By Bob Unruh
A legal team probing the “surreptitious” airport tarmac meeting in Phoenix between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton – just as Hillary Clinton was under FBI investigation for her handling of classified information – contends the FBI under James Comey lied about it.
The American Center for Law and Justice said it has obtained “hundreds of pages in our ongoing investigation and federal lawsuit on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton while the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI had an ongoing criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
“The results are shocking,” the non-profit legal advocacy group said.
“First, the Comey FBI lied to us. Last July, we sent FOIA requests to both the Comey FBI and the Lynch DOJ asking for any documents related to the Clinton Lynch plane meeting. The FBI, under the then directorship of James Comey, quickly replied that ‘No records responsive to your request were located.'”
However, from records that now have become available, it is “clear that there were multiple records within the FBI responsive to our request and that discussions regarding the surreptitious meeting between then AG Lynch and the husband of the subject of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation reached the highest levels of the FBI.”
The meeting was controversial because it was the chief overseer of a federal investigation meeting privately with the spouse of the subject of the investigation.
Lynch insisted it was merely a friendly discussion in which they got caught up on grandchildren and other personal matters.
ACLJ asked for federal records regarding the meeting, but it received an Oct. 21, 2016, letter from the FBI that states “no records responsive to your request were located.”
However, an email subsequently obtained by ACLJ — dated June 29, 2016, four months before the FBI letter –confirms that the FBI’s Michael Kortan was notified about the meeting.
The message from Melanie Newman of the Department of Justice to Kortan, the FBI’s Richard Quinn and others stated: “I want to flag a story that is gaining some traction tonight. Daily Caller, The Hill and FOX News have picked up a local Phoenix news report about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG. It happened on Monday night. Our talkers on this are below, along with the transcript of the AG’s Phoenix presser, where she was asked about this.”
It was at the referenced news conference that Lynch claimed the conversation was about family: “Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. … He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix, and he mentioned travels he’d had in West Virginia.”
Comey has become a thorn for the Trump administration already because he began looking into so-far unsubstantiated claims of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
When Trump fired Comey, Comey released private government documents to a friend with instructions to give them to the media, hoping, he admitted, to prompt the appointment of a special investigator, which did happen.
ACLJ said said there were several other emails addressing the issue.
And it pointed out the “talking points” regarding the Phoenix meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton were blacked out.
ACLJ said another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?” ACLJ noted.
Also, on July 1, 2016, just days before ACLJ’s FOIA request, a DOJ email chain under the subject line “FBI just called,’ indicates that the FBI “is looking for guidance” in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting.
ACLJ said the discussion then went off email to several phone calls of which it was not able to obtain records.
An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.”
ACLJ pointed out Jim Rybicki was the chief of staff and senior counselor to Comey and that the information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted.
ACLJ pointed out that such misleading answers are “in direct contravention to the law, and we are preparing further legal action to force the FBI to come clean and turn over ALL documents related to this matter to us in a timely manner.”
The legal organization said the documents it has obtained “paint a clear picture of a DOJ in crisis mode as the news broke of Attorney General Lynch’s meeting with former President Clinton.”
“In fact, the records appear to indicate that the attorney general’s spin team immediately began preparing talking points for the attorney general regarding the meeting BEFORE ever speaking with the AG about the matter.”
The government documents also reveal intense interest by Lynch and others in how the media was covering the story.
The group confirmed it will continue pursuing answers about “Attorney General Lynch’s ethically questionable meeting with former President Clinton during her investigation into Hillary Clinton.”