According to Jordan Sekulow, the son of Jay Sekulow -- the attorney who is of private counsel to President Donald Trump -- of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has determined that Barack Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, used an alias in emails with Department of Justice personnel in discussions about how to respond to media queries about her meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac of an airport in Phoenix. In addition, the ACLJ obtained Department of Justice documents that show members of the mainstream media colluded with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Department of Justice to spike reports about last year’s airport tarmac meeting of former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.

The 100 pages of a DOJ document appear to show that Washington Post journalists colluded with Lynch’s office and the Clinton campaign to stop reporting on the Lynch-Clinton meeting. For example, a Washington Post reporter said of the tarmac meeting to DOJ officials, “I’m hoping to put it to rest.” Also, similar sentiments were expressed by a New York Times reporter who claimed to be “pressed into service” to cover the story.

Among DOJ officials, there was a “chain of emails” that appears to indicate efforts to put the tarmac meeting in the best possible light. One senior aide said, “I also talked to the ABC producer, who noted that they aren’t interested, even if Fox runs with it.” Another official said, “Looks like all or most [of the coverage] are FOX.” 

Did James Comey lie?

The documents also appear to implicate James Comey, who served as FBI Director at the time. said another official. Jordan Sekulow wrote about the “shocking” results of the organization’s request for documents, saying, “First, the Comey FBI lied to us. Last July [2016], we sent FOIA requests to both the Comey FBI and the Lynch DOJ asking for any documents related to the Clinton Lynch plane meeting. The FBI, under the then directorship of James Comey, quickly replied that “‘No records responsive to your request were located.’” Sekulow wrote, “This is in direct contravention to the law, and we are preparing further legal action to force the FBI to come clean and turn over ALL documents related to this matter to us in a timely manner.”

According to Sekulow, the DOJ documents include emails between FBI and DOJ officials concerning the tarmac meeting.  One email, bearing the subject line “FLAG,” was a correspondence between FBI officials Richard Quinn of FBI Media/Investigative Publicity, and Michael Kortan of the FBI Office of Public Affairs, and DOJ officials concerning “flag[ing] a story . . . about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG.” The DOJ official instructs the FBI to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this”. However, the talking points are redacted.

Another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”

Among the documents were exchanges between Richard Quinn, an FBI media official, and Melanie Newman of DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs. An email sent by Newman under the subject line “FLAG”, said she wanted to “flag a story that is gaining some traction” about the “casual, unscheduled meeting” between Lynch and Clinton. Newman told Quinn to “let me know if you get any questions about this.” Although the documents [all of which are emails] including talking points are supposedly public statements, and were sent to reporters at establishment media, much of them were redacted. 

Sekulow wrote that on July 1, 2016, “ – just days before our FOIA request – a DOJ email chain under the subject line, ‘FBI just called,’ indicates that the ‘FBI . . . is looking for guidance’ in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting. The discussion then went off email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, ‘I will let Rybicki know.’ Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey, noted Sekulow. The information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted. A number of the documents obtained by ACLJ were redacted “per FBI” request.

Sekulow wrote:

“It is clear that there were multiple records within the FBI responsive to our request and that discussions regarding the surreptitious meeting between then AG Lynch and the husband [Bill Clinton] of the subject [Hillary Clinton] of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation reached the highest levels of the FBI.”

According to Sekulow, the hundreds of heavily redacted documents clearly show that DOJ was in “crisis mode” when news broke of Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton. He wrote that Lynch’s “spin team” was preparing talking points for Lynch regarding the meeting before speaking to her about the matter. He goes on to say that establishment media was clearly colluding with Barack Obama’s Department of Justice to spike the tarmac story. “A Washington Post reporter,” wrote Sekulow, “speaking of the Clinton Lynch meeting story, said, ‘I’m hoping I can put it to rest.’ The same Washington Post reporter, interacting with the DOJ spin team, implemented specific DOJ requests to change his story to make the Attorney General appear in a more favorable light.”

The unmasking of Loretta Lynch

In a chain of emails between DOJ officials, which includes emails to Lynch herself, it was noted that reports of the meeting “looks like all or most are FOX” and that “CBS . . . just says a few lines about the meeting.” The DOJ redacted all “talking points, discussions of talking points, a statement on the meeting that was apparently never delivered because there was not enough media coverage on the meeting, and its substantive discussions with the FBI on the matter,” wrote Sekulow. 

ACLJ plans to go to court to reveal the information redacted from the documents obtained from the DOJ while continuing its investigation into Lynch’s tenure as Obama’s attorney general.

The ACLJ has also unmasked the email alias used by former Lynch in her communications with DOJ personnel. According to ACLJ, it learned that less than an hour and a half after the first press inquiry into the secret airport meeting, Lynch was added into the discussion about the draft talking points under the alias “Elizabeth Carlisle, ecarlisle@jmd.usdoj.gov.” One of her grandmothers was named Lizzie Carlisle.

(Updated August 7)



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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