Lynch defends decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Attorney General Loretta Lynch Tuesday defended her decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information while Secretary of State.

“As you are aware last week I met with Director (James) Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted that investigation,” Lynch told House Judiciary Committee. “I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough year long investigation be closed and no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of investigation.”

Lynch’s testimony comes less than a week after Comey defended his decision not to recommend charges against Clinton.

Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in his opening statement that the rule of law must apply to high ranking public officials to the same extent it does to that of ordinary citizens. Goodlatte also said that that principle was not applied to Clinton.

“The American people also expect government officials to abide by the law just like everyone else and be reprimanded when they break the law,” Goodlatte said. “That is not the case for former Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton.”

Goodlatte said Lynch’s private meeting with former President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix Airport in late June was “particularly troubling,” because at the time former Secretary Clinton was being investigated by the Department of Justice. Goodlatte also said that the ongoing FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation for receiving questionable donations complicates the situation further.

Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said Clinton’s email scandal is over and that the committee should focus on police accountability in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of two unarmed African-American men last week.

“It’s more critical than ever that we reach an agreement on police accountability and standards,” Conyers said. “At a time when African-Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over while driving, more than three times more likely to have their car searched and more than twice as likely to be shot by police; it is imperative that we restore public faith in our criminal justice system.”

Goodlatte asked Lynch why she did not recuse herself from the investigation considering Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State by President Obama, for whom she still works, and also because Lynch served in former President Clinton’s Justice Department.

“Given that she was a political appointee of your current boss and more importantly the wife of your previous boss, why did you not see fit to recuse yourself from the investigation,” Goodlatte asked.  “Wouldn’t recusal or appointment of a special prosecutor have removed any appearance of impropriety given your service during Bill Clinton’s presidency?”

Lynch said there was no need for recusal or an independent prosecutor because the investigation was handled without any pretense of favoritism.

“As I’ve said on several occasions before, when the referral came into the Department of Justice it was received and it was referred to serious dedicated career agents and prosecutors who handle matters of this kind everyday with independence, with efficiency, with thoroughness and the matter was handled like any other matter,” Lynch said.

Goodlatte also asked Lynch why her private meeting with former President Clinton would not reasonably consitute grounds for recusal. Lynch again dismissed the need for recusal and said she and Clinton merely enjoyed a social visit.

“With respect to my conversation that I had with former President Clinton in Phoenix; it was a conversation that was held on the airplane, on the tarmac,” Lynch said. “The former President indicated he wanted to say hello and I agreed to say hello.” And we had a social conversation; nothing of any relationship to the email investigation was discussed nor were any specific cases or matters before the Department of Justice discussed.”

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News