Here are my observations on selected news items of the day.
WHY IS JEFF SESSIONS SHIELDING LORRETTA LYNCH? In my post of August 5, I told you about the success of Judicial Watch in obtaining 417 documents pertaining to the June 27, 2016 meeting of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch with former President Bill Clinton through its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query.
It has since been learned that Lynch used the pseudonym – Elizabeth Carlisle – in her e-mail communications. Why? It’s common for those in high government positions to use a pseudonym to hide correspondence that might be sought through FOIA requests.
More importantly, why did our current Department of Justice (AG Jeff Sessions) redact the e-mail discussion of the talking points covering that meeting? Judicial Watch has now submitted another FOIA query for release of the unredacted pages.
You will recall that it was Lynch, not Carlisle, who directed former FBI Director James Comey to refer to the Hillary Clinton probe as a “matter,” not an “investigation.”
I wonder what would happen if Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed Elizabeth Carlisle to testify before the grand jury.
ANOTHER PUZZLEMENT – Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have stated that they believe they were victims of Obama-era surveillance, and have been waiting for several months for an explanation. Why is the Republican-controlled DOJ refusing to provide that information to the senators?
SPEAKING OF COLLUSION – Evidence of media collusion with Obama’s DOJ was revealed in the recent documents Judicial Watch obtained in its FOIA query of the Lynch-Clinton meeting on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on June 27, 2016. Communications between The New York Times and The Washington Post with the DOJ projected a less than enthusiastic interest in covering the story, kind of a “sorry to bother you for details, but I have to report on the story” approach.
“(I’ve) been pressed into service to write about the questions being raised (by the meeting),” e-mailed Mark Landler a reporter for the Times. “(My) editors are still pretty interested (in the story),” e-mailed the Post’s Matt Zapotosky to the DOJ, “(but I want to) put it to rest.”
It was just six months before the presidential election; Bill Clinton was meeting privately with the sitting attorney general, whose FBI was investigating his wife, and the media thought nothing of it. Obviously, the attorney general had after thoughts, because she discussed talking points in an e-mail in which she used a pseudonym of Elizabeth Carlisle.
REMEMBER THE RESIGNATION of former EPA staffer Elisabeth Southerland I wrote about on August 5? In The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial today, “EPA Resignation Facts,” the paper uncovered more of the little-known activities that went on behind the doors of the agency. WSJ reported that Southerland “earned” $249,000 last year in combined salary and bonus – $1,000 less than a Supreme Court Justice, and about $200,000 more than the average taxpayer.
“She’ll receive an annual lifetime pension worth about 75 percent of the average of the last three years of her career,” according to the WSJ. Click here to read complete article.
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ), recommended that it was time to abolish the 60-vote Senate rule in an op-ed appearing in The Hill. “Is preserving a tyranny that, when voting on a bill, the minority in the Senate is empowered to obstruct the combined will of a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, the President of the United States and a national election, more important than our desperate need and ability as a nation to address critical issues when now may be the only chance we ever have?” Franks asks.
Franks believes that “It seems to have truly now dawned on the president – as it should the rest of us – that the present application of Senate rules will fundamentally decimate his entire legislative agenda and ultimately turn government back over to the Democrats who will then not hesitate to dispatch the Senate legislative filibuster.”
He concluded his piece with a recommendation for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “please … for the sake of this and future American generations … tear down this wall.”