Democrats have been clamoring for an investigation into the 2016 election as a way to delegitimize President-elect Trump.
Since Loretta Lynch is currently the Attorney General, the power to appoint an independent counsel rests with her.
She commented on that issue yesterday, but what she said was not what many expected.
At a press conference, Lynch was called on about an independent investigation into the alleged criminal activity related to Russian hacking.
Lynch rejected those calls.
“Attorney General Loretta Lynch is brushing aside calls for an independent counsel to investigate potential criminal activity in the alleged Russian campaign to influence last year’s presidential election.
“I continue to have the utmost confidence in the career men and women of the Department of Justice, of the FBI, of the Department of Homeland Security and all the agencies that would be called to bear as well as the career, dedicated employees of the intelligence community,” Lynch said Wednesday in response to a question from POLITICO.
Lynch has the authority to name a special counsel for the next nine days. After that, it will fall to someone else, likely Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who testified Tuesday at his confirmation hearing to replace Lynch. During that session, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pressed Sessions on the circumstances under which he would appoint a special counsel. “
Lynch also refused to comment if any criminal charges were on the horizon.
Politico also reported:
“Asked whether criminal charges or legal action related to the alleged Russian activities may be forthcoming, Lynch said law enforcement’s work on the issue is not complete.
“With respect to ongoing investigations….we don’t comment on those, so we’re not able to give you any kind of update on that,” she said, before adding: “That work does continue.”
Lynch, who spoke at a Justice Department press conference announcing criminal fraud charges related to VW diesel emissions, stressed the U.S. Government’s decision to issue a written report on Russia’s alleged involvement in the campaign-season hacking was an extraordinary one.
“The report itself is one of the actions we’ve taken in response to this situation the public disclosure, the public attribution of a nation state’s attempts to involve themselves in our electoral system is something we take very, very seriously….We rarely do these types of attributions, for a variety of reasons,” she said. “The president has stated that the United States will have a response to these actions. Some of that will be visible and some of that will not be visible…You may not necessarily see every action.”
After Trump’s press conference where he addressed the fake news allegations that the Russians possessed compromising information on him, Trump denied that any of his advisors had ties to Russia.
Fortunately ABC's Cecilia Vega asked my question about whether any Trump associates contacted Russians. Trump said no.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 11, 2017
But, Democrats are not likely to give up pressing for a criminal investigation.
Their goal is to delegitimize Trump.
And as long as they publically press for investigations, their allies in the media will dutifully report their calls and frame the story as a cloud hanging over Trump’s Presidency.