No one (other than James Comey himself, whose testimony was inevitably crafted to make himself look like Washington’s Last Boy Scout) came out of Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearings smelling like a rose, but Obama’s second attorney general, Loretta Lynch, looked especially bad after Comey was finished talking. On Thursday, we were enlightened once and for all about President Trump’s attempts to “obstruct justice” – they are fictional – but we learned that obstruction charges may indeed be necessary in Lynch’s case.
In his testimony, Comey confirmed that three separate occurrences caused him to come to the conclusion that it was necessary for him to break protocol and deliver the big “Hillary Clinton exoneration speech” of last summer. The first was AG Lynch’s bizarre and suspicious meeting with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona only days before the FBI’s case was closed. The second was a matter that could not be discussed in an open hearing due to matters still under classification. The third was a strange meeting where Lynch told Comey that they were not to refer to the Clinton investigation AS an investigation. Instead, they were to refer to it only as a “matter” when speaking to the public.
“That concerned me,” Comey said Thursday, “because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work. “I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate.”
Sen. John Cornyn then asked if it would be fair to conclude that Lynch had a “conflict of interest” when it came to the Hillary investigation, to which Comey replied: “That’s fair.”
Now Lynch didn’t, as far as we know, have any special relationship to the Clintons. Certainly, she wasn’t out there stumping for Hillary the way Jeff Sessions was for Trump. And yet, we heard nothing in Comey’s testimony to make us think that Sessions interfered in ANY WAY with the FBI’s investigation into Russia, and, in fact, he recused himself from the entire matter. That’s the way a professional behaves when there is even the slightest whiff of impropriety. Lynch, for some reason we still don’t know, did not see fit to behave that way.
We deserve to know that reason. We deserve to know whether it came out of some backroom dealings with the prospective Democratic candidate for president. We deserve to know, ultimately, whether it came from Barack Obama himself. When the Democrats have finished running themselves into butter over this ridiculous Russian collusion “matter,” Republicans should go and find us the answers we deserve.