Fox News reported on Monday that several emails were released regarding the contentious airport tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynn and former President Bill Clinton while Hillary Clinton was under a criminal investigation being conducted by the Justice Department.
According to the outlet, Lynch used an email alias when communicating with various media outlets in order to spin the story in a different direction.
Fox News reported that Lynch used the alias "Elizabeth Carlisle" during her correspondence as attorney general, and those emails were said to include messages regarding the tarmac meeting in 2016 with former President Clinton.
Lynch's emails were said to be included in 413 pages of Justice Department documents which were provided to "conservative watchdog groups Judicial Watch and American Center for Law and Justice."
Fox News reported:
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.
Eric Holder, Lynch’s predecessor, used “Lew Alcindor,” the former name of retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
However, critics of the practice argue that such aliases can result in some requested emails to and from officials going undetected.
Lynch used the alias to help craft responses to media requests about the meeting, the documents show.
Lynch's controversial meeting with former President Clinton was during a time when Hillary Clinton was being investigated as to whether or not she had revealed classified government information while serving as secretary of state.
Ultimately, former FBI Director James Comey concluded that Hillary was “extremely careless” in her email practices, but said that he felt she should not be held criminally responsible.
It was reported on Sunday that the New York Times and the Washington Post didn't want to cover the Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting, but the outlets were forced to by management.
The aforementioned American Center for Law and Justice published emails on Friday that showed how reporters covering the story were less than enthusiastic about doing so when they reached out to the Department of Justice for comment. The nonprofit received the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The emails detail exchanges a reporter with the New York Times and a reporter with the Washington Post had with DOJ officials about the infamous tarmac meeting.
In an email on June 30, Mark Landler, a White House correspondent with the Times, wrote to a DOJ official that his editors “pressed” him “into service to write about the questions being raised” about the tarmac meeting.
Meanwhile, Matt Zapotosky, a national security reporter for the Post, wrote to DOJ officials on June 30 asking for a “quick” phone conversation about the Clinton-Lynch meeting.
“My editors are still pretty interested in it and I’m hoping to put it to rest by answering just a few more questions about how the meeting came about-who approached who, how did they realize they were in the same place,” Zapotosky wrote.
In an additional email, Melania Newman, who at the time was the director of public affairs at the DOJ, noted that an ABC News producer she corresponded with wasn’t “interested” in the story.
Lynch and former President Clinton ignited controversy last summer after their tarmac meeting at the Phoenix airport was leaked to the press. The meeting was controversial because it came while Lynch’s organization had an ongoing criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Lynch and Clinton later said they did not discuss the FBI’s investigation and only talked about golf and family. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and was private. The FBI even told anyone around the plane they were disallowed from using their cellphones while the two were meeting.
Lynch has since said she regrets the meeting because it may have put the integrity of the DOJ in question.
“I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him, because it did give people concern. And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure that people understand that the Department of Justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally,” Lynch told CNN.