Loretta Lynch: Come to think of it, my meeting with Bill Clinton has cast a shadow over the e-mail investigation

There are two mysteries in Lynch’s meeting with Clinton. One is why she agreed to meet him in the first place, especially when she’s surely aware that the entire population of the United States assumes that Hillary will walk free because the corrupt cronyist Democratic administration simply will not allow its presidential hopes to be torpedoed. Lynch should have known better than to hold a private meeting with the politically connected spouse of someone under federal investigation under any circumstances. In these circumstances, though, when there’s already a shadow hanging over the investigation in the public’s mind, it’s unfathomable. Just ask the FBI:

It’s so unfathomable, in fact, that even Lynch didn’t bother denying this morning that it looks bad.

“I certainly wouldn’t do it again because I think it has cast this shadow over what it should not, over what it will not touch,” Lynch said at the event, adding, “It’s important to make it clear that that meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter will be reviewed and resolved.”…

“It really was a social meeting, and it was, it really was in that regard,” she said. “He spoke to me, he spoke to my husband for some time on the plane, and then we moved on.”

But she said she understood why the incident caused concerns, and said it was “painful” to her that the Justice Department’s integrity was called into question.

“No matter how I viewed it, I understand how people view it,” she said.

I don’t think she ever gives Jonathan Capehart a straight answer here when he asks her what the hell she was thinking. She does say, though, that “The most important thing for me as the Attorney General is the integrity of this Department of Justice.” If that were true, notes Stephen Hayes, the next step would be obvious. She would recuse herself formally from the investigation. That’s the second mystery: Having acknowledged herself how bad her meeting with Clinton looks, Lynch nonetheless refuses to step aside and cede control of the outcome to her deputies. How come? When Capehart, who’s chummy as can be in questioning her, asks her about that, she says that recusal would mean she wouldn’t even be briefed on the results of the FBI investigation. Right, and? So what?

Could … this be why she won’t give up control?

“I fully expect to accept their recommendations,” Lynch said Friday at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. “The final determination for how to proceed will be contained in the recommendations in the report.”…

“A recusal would mean that I wouldn’t even be briefed on what the findings were, or what the actions going forward would be,” Lynch said. “While I don’t have a role in those findings and coming up with those findings or making those recommendations as to how to go forward, I’ll be briefed on it and I will be accepting their recommendations.”

She’s saying two different things there. “Expecting” to accept the FBI’s findings suggests that she might yet overrule them. Saying that she “will” accept their findings means that she won’t. In the first case, the only way Lynch might realistically overrule them is if they recommend charging Hillary and Lynch refuses, which would send public suspicions of a conspiracy within the DOJ to protect Hillary from lava-hot to thermonuclear. In the second case, if Lynch is honestly planning to do whatever the FBI recommends, then there’s no reason not to recuse herself. She’s telling you upfront that she’ll cede the decision on whether to charge to her underlings. Her refusal to recuse under those circumstances is nonsensical. Either way, we have a problem.

Here’s the clip, which, between Capehart’s approach and the crowd’s obvious receptiveness to Lynch, is about as formidable a setting for her to be grilled about this as a Hannity townhall would be for Trump. (Well … maybe it’s a little more formidable than that.)

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