Loretta Lynch still isn’t on the Senate calendar since her November nomination, and that’s given dubious senators more time to demand answers from President Obama’s pick to replace Attorney General Eric Holder.
In an April 2 letter, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) asked Lynch if she would investigate Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of private email — and deletion of many of those emails — during her time as secretary of State.
Vitter charged that Clinton “failed to meet her general duty under 44 U.S.C. §3101 to ‘preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency and designed to furnish the information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.'”
“As a federal attorney, it is your responsibility to uphold our laws. In fact, during your nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, you presented yourself as a candidate committed to impartial enforcement of the law and pointed to your record of prosecuting public corruption on a fair and non-partisan basis,” the senator wrote.
“…Clinton’s actions certainly warrant such investigation. If you are confirmed as Attorney General Eric Holder’s replacement, will you commit to a vigorous and transparent investigation of the allegations that Clinton used her personal email account and server to shield politically-sensitive material from FOIA requests? If your investigation of these allegations demonstrate violations of federal record-keeping laws, I request that—in your capacity as top lawyer for the American public—you appoint a Special Counsel to prosecute these violations to the full extent of the law.”
Vitter asked for a reply by April 13, and Lynch responded on Wednesday.
“In my current role as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, my awareness of this issue has been limited to media reports and therefore, I do not have enough information at this time to determine whether action by the Department of Justice is warranted,” she wrote.
“You also requested that I appoint a Special Counsel in the event the Department investigates this matter and finds violations of federal record-keeping laws,” she continued. “I assure you that, if I am confirmed as Attorney General, I will exercise my discretion as Attorney General in an appropriate manner in all cases. As I testified at my confirmation hearing, if I am confirmed as Attorney General, the Constitution and the laws of the United States will be my guide in exercising the powers and responsibilities of that office, and I will fulfill those responsibilities with integrity and independence.”
Lynch’s nomination passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 26 with the backing of three Republicans: Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.).