News of a private meeting between U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix Airport has prompted renewed calls from political pundits and legal eagles for the AG to recuse herself from the Clinton email investigation.
The 30-minute meeting took place Monday evening at Sky Harbor International Airport on board a parked private plane mere hours before the public release of the Benghazi report.
This comes as the FBI and Lynch’s Justice Department are investigating Hillary Clinton’s highly problematic and probably illegal use of a private email server while secretary of state.
The secret meeting was only brought to light when a reporter from Phoenix’s ABC15 TV asked Lynch about it during a press conference later on at the Phoenix Police Department.
Lynch was arriving in Phoenix for a planned visit as part of her national tour to promote community policing.
ABC15 asked Lynch about the meeting during her news conference at the Phoenix Police Department.
“I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as he was leaving and spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” said Lynch.
The attorney general insisted that nothing untoward was discussed when she met with the husband of the woman whose fate rests in her hands. She took a half an hour out of her busy schedule to talk about babies, golfing, traveling, and various current events (excepting the two top stories in the news, Benghazi and EmailGate).
“Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix,” said Lynch Tuesday afternoon while speaking at the Phoenix Police Department.
Sources say the private meeting at the airport lasted around 30 minutes.
“There was no discussion on any matter pending before the Department or any matter pending with any other body, there was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of State Department emails, by way of example I would say it was current news of the day, the Brexit decision and what it would mean,” she said.
Ted J. Williams, a former D.C. criminal defense attorney who is a regular on Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren’s legal panel, was apoplectic.
“I think the attorney general has compromised the integrity of any decision that she could make in this investigation,” Williams exclaimed, referring to the Clinton email investigation. “It’s the appearance! Hillary Clinton is under investigation by the FBI. Loretta Lynch is in a position where she is going to have to make a decision one way or another concerning the prosecution of Hillary Clinton.”
He added, “She needs to recuse herself! And I guarantee that the drums are going to beat loud for her to do so.”
“You have to avoid the appearance of impropriety,” Miami-based attorney Katie Phang concurred.
“This one to me isn’t even close,” a scandalized Greta Van Susteren said. “This is the person who is going to make the decision whether this goes to a grand jury, goes a step farther or not. And for that person to meet with the spouse of the person who is under investigation in a plane privately — even if they do talk about grandchildren! This one isn’t even close! What in the world was that woman thinking?!?”
“This is stupid. This is stuck on stupid!” agreed Williams.
Phang agreed that Lynch needs to “remove herself” from the case. “Why allow any question of the integrity into the investigation’s result? You should never do that, especially when it’s at this high level,” she said.
Michael Reagan, the son of former president Ronald Reagan, also thinks that Lynch should recuse herself after her highly suspicious meeting with Bill Clinton.
He told Newsmax TV Wednesday that “you don’t just walk, accidentally, into a government plane.”
“You have to be invited into a government plane to be able to speak and talk to somebody else in that government plane. So why was he invited in?” Reagan told “Newsmax Prime” host J.D. Hayworth. “I can’t believe the attorney general said, ‘Hey, I want to invite ol’ Bill Clinton in to talk about grandkids. That’s now how it goes down. There’s something else was going down.”
From the left, former MSNBC anchor David Shuster called for her recusal on Twitter:
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) June 29, 2016
On Wednesday, a man from Huntington, New York, started a petition on Change.org for Lynch to recuse herself: Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate the Clinton Email Scandal.
Today it was revealed that Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will be deciding whether or not to indict Hillary Clinton in the email scandal, had a private, social meeting with Bill Clinton where they discussed “golf and grandchildren”. Having a “social meeting” with the spouse of someone who may be the subject of an indictment is inappropriate, and it is clear that Loretta Lynch no longer has the ability to remain neutral in deciding whether or not to indict Secretary Clinton for her actions involving her private email server, the Clinton Foundation, or beyond. Given the fact that there is a nominating convention and a Presidential election coming up, we demand that Pres. Obama immediately appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Hillary Clinton matter, and that Loretta Lynch be relieved of any ability to make a determination in this case.
By late Wednesday night, the petition had garnered over 500 signatures. As of Thursday morning, it had over 1,000.
Last February, Lynch faced pressure from Republicans to step aside and let an independent prosecutor handle the case. The Justice Department has thus far declined congressional requests to appoint a special prosecutor to lead the Clinton investigation.