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Law & the Courts

Questions for Attorney General Lynch Re: E-mailgate

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is testifying today before the House Judiciary Committee. Members of that panel will query her under oath for hours. While she is in that position of maximum potential transparency, here are a few questions that committee members should ask Attorney General Lynch:

• When did you first learn that former president Clinton would be present at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on Monday, June 27?

• Was your meeting with him arranged ahead of time?

• If not, when was it arranged?

• Did you meet former president Clinton on your invitation or his initiative?

• When that meeting was proposed by former president Clinton or by you, why did you not immediately realize its impropriety, given that his wife was under criminal investigation by your department, at that very time?

• According to news reports, FBI agents on the tarmac in Phoenix told bystanders not to take pictures or videos of your meeting with former President Clinton. Were these media accounts accurate?

• If so, why were these federal law enforcement officers trying to prevent the documentation of a meeting that you have characterized as an innocent social encounter?

• Were these FBI agents, in fact, covering up potential evidence of a meeting that violated elementary legal ethics?

• In addition to you and former president Clinton, who else attended the meeting on your airplane?

• Were any staff members of yours or former president Clinton’s present?

• If so, was your meeting recorded, or were any notes taken?

• If so, when will such recordings or notes be made available to this committee?

• You said of your meeting with former president Clinton that “It was primarily social…” Please detail what you and the former president discussed beyond this primarily social conversation.

• Did you and former president Clinton discuss in any way, shape, or form the FBI’s and Justice Department’s investigations of former Secretary Clinton, former president Clinton, and/or any of their associates or former associates or staffers regarding the former secretary’s e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, the Benghazi massacre, or any other matter of public interest?

• FBI agents interrogated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday, July 2, regarding the E-mailgate scandal. FBI Director James Comey testified last week before the House Government Oversight Committee that this questioning was not done under oath. Is this correct?

• Why would the FBI and the Justice Department take three and a half hours of statements from the target of a year-long criminal investigation without first swearing her in to assure that she told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help her God? 

• Was this arrangement typical or unusual, and if unusual, how unusual?

• Did you and FBI Director Comey discuss his findings or recommendations on the E-mailgate investigation before his July 5 public announcement of same?

• Had you not agreed to accept the recommendations of Comey and career prosecutors in this matter — after your secret meeting with former President Clinton cast “a shadow,” in your words, over this probe — would you have decided differently on Comey’s recommendation? 

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg has argued that former Secretary Clinton’s insecure, home-based, private server was itself this case’s “smoking gun.” Didn’t Secretary Clinton violate the federal Espionage Act 18 U.S. Code § 793 (f) merely by transferring classified material from an authorized location, such as her office-based computer, to a location where they were not authorized, namely the server or servers in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York?

• Since you decided that it was not illegal to transfer classified material from the State Department (an authorized location), to former secretary’s basement (an unauthorized location), should rank-and-file State Department employees conclude that it now is perfectly legal for them to take classified materials home in their briefcases — not for the nefarious intention of espionage, but for the innocent purpose of conducting their important work at home, say, on weekends and federal holidays?

• If such State Department employees cannot so conclude, doesn’t this confirm that there is a double standard, a lenient one for former secretary Clinton and a stringent one for everyone else?

• Given that former secretary of state Clinton spent six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, do you think it is reasonable to believe that she could not distinguish a classified document or e-mail from an unclassified document or e-mail?

• On how many of former secretary of state Clinton’s servers and devices did the FBI and Justice Department discover classified material?

• Is the Justice Department currently investigating the Clinton Foundation?

• If so, what is the nature of that probe?

• When do you anticipate concluding that inquiry and announcing its results?

• Given the importance for voters to judge former secretary Clinton’s guilt or innocence of public corruption related to her involvement in the Clinton Foundation, will you pledge here to announce the results of any such investigation before Election Day — Tuesday, November 8, 2016?

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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