Gauntlet Thrown: House Judiciary Demands Special Counsel To Investigate Comey, Lynch, And Clinton
Roughly a month ago, we noted that Republicans might be well served to stop sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next Russia ‘bombshell’ to drop and actually go on the offensive against an ‘investigation’ that has obviously morphed into mass hysteria courtesy of free-flowing leaks from a conflicted “intelligence community” intent upon bringing down a presidency rather than finding out the truth. Here’s what we said:
Of course, until someone within the Trump administration or Republican Party smartens up and calls for the appointment of a ‘Special Counsel’ to look into Hillary’s email scandal, something that should have been done long ago, and not for retaliatory reasons but simply due to Comey’s and AG Lynch’s blatant mishandling of the investigation (a point which Deputy AG Rosenstein obviously agreed with), the Democrats have no reason to calm their mass hysteria. Then, and only then, do we suspect that Hillary might just be able to ‘convince’ her party to exercise some form of reasonable judgement.
Well, it seems that some folks on the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), seem to agree. As such, 20 Republican Representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein demanding the appointment of a Second Special Counsel to look into a laundry list of potential scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Loretta Lynch and many others from the Obama administration.
We are writing to you to request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice system and its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While we presume that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence has been subsumed into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected. For this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Many Democrats and members of the Washington media previously called for a “special prosecutor” to investigate Russian influence on the election and connections with the Trump campaign. Not surprisingly, once you actually made the decision to appoint a special counsel, the calls for further investigations by congressional committees continued, focused on allegations that have heretofore produced no evidence of criminality, despite the fact that over a year has passed since the opening of the original FBI investigation. Political gamesmanship continues to saturate anything and everything associated with reactions to President Trump’s executive decisions, and reveals the hypocrisy of those who refuse to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to proceed without undue political influence. It is an unfortunate state of affairs.
Among other things, the letter specifically highlights the inappropriate handling of the Clinton investigation by James Comey and efforts on the part of Loretta Lynch to obstruct justice in order to assist a political ally.
Your stated rationale for recommending Director Comey’s termination as FBI Director was his mishandling of former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation and associated public disclosures concerning the investigation’s findings. We believe this was the correct decision. It is clear that Director Comey contributed to the politicization of the FBI’s investigations by issuing his public statement, nominating himself as judge and jury, rather than permitting career DOJ prosecutors to make the final decision. But many other questions remain unanswered, due to Mr. Comey’s premature and inappropriate decision, as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to respond to legitimate Congressional oversight. Last week, the Republican Members of this Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking for responses to those unanswered inquiries. These questions cannot, for history’s sake and for the preservation of an impartial system of justice, be allowed to die on the vine.
As we referenced above, Democrats and the mainstream media called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate any Russian influence on President Trump’s campaign. Their pleas were answered, but there are many questions that may be outside the scope of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This was clear following Mr. Comey’s recent testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, which ignited renewed scrutiny of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the actions she took to mislead the public concerning the investigation into the Clinton email investigation. Last year, this Committee inquired repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding that and other matters, but our inquiries were largely ignored.
During his testimony, Mr. Comey referenced a meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Comey raised concerns about Ms. Lynch’s conduct, and questioned her independence, stating:
At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.
And here is the full list of things the “Second Special Counsel” would be instructed to investigate:
1. Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;
2. The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;
3. FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;
4. The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;
5. The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;
6. WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;
7. Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;
8. Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;
9. Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;
10. Post-election accusations by the President that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;
11. Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;
12. Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;
13. Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and
14. Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.
Seems the gauntlet has officially been thrown down…what say you Mr. Sessions?
The full letter can be reviewed here: