Politics & Policy

Loretta Lynch & Bill Clinton Meet Secretly, but Swear They’re Totally Trustworthy

Attorney general Loretta Lynch (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Their tarmac ‘golf’ chat shows that high-level Democrats aren’t even pretending to follow the rule of law.

Hillary Clinton is currently the subject of the highest-profile national-security investigation in recent memory. She is also the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. She is also the wife of a former president (a Democrat). She is also a former member of the (Democratic) presidential cabinet whose attorney general, Loretta Lynch (a Democrat), is conducting the investigation and will determine whether to prosecute.

Someone who doesn’t know any better might wonder about a conflict — or conflicts — of interest.

Now it emerges that on Monday evening Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch spent a half-hour chatting aboard Lynch’s private plane on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Rest assured, though: “There was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body,” Lynch told reporters afterward. She and the former president mainly discussed Clinton’s “grandchildren,” their travels, and “golf.”

If it was not already clear, it most certainly is now: It’s not simply that our highest officials are above the law. It’s that they know they are, and they can’t even be bothered to hide it.

An attorney general capable of feeling even an ounce of shame would have nixed the meeting with Clinton in the interest of projecting some modicum of objectivity.

For more than a year, we’ve known that Hillary Clinton broke the law. The Federal Records Act explicitly requires “the head of each Federal agency” — including the secretary of state — to preserve any “records,” including e-mails, related to the agency’s essential operations; and federal criminal law punishes as a felony anyone who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys” an official government record. Furthermore, at least 2,000 of the e-mails on Clinton’s private server contained classified, or even “top secret,” information — in direct contradiction of her assurances, and the law. Finally, it became public knowledge in October that Clinton forwarded the real name of a confidential CIA source over her unsecured private server; shortly after, the State Department refused to release three-dozen pages of e-mails on the grounds that the intelligence contained in them could potentially damage national security.

Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence, Loretta Lynch is almost certainly not going to prosecute the former secretary of state. The Democrats’ hold on power is at stake. Failure to prosecute would be a grievous blow to the rule of law, but it seems that Democratic higher-ups don’t much care.

And, what is more, they can’t even be bothered to pretend. An attorney general capable of feeling even an ounce of shame would have nixed the meeting with Clinton in the interest of projecting some modicum of objectivity. Even Bill Clinton, for whom being alone with a woman on a private plane is just an average Monday, might have been persuaded that this particular rendezvous was bad optics.

But apparently not.

#related#For years, Democrats have decried the “appearance” of impropriety among officeholders. When the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that independent expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the reasoning “either naïve or Machiavellian.” Democrats have long contended that even the appearance of impropriety — let alone actual corruption — undermines public confidence in the government. Just imagine if Alberto Gonzales had had a private pow-wow with Scooter Libby’s wife in 2006.

But Democrats are, as always, exempt from their own rules. What has changed is that they’re no longer even pretending otherwise.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More