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Tag Archives: Loretta Lynch

The Only News in the Comey Book is About Loretta Lynch

It’s incredible to watch the mainstream media hype former FBI Director James Comey’s book even though there is absolutely nothing substantively new in it about President Trump.

The media all seem to have either gotten it leaked to them or paid some lowly bookstore employees to give it to them ahead of its release Tuesday. They must have been gravely disappointed, because there’s nothing we don’t already know except an indication in the book that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch may have had conflicting loyalties with respect the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

But here are some of the headlines:

New York Times: In Comey’s book, visceral details and a grim view of Trump

Washington Post: Scathing book

Politico: Comey’s rebuke of Trump cuts deep

So? The “news” apparently is that Comey wrote a mean girls book about Trump. Among the “highlights” dramatically rendered by the media are Comey’s commentary on the color of Trump’s hair and skin.

His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I suppose he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, shiny blonde hair, which, on a careful inspection looked to be all his own.

Finally, finally, it seems, someone has gotten close enough to Trump to see what he looks like in person.

Comey reveals Trump’s “obsession” with details in the unproven Russia dossier that he observed Russian prostitutes peeing on each other. If government had a dossier about me saying I’d ordered up this kind of activity, I’d be a little obsessed myself. Comey gravely states that he can’t rule out that Peepeegate actually happened.

Comey says Trump reminded him of a mobster, has an “us-versus-them” worldview, is a liar – who knew? – and, get this, is some kind of egomaniac.

Trump? An egomaniac? No!! Finally, someone with the courage to say it.

There are details we already know about Trump trying to get Comey to let Michael Flynn off the hook and attempting to extract some kind of loyalty pledge from him. But in the end, Comey says this:

I have one perspective on the behavior I saw, which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal.

Now, there’s a little news, actually.

What we have here is a book laden with moralizing by Comey about leadership, Trump, life, and the higher sense of purpose and sterling character of James Comey. There’s a bunch of stuff like this:

Getting problems, pain, hopes, and doubts out on the table so we can talk honestly about them and work to improve is the best way to lead. By acknowledging our issues, we have the best chance of resolving them in a healthy way. Buried pain never gets better with age. And by remembering and being open and truthful about our mistakes, we reduce the chance we will repeat them.

Thank you, Dr. Freud.

A lot of people apparently, including Barack Obama, assured Comey after the 2016 election that he was doing a fine job. He is a good boy, no matter what that mean Trump says.

Obama and Comey
It’s okay James. You’re a good person.

One thing that seems a little less interesting to the press is the suggestion in Comey’s book that he had obtained information about Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch that could have shown she was comprimised in her “probe” of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation.

That is something not entirely unexpected, but defintely new.

Senate Judiciary Committee Investigating Loretta Lynch

The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch interfered politically in the criminal probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

From a statement by Judiciary panel Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.

In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.” Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.”

Comey testified to Congress earlier this month that Lynch’s instructions to him about how to frame the probe caused him to lose confidence in Lynch’s independence, and that of DOJ.

“At one point, [Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” Mr. Comey said. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”

The Clinton campaign was terming the investigation, which was in fact an investigation, a “matter.”

Lynch Opposes Obama Gitmo-Emptying Plan

Well, it’s nice to see the attorney general do something right for a change, like standing up for national security and the rule of law. Which is supposed to be her job. From Reuters:

President Barack Obama is again facing dissent from within his administration – this time from Attorney General Loretta Lynch – over his plans to shutter the Guantanamo Bay military prison, according to senior administration officials.

Lynch, a former federal prosecutor whom Obama appointed to head the Justice Department two years ago, is opposing a White House-backed proposal that would allow Guantanamo Bay prisoners to plead guilty to terrorism charges in federal court by videoconference, the officials said.

Over the past three months, Lynch has twice intervened to block administration proposals on the issue, objecting that they would violate longstanding rules of criminal-justice procedure . . .

White House officials confirmed that President Obama supports the proposal. But the president declined to overrule objections from Lynch, the administration’s top law-enforcement official.

“There were some frustrations,” said a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The top lawyer in the land has weighed in, and that was the DOJ’s purview to do that.”

If enacted into law, the Obama-backed plan would allow detained terrorism suspects who plead guilty to serve their sentences in a third-country prison, without setting foot on U.S. soil. The plan would thus sidestep a Congressional ban on transferring detainees to the United States, which has left dozens of prisoners in long-term judicial limbo in Guantanamo, the American military enclave in Cuba.

Obama has vowed to close the prison on his watch. But while he has overseen the release of some 160 men from the prison, the facility still holds 80 detainees.

Worrisome Questions About Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, has so far been seen as a relatively moderate choice designed not to provoke Republicans while Obama goes about provoking them with other things, like amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But, writing for the conservative Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, legal scholar Hans Von Spakovsky raises some disturbing points about Lynch, an African American who may be in the habit of viewing legal issues through the same prism of race used by Holder.

Lynch seems to share Holder’s view that voter ID laws threaten to undo voting rights achieved in the 1960s for minorities.

Van Spakovsky writes:

Lynch . . . has made it clear that she would continue Holder’s war on election integrity. In a speech at the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center in New York in January, Lynch claimed that efforts to improve the integrity of the election process were an attempt “to take back” what Martin Luther King, Jr. had fought for and that state legislatures were trying to “reverse” the gains made in voting.

Lynch made it clear she approved of the Justice Department’s lawsuits against states such as North Carolina to stop voter ID laws and changes in early voting and same-day registration rules, saying such suits “will continue.”

The death penalty, it seems, must not be employed because it applies to too many minorities:

She is cited as saying in a 2002 roundtable discussion that she had to repeatedly “explain decisions not to seek the [death] penalty” when she was a prosecutor.  She claimed that the relative ease with which the death penalty was applied against blacks and Hispanics suggested a systematic disregard for minority citizens.

Lynch would not apply the death penalty even if all of the “problems” with it could be fixed, according to the article, simply because of its supposed disparate impact on minorities: “You can be as fair as possible in a particular case, but the reality is that the federal death penalty is going to hit harder on certain groups.”

Lynch, Von Spakovsky notes, has been a member of the attorney general’s advisory committee of U.S. attorneys and should detail for the Senate what advice she gave Holder on various issues.

The process of vetting Lynch is just beginning. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were done incompetently by the Obama administration, or if things that would seem like red flags to ordinary Americans too easily passed muster with Obama’s team.

This will be one of the GOP Senate’s first endeavors. They’ll be eager to exercise their newfound power, and Lynch might not have things so easy.

Obama Names Loretta Lynch to Replace Holder

Updated 7:35 pm ET

President Obama will name New York City federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. The news was first reported by CNN.

Loretta_Lynch_US_AttorneyLynch is not considered a showboat or a headline grabber, and she seems a lock for confirmation, having already been confirmed twice for posts unanimously by the Senate.

Making a relatively noncontroversial choice could be seen as an effort by Obama to build relations with Republicans, who no doubt will be steaming mad about his upcoming executive order on immigration.

It would mean rejecting Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, seen as a left-wing firebrand who previously led the DOJ civil rights division, for the post.

Lynch’s perhaps most famous case was the conviction of a white New York City police officer who sodomized Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, with a broken broomstick in 1997.

Lynch, 54, would be the first African American female attorney general. She was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

UPDATE: It’s now official, Lynch will be nominated to be attorney general.