The political scandal of the day was the news that on Monday evening (coincidentally just before the Benghazi report was released), Bill Clinton and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch just happened to meet on the tarmac at a Phoenix airport – totally unplanned of course. Clinton saw the attorney general and wanted to say hello, so Clinton boarded Lynch’s plane to talk for a bit. Sure, just a quick chat about the weather, his putting stroke, anything except oh, say, an update on what was about to be released on Benghazi, and especially not an update on the ongoing FBI investigation into Hillary.
“Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels. He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix, and he mentioned travels he’d had in West Virginia. There was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body. There was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of the State Department emails, by way of example” Lynch told reporters.
While Lynch claims it was a completely random encounter with Hillary Clinton’s husband, even Barack Obama’s former advisor David Axelrod admitted that the meeting created “bad optics”
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 30, 2016
Sensing an opportunity to drive home a point about the Clintons’ lack of judgment, Trump quickly pounced on the meeting.
“It is an amazing thing,” Trump said during an interview on the Mike Gallagher Show, noting the pair met on an airplane at the Phoenix airport. “It was really a sneak. It was something they didn’t want publicized, as I understand it,” Trump said, regarding the meeting Monday night. “I think it’s so terrible; I think it’s so horrible. I think it’s one of the big stories of this week, of this month, of this year,” Trump continued.
“How bad a judgment is it for him or for her to do this? Who would do this?” Trump asked.
it won’t end there. Moments ago, conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch today requested that the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General investigate the meeting yesterday between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President William J. Clinton on board a parked private plane on the west side of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona on June 29, 2016, according to multiple press reports.
President Clinton is the spouse of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former Secretary of State, who is purportedly the subject of a national security crime investigation pertaining to the mishandling of national defense information processed by Mrs. Clinton’s personal server during her tenure as secretary.
Additionally, there are press reports that a federal public corruption investigation is on-going concerning conflicts of interest and abuse of official government office involving the financial “commitments” to the Clinton Foundation, speaking fees for President Clinton and former Secretary Clinton’s official acts. President Clinton may be a target of that investigation.
Attorney General Lynch’s meeting with President Clinton creates the appearance of a violation of law, ethical standards and good judgment. Attorney General Lynch’s decision to breach the well-defined ethical standards of the Department of Justice and the American legal profession is an outrageous abuse of the public’s trust. Her conduct and statements undermine confidence in her ability to objectively investigate and prosecute possible violations of law associated with President Clinton and Secretary Clinton. This incident undermines the public’s faith in the fair administration of justice.
Simply stated, Attorney General Lynch’s June 29, 2016 meeting with former President Clinton creates the broad public impression that “the fix is in.”
Judicial Watch requests your immediate and thorough investigation of the facts, circumstances, and appearances of ethical, regulatory and legal violations by Attorney General Lynch in connection with her meeting with former President William J. Clinton – and that you report your findings and recommendations to the American public.
Judicial Watch cites in its complaint 18 USC §§ 202 – 209; Executive Order 12674 on Principles of Ethical Conduct as amended by EO 12731; Uniform Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR Part 2635; Department of Justice regulations, 5 CFR Part 3801; Department of Justice regulations, 28 CFR Part 45; Executive branch standards of conduct, 5 USC § 735; and, United States Department of Justice Ethics Handbook for On and Off-Duty Conduct, 14 Principles for Ethical Conduct:
“14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.”
5 C.F.R 2635.101 (b)
“An employee shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that the employee is violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part.”
5 CFR 2635.101(b)(14)
As Judicial Watch concludes: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton severely undermined the already low public confidence in her agency’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In addition to this IG investigation, Judicial Watch has already sent Freedom of Information Act requests about this scandalous meeting.”
Of course, even if the IG does grant the Judicial Watch request, following today’s news that the state department is seeking a 27 month delay for the release of Clinton Foundation emails, we would expect that this probe would be concluded some time in November of 2024, just as Hillary is handing over the dynastic scepter to Chelsea.
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