Calling on President Trump to force them to stop hiding the truth, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton wants Americans to know that the Justice Department released a redacted version of the talking points it created about last year’s tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton, claiming that the information could be withheld because of the government’s “deliberative process” privilege.
The conservative watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain numerous documents related to that infamous meeting, and eventually had to sue the Department of Justice, which finally forced the agency to release the documents, including the redacted talking points.
“It is jaw-dropping that the Trump administration is blacking out key information about how the Obama Justice Department tried to spin Loretta Lynch’s scandalous meeting with Bill Clinton,” Fitton said in a press release. “President Trump should order the full and immediate release of these materials.”
After it was exposed that Lynch and Clinton had a supposedly “casual” meeting on an airport tarmac while Hillary Clinton was being investigated by the FBI and running for president in 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey testified in June before the Senate Intelligence Committee to being upset with the way the officials handled themselves afterwards.
In his June testimony, Comey said Lynch had asked him to refer to matters about Hillary Clinton’s email server as a “matter” instead of an “investigation.”
“That language tracked the way that the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that’s concerning,” Comey said. “I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. We had a criminal investigation open, and so that gave me a queasy feeling.”
Comey also said the tarmac meeting was what forced him to decide in 2016 to hold a press conference independent of the Justice Department to announce that charges shouldn’t be filed against Hillary Clinton over her use of the independent, unsecured server for emails during her time as secretary of state.
Heavily criticized for taking matters into his own hands, Comey’s decision was even used as justification when President Trump suddenly fired him earlier this year.
It has been reported that other watchdog groups have attempted to get the Trump administration to release documents requested by the Obama administration which were withheld or redacted, but those efforts usually don’t amount to much.
On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released a “motherlode” of documents from the U.S. Department of State, pertaining to the period when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The massive data dump of 1,606 pages of documents was the result of a lawsuit Judicial Watch filed against the State Department back on May 5, 2015, after the department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request. A federal court order later mandated that the State Department start turning over the documents, at a minimum of 400 pages per month.
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