On Tuesday morning, Attorney General Loretta Lynch channeled another famous Lynch when she shut down a House show hearing into the Justice Department’s decision to accept the FBI’s recommendation not to file charges over the “Emailgate” investigation. Unlike FBI Director James Comey, AG Lynch decided not to dissect the contents of Comey’s scolding press conference, instead referring House Justice Department Oversight Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to Comey for any further clarification, and repeating several versions of that same answer:
Director Comey has chosen to provide great detail into the basis for his recommendations that were ultimately provided to me. He’s chosen to provide detailed statements and I would refer you to those statements. I as attorney general am not able to provide any further comment on the facts or the substance of the investigation…
…I would have to refer you to his statements for the basis for his recommendation.
…Again, i would refer you to Director Comey for any further explanation.
Again, I refer you to Director Comey’s discussion for that, as I indicated, the team reviewed this matter, and it was a unanimous team decision.
Goodlatte did manage to get one answer that wasn’t a referral back to Director Comey when he asked Attorney General Lynch why she didn’t recuse herself following her meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix, but he didn’t get much:
With respect to my conversation that I had with former President Clinton, in Phoenix, it was a conversation that was held on the airplane, on the tarmac, the former President indicated he wanted to say hello and I agreed to say hello. And we had a social conversation. Nothing of any relationship to the e-mail investigation was discussed, nor were any specific cases or matters before the Department of Justice discussed.
This opening exchange is likely a good preview of what Republicans on the committee can expect for the duration of the hearing, including Attorney General Lynch’s hilariously GIF-able reaction to Goodlatte’s attempt to scold her at the end of his first set of questions:
Compare AG Lynch’s steely glare with Goodlatte’s trembling right hand, and you’ll get an idea of just how good an idea this hearing was.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.