Using an alias was a common practice under the Obama administration when we first learned about Lisa Jackson doing so while at the EPA, calling herself Richard Windsor….weird huh? Eric Holder used an alias. Not to be forgotten, the top law enforcement officer, Eric Holder while heading the Department of Justice did the same thing, he was Lew Alcindor.
Not too be outdone….here comes Loretta Lynch doing the same thing on official government email communications, she was none other than Elizabeth Carlisle. Sheesh…
Loretta Lynch used the alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” for official emails as attorney general, including those related to her infamous tarmac meeting last summer with former President Clinton.
The emails were included in 413 pages of Justice Department documents provided to conservative watchdog groups Judicial Watch and American Center for Law and Justice.
Top federal officials using email aliases is not illegal or new, considering others in the former Obama administration also used them, arguing security concerns and spam to their official email addresses swamping their in-boxes. More here.
So, when a Freedom of Information request comes in asking for documents relating to an event using government official’s real names, the reply from FOIA officers can then be: “no documents responsive to your request” that is until outside organizations and investigative journals are on to the plots. Such is the case regarding the tarmac meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton. The FBI responded with ‘no documents to the request, but the now Trump Department of Justice responded with 400 pages of documents. Much blame is being placed on James Comey controlling the FBI FOIA requests, however, let us remember he reported to the Justice Department….remember that?
In ‘some’ fairness, Comey in congressional testimony stated he was angry and lost faith in the Justice investigation as it related to the Hillary Clinton affair(s).
The common posture of the people on the Trump team is to regarding Comey as a Hillary loyalist and compromised. This is especially true regarding the offered information on a meeting to his friend and law professor, who later called the New York Times and read the newspaper a personal journal entry of Comey’s at Comey’s behest. Now, this for sure sounds as it is a questionable tactic, and it is.
We cant know how much more background there is or all the facts and context, but we are in the core o a building government crisis, past and present.
So, let’s go a little deeper, shall we?
“No records responsive to your request were located,” FBI Chief of Record/Information David Hardy wrote a letter responding to ACLJ’s Freedom of Information Act request.
“For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA.”
(Exemptions may apply in cases of classified information relating to foreign policy or national defense, trade secrets, and personnel and medical files.)
The released emails include several exchanges between FBI media official Richard Quinn and DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs Director Melanie Newman.
One of those emails, 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 President Clinton.
She instructed Quinn to “let me know if you get any questions about this.”
Newman in the email also provide Quinn with some talking points. Although they are supposedly public statements – and separate emails indicate that they had been sent to reporters of major media outlets – the talking points, as well as many other parts of the release, were redacted.
An email sent by Newman to another staff member on July 1, titled “FBI just called,” shows that the agency was “asking for guidance” in responding to media questions about reports stating FBI agents had ordered ‘No photos, no picture, no cell phones’ at the Clinton-Lynch meeting.
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The conversation then continued via phone calls. One hour later, Carolyn Pokomy from the Office of the Attorney General said in an email reply, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was then the FBI’s chief of staff and senior counselor to Comey.
The information she sent to Rybicki was also redacted. Read more here.