When Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately Monday in her jet in Phoenix, Arizona, some speculate he may have been pleading for his wife who is under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice. But the former president may also have been pleading for himself, according to a former federal prosecutor.
While political observers are focused on former Secretary of State and all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, her husband also has been a principal player behind the scenes at the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova told the Daily Caller News Foundation the former President “is at least a witness in two criminal investigations, probably a subject in two criminal investigations. He is a person of interest officially to the Department of Justice,” he said flatly.
Both the FBI and Justice Department have launched investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email address for official U.S. government business during her tenure as the nation’s chief diplomat.
But investigators also are reportedly investigating “public corruption” links between Hillary’s work at the State Department with large foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation, many of which were orchestrated by her husband.
DiGenova said the problem with the secretive meeting at the private aircraft section of the Phoenix airport had nothing to do with appearances, but was a violation of the Justice Department’s policies.
“It’s very important to realize this isn’t just a question of her judgment. The question is the Department of Justice policy on communicating with a side in a case,” DiGenova told TheDCNF.
Given Bill Clinton’s legal status as a party to the federal investigations, DiGenova said Lynch should not, under any circumstances, have met with him because strict Justice Department rules require impartiality among federal prosecutors and department officials. As AG, Lynch is the nation’s top law enforcement official.
“Bill Clinton, according to the department is a person of interest. What the hell is she doing meeting with a person of interest, no matter what the reason,” DiGenova said. “There is no reason to believe her representation about what transpired in that conversation. The whole set of circumstances surrounding how they met on the tarmac, in a plane with no witnesses, is simply appalling.”
DiGenova added that Lynch “cannot be that unaware of who she is and what her role is. It’s beyond belief. There is no reason to believe her representation about what transpired in that conversation.”
“The whole set of circumstances surrounding how they met on the tarmac, in a plane with no witnesses is simply appalling,” he concluded.
“There’s no good reason for her to have met with him. None. Zip,” he said.
Complicating the issue is the fact that Bill Clinton launched Lynch’s federal career when he appointed her U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1999, one of the most coveted prosecutorial posts in the country. The prosecutor there oversees Wall Street and often handles cases involving New York citizens who are among the most influential and wealthy in the country.
Clinton prior appointment of Lynch was “all the more reason not to meet with him,” DiGenova told TheDCNF.
During Hillary’s term at the State Department, Bill was globe-trotting around the world on behalf of the foundation, meeting Middle Eastern Sheiks, Russian and Ukrainian tycoons, and African mining magnates.
Clinton’s close partner Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining kingpin, committed $100 million of his personal wealth to form two projects with the former president, known as the “Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” and the “Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership.”
The enterprise partnership was a separate entity created by the former President, reportedly to circumvent a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between the Obama administration’s transition team and the Clinton Foundation prior to her nomination as Secretary of State. Among the purposes of the MOU was to limit foreign donations.
Clinton Foundation officials treated the enterprise partnership as outside of the MOU and thus allowed more than 1,100 donors to make secret contributions to the non-profit, according to the Washington Post.
Giustra also received a waiver from the Obama administration that required the Secretary of State’s approval. The waiver cleared the way for Rosatom, the Russian atomic energy agency, to become an investor in Giustra’s Uranium One, a company that owned uranium ore mines in Eastern Europe and in the United States.
The plan, reportedly orchestrated with the assistance of Bill Clinton, awarded “one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States,” according to the New York Times.
While Hillary was America’s top diplomat, Bill also collected $500,000 speaking fees before business associations and powerful interests in Russia, Nigeria, China, Italy, and the Netherlands. He collected $1 million in speaking fees from the United Arab Emirates and in Austria.
Bill also received a $750,000 fee in 2011 in Hong Kong and $700,000 from a single publishing company in corrupt Nigeria.
DiGenova served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for four years and was named an Independent Counsel in the Clinton passport case.