The FBI has “uncovered” documents related to the June 2016 Arizona tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, despite previously claiming documents about the rendezvous didn’t exist.
Lawyers for the FBI revealed the existence of the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The new development comes after the FBI previously told the group that no documents related to the June 27, 2016, meeting existed.
However, through a separate FOIA request, the Justice Department revealed that some of its officials had been in contact with FBI officials about the infamous meeting, and were seeking “guidance” about how to properly respond.
It was only after the Justice Department released its documents did the FBI acknowledge that it had documents that Judicial Watch’s FOIA request sought. “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist,” the FBI said.
So far, the FBI has not revealed the contents of the documents, only that 30 pages exist.
How did Judicial Watch respond?
In response, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton lambasted the government for the “stunning” development.
He said: “The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit. Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.”
Fitton added in a video that this revelation is a “scandal” and said he believes the FBI was “hiding” the documents.
When will the documents be released?
The government has until Nov. 30 to review and release the documents to Judicial Watch pursuant to the FOIA request. The FBI will likely wait until that day to release the documents.
Why is this significant?
The revelation is significant because it shows the government was potentially attempting to hide something that the public has the right to know. But it’s also significant because the infamous tarmac meeting came just days before the Justice Department announced it would not pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her private emails scandal.
Lynch and President Clinton denied discussing Hillary’s pending case, but many believe that’s what the meeting was intended for, especially since the existence of the meeting was never suppose to be made public. It’s likely that what Clinton and Lynch discussed will never be truly known, but government records about the meeting may shed light into whether or not something illegal or unethical took place.