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OPINION

Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

While the liberal media is celebrating the announcement that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a bigger scandal was practically ignored.

On Thursday, Judicial Watch released 29 pages of FBI emails regarding the inexcusable June 27, 2016 meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. This meeting was not accidental, as Clinton purposely delayed the takeoff of his aircraft to arrange the supposedly impromptu encounter with the Attorney General.

According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “These new FBI documents show the FBI was more concerned about a whistle-blower who told the truth about the infamous Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting than the scandalous meeting itself.”

In the midst of a FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of top secret email communications, Lynch held a secretive meeting with her husband. This bombshell information would have never been made public if not for the investigative work of Phoenix television anchor Christopher Sign, who received a tip about the meeting from a “trusted source.”

With an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the improper handling of email communications, it was highly improper for Lynch to agree to the meeting with Bill Clinton just days before FBI agents would interview his wife. Once confronted about the tarmac meeting, Lynch claimed they only discussed golf and grandchildren, which is a completely ludicrous explanation for the 30-minute meeting.

If the meeting was so innocent, why did the Justice Department withhold key documents for so long? After an initial July 7, 2016 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Judicial Watch for documents pertaining to the meeting, the Justice Department claimed that nothing could be located. Only after an official FOIA lawsuit did the department provide the various FBI email exchanges.

As noted by Fitton, the real focus of the emails was to try to locate the leaker who exposed the meeting. One unidentified FBI agent lamented that the meeting was disclosed to the press and claimed that “We need to find that guy” in order to get him fired or sanctioned by his supervisors. The emails show that the FBI believed the source was a Phoenix police officer and one agent expressed a desire to ban the officer from being involved in future security details.

This anger is very indicative of what is wrong with the FBI today. The source who leaked news of the meeting to the local media did a real public service and should be commended. Americans had a right to know that the Attorney General was involved in a questionable meeting while an investigation was purportedly ongoing.  Unfortunately, instead of congratulating the source, the FBI wanted to punish this individual, obviously because they wanted to protect the reputation of the Attorney General and the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton.

The FBI should be impartial, not be taking sides in political campaigns. The bureau was obviously politically comprised, much like the IRS during their unfair harassment of Tea Party groups.

In any vigorous and honest FBI investigation, agents should be outraged if the Attorney General held a secret meeting with the spouse of the subject being examined for wrongdoing. Instead agents showed only concern about identifying the police officer who caused the embarrassment. This nonchalant attitude was not shared by Lynch who admitted that the ill-advised meeting “cast a cloud” on the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.

 These disclosures lead to the distressing conclusion that the Hillary Clinton investigation was a sham from the very beginning. In fact, when Clinton was finally interviewed by the FBI on July 2, 2016, she was not under oath and there was no recording of the meeting. Several weeks earlier, before the FBI had interviewed Clinton or 17 key witnesses in the investigation, then FBI Director James Comey had already begun drafting her exoneration statement.

These unusual procedures were denounced by U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) in a joint statement. According to the Senators, “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”

Of course, the Senators are right as the FBI’s handling of this matter was atrocious. A mere three days after the inadequate interview of Clinton, Comey announced that she would not be indicted despite what many legal analysts believe were her clear violations of federal law.

Evidently, the FBI, under the direction of James Comey, had no intention of ever truly investigating Hillary Clinton and bringing charges against her. If there was ever an issue that needed a Special Counsel investigation, it is not “Russian collusion,” but the Justice Department’s collusion with Hillary Clinton.

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