According to Judicial Watch, a Washington DC-based transparency advocate, the FBI has found 30 pages of documents concerning the June 27, 2016 meeting conducted by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport. When the meeting was first revealed, during the midst of the 2016 presidential race, Lynch claimed that they discussed their respective grandchildren and other matters not related to an FBI investigation into whether Hillary Clinton had revealed classified information when using a non-secure email server while working as Barack Obama’s secretary of state.
Last October, the FBI claimed that it did not have any records related to the tarmac meeting. However, the Justice Department revealed in response to a separate lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch that some of its officials had been in contact with FBI officials about the Clinton-Lynch encounter. In August, DOJ released emails showing that officials exchanged emails with the FBI about the tarmac meeting. In a July 1, 2016, email, Caroline Pokomy of DOJ told her colleagues that the “FBI is asking for guidance” arising from the controversy that ensued over the Clinton-Lynch meeting.
Once those documents were released, the FBI then acknowledged that it did have some records related to the meeting. The FBI told Judicial Watch that, “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist.” While a statement from Judicial Watch calls the FBI’s new disclosure “stunning,” it is not clear what those documents contain. In a statement, Judicial Watch said, “The FBI is out of control.” Fitton said, “It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit.”
“Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately,” he added.
An excerpt of the Judicial Watch statement read:
"On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked private plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and mere hours before the Benghazi report was released publicly involving both Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration. We filed a request on June 30 that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigate that meeting.
"The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI “found” these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit. We will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.
"This case has also forced the FBI to release to the public the FBI’s Clinton investigative file, although more than half of the records remain withheld. The FBI has also told us that it anticipates completing the processing of these materials by July 2018.
"There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment.
"The Obama administration extended numerous immunity agreements, including: Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills; John Bentel, former director of the State Department’s Office of Information Resources Management; Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s executive assistant; Brian Pagliano, an IT employee at the State Department who serviced the Clinton non-government server; and an employee at Platt River Networks, the company that maintained it. It is not clear whether Hillary Clinton received some type of immunity."
The FBI has until November 30 to give the newly discovered documents to Judicial Watch.
Mystery was added to the exchange of emails about the tarmac meeting because Lynch used the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle” in some of them. The pseudonym was revealed in the 413 emails turned over to Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice by DOJ in August. Using email aliases by top federal officials is neither new nor illegal. Other officials in the Obama administration used them. For example, Lynch’s predecessor, Eric Holder, used the handle “Lew Alcindor,” the former name of retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused of targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, used the alias -- Toby Miles.