by Debra Heine · August 10, 2017
A lawsuit against the Justice Department has revealed documents that show there were email exchanges between the FBI and the DOJ — and the DOJ and the Obama White House — regarding the controversial tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton in June of 2016. Talking points were forwarded from the DOJ to the White House assistant press secretary, according to Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOJ from the ACLJ, we now know that the FBI was not being truthful when it said that it had “no” documents about the secret meeting. We also know that the media was unenthusiastic about reporting on the scandal and even colluded with the Obama DOJ on ways to bury the story. Finally, we discovered that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch (AKA Elizabeth Carlisle) was using a secret email address to conduct official business.
Now the ACLJ is reporting that the White House was involved.
On the afternoon of June 29, 2016, two days after the Clinton-Lynch meeting, senior DOJ officials forwarded an email containing a transcript of AG Lynch’s press availability where she answered questions about the meeting directly to the Assistant Press Secretary and Spokeswoman at the Obama White House, Brandi Hoffine, that stated, “I’ve attached a document containing the transcript to this email, and I’ve included the text below. Please let me know if there is anything that needs to be corrected.”
Nineteen minutes later, the same senior DOJ official, Melanie Newman – the person who had taken point on the DOJ spin team – emailed the FBI to “flag” the story about the meeting – an email the Comey-led FBI told us last October didn’t exist. This email included the now redacted talking points – key spin the Obama deep state still doesn’t want the public to see.
It was Comey himself who testified that the Clinton-Lynch meeting was the impetus for his now infamous public announcement exonerating Hillary Clinton. He testified before Congress, “[I]n an ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department.” We know that AG Lynch’s Deputy Chief of Staff contacted Comey’s Chief of Staff and Counselor, Jim Rybicki, with information that is still redacted on July 1st, just days before Comey’s public announcement.
We’ve also learned that within 2 minutes of the first press inquiry about the Clinton-Lynch meeting, senior DOJ officials had added Matthew Axelrod, the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, into the conversation. Axelrod was the number two to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and according to his bio, “took the lead in advising on crisis management within the DOJ, working closely with the White House, Congress, the FBI, and the media on DOJ’s most sensitive and high-profile matters.”
So within 2 minutes of learning that the press had found out about the secret Clinton-Lynch meeting, senior DOJ officials knew they had a crisis on their hands.
But it gets even worse. We’ve also learned that Paige Herwig, Counselor to AG Lynch, was directly editing the still redacted talking points. Herwig is now the Deputy General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary for Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein – the committee that is now investigating the Lynch matter. Before becoming Counselor to AG Lynch, Herwig was Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to President Obama.
The conflict of interest is astounding. Committee staff who are supposedly investigating this situation were the same people creating the talking points – Obama loyalists investigating themselves.
The ACLJ is preparing direct legal action to get the unredacted documents, but it’s frankly outrageous that the Sessions DOJ redacted them in the first place. The documents would reveal the talking points and spin that the DOJ concocted to manage the scandal.
By the way, isn’t it a little strange that Loretta Lynch needed all this help with talking points just to explain a “chance” meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac? All they did was talk about golf and grandkids, right?
Jordan Sekulow appeared on Fox Business Wednesday to discuss the Obama administration’s crisis-management efforts after the controversial meeting.
Fox News host David Asman noted that a New York Times reporter who contacted the DOJ’s press office “almost apologized” for having to cover the story.
He actually emailed back later and provided the DOJ with the text of his story before it was published “so that they could comment and edit it,” Sekulow added.