Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post on Friday that she regretted her decision to meet former President Bill Clinton secretly in her official airplane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on Tuesday.
Their exchange, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, was as follows:
Capehart: So you would be well within your right to say, um, “Get off my plane! What are you doing here?” [Laugher] Do you regret not telling the former President of the United States [Laughter] to leave the premises?
Lynch: … I certainly wouldn’t do it again. [Laugher] Bcause I think it has cast a shadow over what it should not, over what it will not touch … And the most important thing for me as the Attorney General is the integrity of this Department of Justice.
The meeting between Lynch and Clinton, which took place merely hours before the release of the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s final report, was hidden from the press, and only came to light thanks to the work of a local journalist, Christopher Sign of ABC 15 in Arizona.
The FBI is currently investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in connection with her misuse of a private e-mail server, which was revealed by the committe. That investigation is thought to include the Clinton Foundation, which the former president established as a charity but which is thought to be a vehicle for the Clintons’ personal spending, and which is also suspected of being a means through which special interests, including foreign governments, try to influence the Clintons.
Both Democrats and Republicans agreed that Lynch’s meeting with Clinton undermined public faith in the investigation. Former Obama administration political adviser David Axelord tweeted that it had been “foolish to create such optics.” Accordingly, Lynch told Capehart that she would be deferring to the FBI’s recommendation on whether to prosecute Clinton or not. “I fully expect to accept their recommendations,” she said — perhaps leaving some room to change her mind.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.