An­other day, an­other in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Se­nate is look­ing now at Loretta Lynch’s cu­ri­ous judg­ment on the job

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY -

Gone are the days when the losers went home af­ter an elec­tion, to nurse their wounds, cat­a­log their mis­takes, and get ready for an­other round. Now an elec­tion is never over, and spe­cial pros­e­cu­tors and their reg­i­ments of lawyers, egged on by the me­dia, con­tinue the cam­paign by “other means.”

The U.S. Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee has opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine whether Loretta Lynch, the U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral in the late, lamented Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, tried to cook the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign to a Demo­cratic-friendly recipe.

In a let­ter to Miss Lynch last week, the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee asked her to de­tail her in­volve­ment in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and specif­i­cally they’re in­ter­ested to know whether she “as­sured” Mrs. Clin­ton’s cam­paign that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion wouldn’t “push too deeply into the mat­ter.”

Nat­u­rally there’s a Comey con­nec­tion. James Comey, who was direc­tor of the FBI dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has said that Miss Lynch tried to “shape” the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and there was “other” be­hav­ior “which I can’t talk about yet.” He said he was con­cerned that Miss Lynch might not have the abil­ity to make im­par­tial de­ci­sions.

Mr. Comey told sen­a­tors at a hear­ing ear­lier this month that the for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral even sug­gested the specific lan­guage he should use to de­scribe his in­ves­ti­ga­tion. First of all, he shouldn’t call his in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Mrs. Clin­ton’s in­fa­mous pri­vate email server by its right name.

“At one point,” Mr. Comey told the Se­nate Se­lect Com­mit­tee on In­tel­li­gence, “[Mrs. Clin­ton] di­rected me not to call it an ‘in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’ but in­stead call it a ‘mat­ter,’ which con­fused me and con­cerned me. That was one of the bricks in the road that led me to con­clude that I have to step away from the [Jus­tice] Depart­ment if we are to close this case cred­i­bly.”

He told the com­mit­tee that he didn’t know how she in­tended for him to take such guid­ance, but he got the im­pres­sion that “the at­tor­ney gen­eral was look­ing to align the way we talked about our in­ves­ti­ga­tion with the way a po­lit­i­cal cam­paign was de­scrib­ing the same ac­tiv­ity.” Un­com­fort­able or not, Mr. Comey said, he agreed to his boss’ lan­guage.

Sen. Charles E. Grass­ley, the Repub­li­can chair­man of the com­mit­tee, promised that the new in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be “bi­par­ti­san,” which would be some­thing new for post-elec­tion blues for all sea­sons. The let­ter to Miss Lynch, telling her that some­body has been watch­ing, was not only signed by Mr. Grass­ley, but by Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein of Cal­i­for­nia, the rank­ing Demo­crat, and by Sens. Lind­sey Gra­ham of South Carolina, a Repub­li­can, and Shel­don Whitehouse of Rhode Is­land, a Demo­crat, the chair­man and the rank­ing Demo­crat on the sub­com­mit­tee that will con­duct the ac­tual in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

They’ll no doubt look into Miss Lynch’s tak­ing tea with Bill Clin­ton aboard her air­plane parked on the tar­mac at the Phoenix air­port just days be­fore the Novem­ber elec­tion. The meet­ing was ex­plained at the time as a happy co­in­ci­dence, that Bubba was just pass­ing through and wanted to say hello.

But cu­ri­ous Se­nate in­ves­ti­ga­tors might want to know whether grand­chil­dren were all they talked about. That was the cover story, and so far they’re stick­ing to it. But when gumshoes get on the case, you never know.

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