PowerLine ->   Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting

PowerLine ->   Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting
  • Robert Hardy, RIP
  • Bringing art to the masses, Mayor de Blasio style
  • “Would I have done the same?”
  • Blabbermouth speaks
Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting

Posted: 04 Aug 2017 04:46 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

The American Center for Law and Justice has doggedly pursued information about then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s infamous tarmac meeting with former president Bill Clinton. The Department of Justice has finally responded to ACLJ’s FOIA request with a small number of documents. Several interesting points emerge from the DOJ’s emails, beginning with the fact that the FBI falsely claimed not to have any documents relating to the meeting:

[T]he 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, replied that “No records responsive to your request were located.”

The documents we received today from the Department of Justice include several emails from the FBI to DOJ officials concerning the meeting. One with the subject line “FLAG” was the correspondence between FBI officials (Richard Quinn, FBI Media/Investigative Publicity, and Michael Kortan) and DOJ officials concerning “flag[ing] a story . . . about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG.” The DOJ official instructs the FBI to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this”. The talking points, however, are redacted.

Another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”

On July 1, 2016 – just days before our 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. The discussion then went off the email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey.

There are only two possibilities here: either someone at the FBI destroyed documents relating to the Bureau’s communications about the Lynch/Clinton meeting, or someone at the FBI lied in response to ACLJ’s FOIA request. Federal agencies have personnel dedicated to responding to FOIA requests, and presumably, the people who carry out this relatively mundane task would not lie or destroy documents without instructions from the top.

To me, the most interesting revelation of the DOJ documents is the extent to which the Democratic Party media were anxious to squash the Lynch/Clinton story. Thus, Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post told DOJ’s spokeswoman that he was “hoping I can put [the story] to rest,” notwithstanding that his editors were “still” interested:

Similarly, ABC News disclaimed any interest in the story, “even if Fox runs with it.” It is interesting that the Fox producer didn’t think the meeting was news, either:

I like this one from NPR. The reporter observes sympathetically that the Lynch/Clinton meeting represented “an awful appearance problem.” We wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of Hillary’s campaign!


Loretta Lynch was in Phoenix as part of her Black Lives Matter tour. Her meeting with the former President, which was certainly inappropriate and perhaps illegal, depending on the substance of their conversation, came to light only because a local reporter caught wind of it and asked Lynch about it during the routine press availability that she conducted after a day spent with the Phoenix Police Department. Lynch responded deceptively to the reporter’s question:

[W]hile I was land±ng at the airport, I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as I was leaving, and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane. Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primary [sic] social and about our travels. He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix, and he mentioned travels he’d had in West Virginia. We talked about former Attorney General Janet Reno, for example, whom we both know, but there was no discussion of any matter pending before the department or any matter pending before any other body. There was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of the state department emails, by way of example. I would say the current news of the day was the Brexit decision, and what that might mean. And again, the department’s not involved in that or implicated in that.

Right. Lynch’s DOJ created talking points about the meeting, but they apparently are secret, as they were redacted from all of the emails that contained them. How an FOIA exception could apply to those talking points, which were designed to be shared with reporters, is a mystery. But that is how the Obama administration responded to all FOIA requests on controversial matters: with evasion and obfuscation if not with outright lies. And President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not yet, and may not ever, control the Department of Justice.

The Lynch/Clinton meeting became a major news story and even a campaign issue, but not because the Democratic Party press had any appetite for the story. As the DOJ emails show, they didn’t. Iowahawk’s famous tweet seems truer every day:

Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 9, 2013

Robert Hardy, RIP

Posted: 04 Aug 2017 04:12 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

While we await the arrival in November of the next Churchill film, Darkest Hour, with what looks to be an extremely promising performance by Gary Oldman, let us take note of the passing a few days ago of the actor who up to now offered by far the best screen portrayal of Churchill: Robert Hardy. Turns out Hardy had been a student of both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis at Oxford, and while known to many viewers for his run in “All Creatures Great and Small,” Churchillians recall him for his performance in the eight-part BBC miniseries produced in the late 1970s about Churchill during the 1930s—his “Wilderness Years.”

Richard Langworth, one of the principal keepers of the Churchill flame in the U.S., recalls Hardy here.

Meanwhile, some time ago I went to the trouble of excerpting 20 minutes from “The Wilderness Years” of Hardy’s depiction of some of Churchill’s great speeches (culminating in what I regard as maybe his greatest speech, made in protest of the Munich agreement in 1938), which I have used to good effect in the classroom. The DVD recording of “The Wilderness Years” that is available these days is of surprisingly poor quality, and the sound is slightly grainy. But even at that, Hardy’s performance is superb. And I thought it worth sharing with Power Line readers:

Bringing art to the masses, Mayor de Blasio style

Posted: 04 Aug 2017 10:45 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

My conservative cousin from New York has more to report on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to impose leftist cultural orthodoxy on the City. He writes:

Mayor Bill De Blasio appears to be coasting towards a second term. He faces only token opposition in the Democratic primary. Polls show him running better than 3 to 1 against his likely GOP opponent, a relatively unknown State Senator who represents Staten Island, a GOP outlier in generally Democratic New York City.

Emboldened by his strong poll numbers, the Mayor is sprouting his Marxist wings. Like a good 21st century leftist, De Blasio has given up on the dream of an imminent proletariat revolt. Instead, he seeks to achieve a Marxist state by burrowing through the institutions. Control of cultural institutions is a vital step towards revolution.

Disguising his ultimate goal, the Mayor is targeting NYC’s cultural institutions with veiled threats to cut public funding unless they become more inclusive and welcoming towards “communities of color.” He wants these museums to set meaningful goals in the makeup of their staffs and boards because “we believe in fairness.”

DiBlasio explains that minorities who make up 68% of the City’s population feel unwelcome at these institutions. They’re too far away from minority neighborhoods, unaffordable to the poor, and generally, make people of color feel unwelcome. These charges are all bogus.

Fifth Avenue’s Museum mile with the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, and numerous other cultural jewels is a 20-minute walk from Harlem and 15-minute subway ride from the South Bronx. The Planetarium and Natural History Museum are similarly close to heavily minority neighborhoods.

Outside Manhattan, the Brooklyn Museum is in African-American Crown Heights and the Queens Museum is in Corona, a Mexican neighborhood. Clearly, logistics are no barrier to residents from these areas visiting world renowned cultural meccas.

As for expense, most of these museums take a progressive approach. At the Art & Natural History Museums, patrons are urged to pay less than the suggested price if they choose. I must confess to having exercised this option several times without anyone so much as raising an eyebrow. Also, I have seen many “people of color” do the same.

A list of the exhibits now on display at these museums belies the Mayor’s claim that these institutions are unwelcoming to minorities. The Metropolitan’s current showings include Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque, Arms and Armor from the Islamic World, Show and Tell Stories in Chinese Painting, and American Indian Art.

In Brooklyn, visitors can see exhibitions on The Legacy of Lynching and Black Radical Woman. The Queens Museum of Art features Rony Queveda –no hoy medio tiempo and the works of Patty Chang a prominent Chinese-American painter.

It’s not the skin pigmentation but the artist’s fidelity to Marxism that concern DiBlasio. He’s already tipped his hand with his book reading program where he urges New Yorkers to select from a menu of radical fiction.

There’s a very powerful case to be made against the Mayor’s cultural initiative. Unfortunately, the heads of our leading museums have surrendered with anodyne statements about how they support the Mayor’s goals. Perhaps if one of the museums would offer His Honor’s wife a stipend to read her Black Nationalist poetry, all of this would blow away.

“Would I have done the same?”

Posted: 04 Aug 2017 09:03 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin made a big impact on me. The subject of Larson’s book is the American ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, and his daughter, Martha, from the time Dodd was offered the ambassador’s job by President Roosevelt in 1933 to the Night of the Long Knives in May 1934.

Dodd was something like Roosevelt’s fourth choice for the job, it having been turned down by several others before Dodd’s name bubbled up. Dodd knew Germany and spoke German, but he was an academic historian with expertise on the old South, not Germany. He was chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago when he answered the call to serve. Dodd was torn about taking the job. He wanted to complete his magnum opus, The Old South. Like Edward Casaubon’s Key to All Mythologies in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, it was not to be.

Larson book’s give us Dodd’s effort to represent the United States while he sought to understand Hitler in power. It makes you ask the questions: If you had been an American in Berlin in 1933, what would you have seen? What would you have thought? What would you have said? What would you have done?

Visiting Poland, ten-time NBA all-star Ray Allen followed up his interest in the Holocaust with a visit to the house of a family that hid Jews from the Nazis in a small space under the floor. Allen writes:

When the Skoczylas family was risking their own lives to hide people they barely knew, they weren’t doing it because they practiced the same religion or were the same race. They did it because they were decent, courageous human beings. They were the same as those people crouched in a hole. And they knew that those people didn’t deserve what was being done to them.

Allen reflects: “I asked myself a really tough question: Would I have done the same?” And again: “Really, would I have done the same?

Ray Allen is a man after my own heart. He explains: “Why I went to Auschwitz.” The whole thing highly recommended.

Via Josh Kraushaar/Twitter.

Ray Allen is a mensch. He pens a moving essay in the Players Tribune: “Why I Went to Auschwitz” https://t.co/zaQ3HOuq7a

— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) August 4, 2017

Blabbermouth speaks

Posted: 04 Aug 2017 06:10 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

The Orlando Sun Sentinel’s Anthony Man caught up with Debbie Wasserman (a/k/a Blabbermouth) Schultz for an interview regarding her former IT employee Imran Awan, now charged with bank fraud and terminated from Schultz’s employ earlier this week. Man notes that Schultz kept him on the payroll of Team Blabbermouth “six months after he was banned from the House network and fired by other members of Congress.”

It was also six months after Capitol Police confirmed an investigation into Awan, his wife, two brothers and a friend, all IT employees of congressional Democrats, on separate accusations of government theft. The wife has hightailed it to Pakistan. Having wired hundreds of thousand of dollars ahead, Imran Awan was on his way to join her. Schultz professes to believe that Awan was not fleeing when he was apprehended at Dulles International Airport on July 24. Imran Awan’s relatives and a friend were fired earlier this year. (Luke Rosiak’s most recent Daily Caller story on the case comes with a comprehensive set of links appended.)

In the interview, Blabbermouth blabbers. “I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” she told Man. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right. It would have been easier for me to just fire him,” she said.

As Richard Nixon said, it would have been so easy, but it would have been wrong.

Schultz kept Awan on the payroll in the name of fairness. “I had grave concerns about his due process rights being violated,” she told Man. “When their investigation was reviewed with me, I was presented with no evidence of anything that they were being investigated for. And so that, to me, gave me great concern that his due process rights were being violated. That there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns that I had.”

The man asked her about the laptop about which she grilled Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa at a May 18 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. She said the laptop in question was issued by her office to Awan. “He accidentally left it somewhere,” a loss Wasserman Schultz said was reported to the Capitol Police. When the Capitol Police recovered the laptop, the agency wanted to search its contents.

She said she has agreed to allow the police to examine the laptop and wasn’t attempting to hide anything. “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop,” she said.

She told Man that her concern about the nature of the investigation was what prompted her to warn Verderosa at the hearing that he could face consequences. “I was trying to get more information I wanted to make sure they were following the rules.”

Above is the video clip from the May 18 House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, covered here by the Daily Mail. In the video, Schultz postulates that “the member owns the equipment” and that “there is no ongoing case related to that member [of Congress].” She reiterates that the laptop “belongs to the Member [of Congress].” Again she asks what is to happen “if the member loses the equipment” and there is no “ongoing investigation related to the member.” Schultz’s questions and comments to Verderosa cannot fairly be squared with her comments to Man.

In today’s Wall Street Journal Kim Strassel calls the Awan affair “The scandal that matters,” and she didn’t have the benefit of Man’s interview with Schultz.


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