Congressman Jim Jordan put on a master class in how to get answers from an unresponsive witness while questioning Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch about the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for her e-mail scandal.
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During a hearing on the decision by the Obama Department of Justice not to file charges against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton despite overwhelming evidence of malfeasance in how e-mails were handled, Jordan, who represents Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, lit into the Attorney General.
“Did you ultimately make that recommendation or did [FBI] Director Comey,” the Congressman asked.
“Director Comey was part of that team,” Lynched fired back.
The attempt to sidestep the question seemed to irritate Jordan even more, so he demanded: “Who ultimately made the decision?”
Lynch responded: “So the team consisted of prosecutors and agents that did include Director Comey.”
“I want to know where the buck stops. Who made the decision?”
The two then went back and forth with Jordan repeatedly asking the question “who made the decision” and Lynch saying “I said I would accept the recommendation.” Jordan had his full and let loose with an epic response in his question to get a simple answer to the question of who made the decision.
“I assume it’s not unusual for the attorney general to accept the recommendations of the FBI, the career prosecutors and the team as you so often cited. What is unusual is to make a big bold public announcement that you’re going to do it.
“It’s one thing to do it. I assume it happens all the time. It’s another thing to announce ahead of time that you’re going to do it.
“So here’s what I’m having trouble with and I guess a lot of people are having trouble with. If you announce that you will abide by the FBI decision before they even finish their investigation, then how can you also say ultimately it was your decision?”
“What I want to know is was it now your decision or was it your decision? Because it seems to me you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say ‘I’m the Attorney General and I decide, but yet I’m going to take their recommendations’ even before they make their recommendations.”
Attorney General Lynch tried to explain away the action as trying to keep the team isolated from her meeting with former President Bill Clinton because she was “concerned” people would think she acted improperly. But Jordan was having none of it.
“So, you’ve never announced before an investigation is done that whatever they came up with–maybe they’re going to screw it up, who knows–you’ve never announced before that whatever they recommend, I’m going to follow?
“So you’ve never done this before. But when you have a conversation with a former President, the husband of the subject of an ongoing investigation, and you have that conversation before they’ve interviewed the subject – and before they’ve reached their recommendations and finished their investigation.
“That’s what triggered you to do this thing you’ve never done before. Which is to announce ‘I don’t care what they recommend, I’m gonna follow it.'”