Most of you will recall that truly bizarre tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the heat of the 2016 campaign. It wasn’t on either of their official schedules and if it weren’t for an astute local reporter we likely never would have known about it. Their conversation “about golf and grandchildren” just as investigations into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server were reaching a crescendo did eventually make it into the national news, but just barely. Even to this day, when questions were raised in the Senate, we’ve been wondering if people such as Senator Feinstein really wanted to talk about it at all.
According to the Daily Caller, there were some other folks who didn’t seem terribly interested in airing that sort of dirty laundry when it first came to light. They included reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request indicate that some of our stalwart defenders of the Freedom of the Press in the Fourth Estate may have been interested in getting that story off the front pages as quickly as possible.
A series of emails from reporters at The Washington Post and The New York Times published Friday reveal they weren’t eager to cover the 2016 tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit organization, released a series of emails that show the reporters at the outlets didn’t seem to want to cover the secret meeting between the former president and Lynch, as the Department of Justice was investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Matt Zapotosky, a WaPo reporter, reached out to a Department of Justice spokesperson in the hopes of “putting the story to rest.”
Framing your request for details as an effort to “put the story to rest” doesn’t exactly speak to a dogged reporter digging for the truth. But Zapotosky wasn’t the only one to turn up in this investigation. Mark Landler, White House correspondent for the New York Times, described his assignment to cover the story as him being, “pressed into service.” Again, given the players involved and the timing, one might think that a dutiful reporter would be excited at the prospect of chasing down such a juicy lead. But apparently not.
The investigation into how these events played out uncovered another interesting tidbit. The DC further reports that much of the official government correspondence between Lynch and other officials in Washington was taking place via an account where she used the pseudonym of “Elizabeth Carlisle,” which is at least a bit more discreet than Eric Holder’s choice of “Lew Alcindor.”
Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch used an email alias to conduct government business, The Daily Caller has confirmed.
Several of Lynch’s emails were included in 413 pages of DOJ documents provided to the conservative groups Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice. Both groups had filed lawsuits for records regarding Lynch’s controversial meeting with President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport last June 27.
Using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle,” Lynch corresponded with DOJ press officials to hammer out talking points in response to media requests about the meeting. The tarmac encounter drew criticism from conservatives because Lynch was overseeing the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email system.
Who knows if we’ll ever get to the bottom of this one. In the end, that meeting took place away from the eyes of the public and the press and we have zero to go on other than what Lynch and Clinton are willing to tell us. It was such an obvious lightning rod that an open and transparent government office would have reported it themselves immediately to explain how and why it happened. But they didn’t. Had it not been for the one local reporter I mentioned above we would likely have never even known about it. But I’m pretty sure that “Elizabeth Carlisle” might know a few more details than we’ve heard thus far.