Her action might prompt re-opening of the Clinton server investigation.
Departing AG Lynch lobbed a clock-winding-down grenade … unleashing the DOJ’s inspector general to review “broad allegations of misconduct involving FBI Director James B. Comey and how he handled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices.”
Center stage are Comey’s July 5 non-sequiturial press conference (lots of evidence, but issue a stay-out-of-jail free card anyway), his re-opening of the case when classified emails were spotted on Anthony Weiner’s laptop and Comey’s last minute pronouncement for every to fuggitaboutit.
There are a couple of ways that Dem-loyal Lynch’s ploy might backfire.
First, beyond Comey, the IG said that he’ll be investigating “whether Peter Kadzik, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign” and whether “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from the case since his wife, Jill McCabe, ran for a Virginia Senate seat and took money from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a fierce Clinton ally.”
Said differently, the IG is likely to find more influence peddling and tampering from the Clinton side than from the Trump side.
Second, while Lynch has narrow-scoped the investigation to exclude her not-so-secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, an in-coming AG might broaden the scope to dig into the “event” that forced Lynch to punt the ball to Comey … setting the stage for his press conference and letters.
Her improprieties certainly contributed to the mess.
Third, and most important, while the IG said that he’s not going to relitigate the findings in the Clinton case, the IG review is likely to rip off some scabs at the FBI and prompt a re-look at the case.
And, there are a couple of plausible motivators for re-opening Clinton’s file …
Comey originally declared that he was letting Clinton off the hook because the FBI couldn’t prove intent (the Bart Simpson “I didn’t mean to” defense) nor damage (a variant of the NBA’s “no harm, no foul” rule).
Without re-litigating the case, the IG can reasonably, within the scope of the investigation, point out that the law Clinton was alleged to violate is clearly written so that intent doesn’t need to be proved – just actions.
With regard to no harm, no foul … the FBI originally concluded that Clinton’s servers contained classified material and were probably hacked by foreign agents. But, they couldn’t prove the hacking because, according to the NY Times: “The intruders were far too skilled to leave evidence of their work.”
Well, thanks to super-sleuthing on the Podesta email hack, the FBI now has Russia’s cyber-fingerprints which might match to evidence on the Clinton server demonstrating both harm & foul.
If that doesn’t pan out, concurrent with last week’s Golden Globes, the FBI released 300 more emails from the Clinton server.
Included were a couple of emails containing classified information that were sent to Sidney Blumenthal – a Clinton adviser who is sketchy enough to have been Obama-banned from government work.
The punch line: the FBI already has evidence that Blumenthal’s email was hacked by foreign agents.
In fact, the high profile hacker “Guccifer” got sentenced to over 4 years in prison for “victimizing about 100 Americans … including political figures such as Sidney Blumenthal, an adviser with whom Clinton corresponded using her personal email account” Source
Bang: harm & foul.
Bottom line: AG Lynch may be aiming at Comey & the FBI, but she may get some personal blowback and may wound her BFF Hillary instead of the FBI Director.
This could get interesting.