Touching on a potential conflict of interest related to Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s role in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Senator Chuck Grassley noted some political relationships that might give the appearance of impropriety. Testifying at the Justice Department Oversight Hearing on Wednesday, Lynch deployed her trademark refusal to answer specific and pointed questions.
Given that the ostensibly charitable Clinton Foundation is reportedly being targeted by an FBI investigation into its possible involvement in “pay for play” corruption, Lynch’s 1999 appointment to become a federal attorney by then President Bill Clinton may appear to be a conflict of interest.
In January, the Clinton Foundation received a subpoena by the State Department’s Inspector General seeking documents pertaining to its operations that may have required federal approval during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.
In 2012, Huma Abedin simultaneously worked as then Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department in addition to the Clinton Foundation.
President Barack Obama weighed in the investigation, as did Press Secretary Josh Earnest, assuring Americans that Clinton had not compromised national security or committed any crimes via her mishandling of sensitive and classified information.
Noting that top secret information was found on Clinton’s private email server placing national security at risk, Grassley observed the partisan political element.
“Given the politics involved, the potential for improper influence over the work of the investigators and career prosecutors is high. The President and his spokesman have commented on the merits of the investigation, and some news reports say the investigation includes even the Clinton Foundation, but President Clinton, who is involved in the foundation, appointed you to be U.S. Attorney in New York.”
Asked by Senator John Cornyn whether she and/or the Department of Justice is responsible for extending guarantees of legal immunity to targets of investigation, Lynch waxed lawyerly and provided vague descriptions of legal protocol in order to evade answering the question.
Days ago, former State Department employee Bryan Pagliano - who set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server for a $5000 fee - received immunity as part of a criminal investigation in negligent handling of classified information.
In September of last year, Pagliano invoked the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid incriminating himself for criminal behavior related to the scandal when asked to testify before congressional committees.
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