Dipping into the Department of Justice Inspector General report released yesterday, we are inundated with information and interesting story lines. One such story line involves Bill Clinton’s response to the uproar created over his tarmac meeting with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch the Monday before Hillary Clinton’s scheduled weekend interview with the FBI in the email “investigation,” as we should probably refer to it. The uproar led to FBI Director James Comey improperly inserting himself into the decision making role over the prosecution of Hillary Clinton. In the event, in his press conference of July 5, he let her off with a warning.
Clinton and Lynch had different stories about how the Phoenix tarmac meeting came to pass. TPM has a good account of them here. The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts has a gimlet eyed column taking note here.
For his part, Clinton professed to take offense at the implication that something shady might have gone down between him and Lynch. “I don’t know whether I’m more offended that they think I’m crooked or that they think I’m stupid,” Clinton told the IG. “I’ve got an idea, I’ll do all these things they accuse me of doing in broad daylight in an airport in Phoenix when the whole world can see it…”
Recall, as Roberts does, that the public was never to have known of Clinton’s meeting with Lynch on the evenin of June 27, 2016, the Monday immediately preceding Hillary Clinton’s scheduled weekend interview with the FBI. The story was broken by local television news anchor Christopher Sign based on a tip from a trusted source. Roberts comments: “Sign reported at the time that sources told him that federal agents were on the tarmac, telling bystanders ‘no photos, no pictures, no cell phones.’ And, apparently, someone hoped, no evidence that the meeting ever occurred.”
Bill brazens it out. It’s an old, old story.
Can we draw adverse inferences from the falsity of his “broad daylight” shtick? The IG finds no evidence that anything improper transpired between Clinton and Lynch. That is because he limits himself to the information that each voluntarily provided to him. Not surprisingly, like all the others implicated in the IG investigation, neither Clinton nor Lynch confessed to wrongdoing. The IG refrains from applying common sense or drawing inferences from undisputed facts as we all do to make important decisions in our own lives.
NOTE: Andrew McCarthy makes my point generally as to the whole IG production in the NR column “The IG’s report may be half-baked.”