When Attorney General Loretta Lynch agreed to meet with Bill Clinton in her plane at Sky Harbor International Airport last week, it may have been more than a mere act of politeness for a former president — she may have been returning a political favor.
After the 30-minute meeting was uncovered by an enterprising local reporter, Lynch claimed it was all innocent, chance encounter as well as a “mistake” and in retrospect she shouldn’t have agreed to it.
First of all, it wasn’t a chance encounter, according to the New York Observer, a weekly publication owned by Jared Kushner, husband to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
The Observer’s source was an unnamed member of a government security detail — either an FBI agent protecting Lynch or a Secret Service agent protecting former President Bill Clinton.
“According to this source, whose credentials were checked and confirmed by the Observer with sources inside both the FBI and the United States Secret Service, the attorney general was caught completely off guard by the meeting and the source dismisses suggestions that have been raised alleging that she waited there to see Bill Clinton or accommodated his request to see him,” the Observer said.
“In fact, it seems from this source that it was Bill Clinton who was maneuvering for face time with the attorney general, because his plane had been scheduled to leave before hers arrived.
Between Clinton and Lynch, Clinton, after all, was the one with a problem he needed addressed — not Lynch. And who was Lynch to say “no” to not just a former president, but one who’d played a role in her career?
Clinton was in large part responsible for her rise within the Justice Department. After all, “he first nominated her to be the US attorney in Brooklyn in 1999, a promotion that changed her life,” according to Michael Goodwin, writing for The New York Post.
And career-boosts are not soon forgotten.
After his presidency, she went to a top private law firm, and became a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bill Clinton had been very, very good to her, and without his boost, she probably wouldn’t even have been a candidate to replace Holder.
And now her patron wanted a private meeting. Both had to know it was wrong, but he had nothing to lose and didn’t care about her reputation or the Justice Department’s.
Although the meeting placed an unwanted spotlight on Lynch, to Clinton she was probably just another notch in his belt — another woman to be used. But in this instance for political — not sexual — gain.
After owning up to the meeting, the attorney general said she’d agree with the recommendations of the FBI and the Justice Department’s career prosecutors.
We’ll see. When Lynch was confirmed as the country’s chief law enforcement officer, she seemed to be a breath of fresh air after four years of her politically-driven predecessor, Eric Holder.
Let’s hope she comes out of this with her reputation intact.