Rep. Ratcliffe Blasts AG Loretta Lynch for refusing to rule out serving in potential Clinton Administration
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) grilled U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a House Judiciary Committee Hearing today on her decision not to press criminal charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the FBI’s investigation on her use of an unsecured personal email system. Despite the FBI’s findings of “extreme carelessness” by Clinton in mishandling our country’s most sensitive matters of national security, when pressed by Ratcliffe, Lynch refused to rule out serving in a potential Clinton Administration.
In response, Ratcliffe said:
“That shadow which you cast on the Department of Justice just got a whole lot bigger. Because if you’re not willing to rule out future employment in the Hillary Clinton Administration, what that means is the American people have every right to wonder whether or not you looked at this through a fair and impartial lens, because your answer tells the American people that after the FBI Director told you that Ms. Clinton had been extremely careless with at least 110 emails marked as top secret, secret or classified and may have jeopardized the lives of actual Americans, and told you that she made numerous false public statements about sending, receiving or turning over classified materials, you might want to apply for a job with her?
“Your answer not ruling out employment with her means that as much of the free world is wondering whether or not Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and possibly sent to prison for being extremely careless as the FBI Director said, with hundreds of top secret, secret, and classified emails, you’re telling the American people watching today, that instead of going to jail, faced with the prospect of possible future employment, you think that she should go to the other end of the spectrum and be eligible to be the person with greater access and greater control over America’s sensitive and trusted national security information than anyone else on the planet? I’ve got to tell you, utter shock is an understatement with respect to what I just heard you say.”
Ratcliffe also pressured Lynch for answers on the nature of her review process – a question of heightened importance considering the well-publicized meeting between Lynch and former President Bill Clinton just days before Comey’s recommendation and Lynch’s subsequent decision to not pursue criminal charges. Lynch then refused to answer the most basic questions about the nature of her review. Specifically:
- She refused to answer whether her final decision weighed the strength of the evidence and the context of Hillary Clinton’s actions.
- She could not recall how long her meeting with the FBI lasted to review its recommendation on the Clinton email case.
- She refused to answer whether during her review of the FBI’s investigation she at least reviewed the 110 emails containing classified information that we know Hillary Clinton sent and received on an unsecured, unauthorized server.
Ratcliffe responded to Lynch’s shocking lack of transparency with the following:
“After a yearlong investigation involving 150 FBI agents working around the clock involving more than 30,000 emails, tens of thousands of man hours, that your thoughtful, careful weighing of the strength of evidence took you an afternoon? A cup of coffee with the FBI Director? That your decision in this case for charges relating to a person who according to the FBI Director was extremely careless handling America’s most sensitive national security matters, and is seeking to be a candidate in charge of America’s most sensitive national security matters took the better part of an afternoon? It didn’t last weeks. It didn’t last months. It didn’t take days. You weighed that evidence and determined her intent and gross negligence in a matter of hours.”
Click here to view Ratcliffe’s full dialogue with Lynch.
Ratcliffe has taken action to ensure that Clinton isn’t allowed to be held to a different standard of justice based on preferential treatment. Last week, he joined 200 House Republicans in demanding answers to a series of questions raised by the FBI’s investigation and recommendation on Clinton. He is supportive of House Republicans’ effort launched Monday requesting an investigation of Clinton for lying under oath before Congress.
Also today, Ratcliffe’s original legislation, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016 (H.R. 4768) passed in the House of Representatives to reverse Constitutional erosion and stop overreach by administrative agencies.