Republicans seem to be finally going on the offensive with several members of the GOP calling on the Special Counsel to look into whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch illegally meddled in the Hillary investigation when she met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix and/or instructed Comey to refer to his case as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.”
The Hill reports:
President Trump’s legal team and political allies have launched a preemptive strike against special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s backers are furious about a story that appeared Wednesday in The Washington Post, in which five anonymous sources alleged that the president is the target of an obstruction of justice investigation for allegedly trying to bury an FBI probe into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
The timing of that story, which was published on Trump’s birthday and a week after the White House believed the president had moved beyond allegations of collusion with Russia in the presidential election, was viewed by Trump’s allies as evidence that the story was planted by law enforcement officials to ensure a shadow of suspicion would remain.
It is unclear whether the Post story was leaked by the special counsel, the FBI, former FBI Director James Comey and his allies, or witnesses that have been contacted by those law enforcement agencies as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee, which Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has described as the “political arm” of the White House, has led the effort to cast doubt on the special counsel investigation.
The RNC’s rapid response team sent a flurry of emails to reporters on Thursday highlighting comments from legal experts who said there is no case for obstruction of justice. They also circulated talking points for surrogates to respond specifically to the Post story.
The message: The “illegal” leaks are the only crime that has been committed, and they came directly from the FBI or the special counsel’s office as part of “an effort to undermine the president.”
The RNC says there is no case for obstruction charges, but if an obstruction investigation exists, it’s because the special counsel is trying to “save face” after the collusion probe didn’t go anywhere.
Rather than wasting resources on investigating Trump, the GOP says the special counsel must look into whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch meddled with the FBI’s criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Comey testified that Lynch told him to downplay the seriousness of the FBI’s email server investigation and to refer to it as a “matter,” language that aligned with Clinton’s presidential campaign.
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