Live blogging yesterday’s Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general, Paul noted that Senator Hatch expressed his hopes that he would be able to vote to confirm Lynch. “I hope he won’t,” Paul added, “but after hearing his questioning, I fear he will.”
Last night Senator Hatch’s press secretary sent us a message including a video (below) of Senator Hatch’s questioning of Lynch. The press secretary wrote to point out that Senator Hatch’s questions focused on “several important issues, including Lynch’s commitment to the rule of law, immigration, executive overreach, tech and intellectual property, the criminal justice system, child pornography, victim restitution and civil rights issues.”
Senator Hatch deems the following to be the “highlights,” with timestamps added by the press secretary for our convenience:
Lynch pledged to follow the rule of law and act independently of the White House, defending laws as passed by Congress without regard to personal views or biases. She specifically pledged to “take that independence very seriously” (3:20).
Senator Hatch was able to get firm commitments from Ms. Lynch to work with Congress on the LEADs Act, protecting data stored abroad (6:30) and the Defend Trade Secrets Act (7:31), two major priorities of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force.
Ms. Lynch also committed to work with Senator Hatch on the Amy and Vicky Act to help victims of child pornography and abuse gain restitution (8:40).
Here is the video with which you can see these highlights with your own eyes.
We are living through a constitutional crisis of the first order, with the executive branch revising and rewriting and ignoring the law of the land as it sees fit, not only with respect to illegal immigration, but also with respect to Obamacare and other matters. Senator Hatch has seemed to understand. As the press secretary points out, Senator Hatch has previously stated his desire for a new attorney general “committed to putting the rule of law before partisan politics[,]” presumably because we don’t have one now. Indeed, we have an attorney general who has served as the administration’s protector in scandals such as Fast & Furious and the IRS abuses, to take two prominent examples that deeply implicate the rule of law.
That Senator Hatch finds the “assurances” stated above to be “highlights” — the sort of “highlights” that presage a vote for confirmation — is newsworthy, if not shocking, but I’ll go with shocking as well.
UPDATE: Via Twitter (below), I see that Senator Hatch has announced his strong support for Lynch’s appointment. At least we read the tea leaves correctly.
Sen Orrin Hatch R-UT on Loretta Lynch for Atty General: "I'm going to be a strong supporter of her nomination"
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 29, 2015