jacobson makes a good point too that shouldn’t go overlooked. Neither Lynch nor Clinton volunteered information about the meeting after it happened. Lynch acknowledged it seemingly only because a local news crew had gotten a tip and asked her about it. There’s every reason to think they were going to conceal this, which stands to reason since the whole point of the schmoozing on Clinton’s end obviously was to build some goodwill with the AG while the DOJ is mulling charges. Both of them knew that the meeting was improper and both of them knew that it would look improper to the public. Undermining faith in the fairness of the judicial system, one would think, is near the top of the unofficial list of “Things Attorneys General Should Never Do.” Lynch did it anyway. How come?
This is also stupid:
From the standpoint of legal ethics, Lynch did nothing wrong, said New York University law school professor Stephen Gillers. Gillers said he didn’t think the attorney general needed to recuse herself from overseeing the email probe. But Gillers took a sterner tone with Bill Clinton.
“It was the height of insensitivity for the former president to approach the attorney general,” Gillers said. “He put her in a very difficult position. She wasn’t really free to say she wouldn’t talk to a former president,” after Clinton boarded her plane in Arizona.
She wasn’t? If Bill had handed her an envelope filled with cash, would she have been free to refuse that? The idea that the AG couldn’t politely turn down an attempt to gladhand her in hopes of influencing an investigation because the gladhander was a former president is a screaming red-letter example of Trump’s point about special rules for the Clintons. Lynch should have turned down the invitation cold. As it is, John Cornyn’s right: The public will now suspect that Lynch is essentially representing two different parties in the dispute. And when Hillary goes free, as literally everyone knows she will, we’ll know which party she cared about more. If Trump doesn’t push this at every rally for the rest of the year, it’s political malpractice.