Is there anyone in Washington who isn’t under some kind of investigation these days? Well, yes, of course there are. But last year’s election left more lingering questions than Lost. Included among them are a number surrounding Loretta Lynch’s possible interference, which is now under investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the Hillary Clinton email probe.
ABC reports that the bipartisan group wants to know more about what Lynch had to say when she supposedly spoke with Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Rentería. If you recall, the Rentería communications first came up in a document that was probably faked by the Russians and planted as part of their efforts to interfere with the U.S. election. There was some confusion about whether or not Comey knew that the information was counterfeit during the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. At first, it looked like the Russians had a “gotcha” moment with the FBI, but later it became clear that Comey had played along in part to ferret out if the judicial branch was too close to the Clinton campaign.
It’s not surprising that the question of Lynch’s loyalties has resurfaced after majority whip John Cornyn brought up Clinton’s private email server during Comey’s testimony before the Senate’s Russia probe. After all, there was plenty about Lynch that looked suspicious — remember the fateful meeting she had with Bill Clinton on that airport tarmac? Comey testified to the Senate and Cornyn that Lynch’s request that he rhetorically downplay the severity of the FBI’s email server probe “gave me a queasy feeling,” especially given that the FBI had a criminal investigation open.
The Senate Judiciary Committee specifically wants to know the details behind a story the Washington Post ran at the end of May that said Lynch might have reassured Rentería the probe into Clinton’s email server wouldn’t dredge too deep. The operative phrase here is might have, because the email exchange that supposedly went down between Lynch and Rentería was first described in the same document that Russia dropped and off of which Comey worked.
Even if the story were planted by the Russians, that doesn’t meant that they didn’t run across a real promise from Lynch to that effect while they were rummaging around various email accounts and voting systems. Or it might have been a lucky guess. Or it might have been something entirely fabricated by the Russians to cause the kind of trouble that has now resulted in an investigation. Lynch and Rentería both deny the exchange ever happened.
The document, if it was indeed planted, is clever precisely because it casts doubt on anything that the actual actors swept up in its accusations have to say. The whole aim of the Kremlin’s meddling was to erode faith in the United States government and its electoral process. And the goal of the Senate’s investigation is to get to the bottom of the matter, so trust can be rebuilt.