Before serving as United States Attorney General under President Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch had a distinguished career in both private practice and public service. During two different stints as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she prosecuted corrupt politicians, oversaw the investigation into the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and led the prosecution of the NYPD officers in the brutal assault of Abner Louima.
Lynch discusses her involvement in the Louima prosecution and how some of the issues presented by the case are the same ones we’re facing today in a wide-ranging conversation on this week’s Miranda Warnings podcast.
Lynch, who served as US Attorney General from 2015-2017, also discusses the Trump administration’s decision to overturn final consent decrees that were negotiated during the final months of the Obama administration. She says that decision was a missed opportunity to continue making progress in police reform.
“It’s unfortunate, it’s a missed opportunity and certainly, it was really a missed opportunity to discontinue the collaborative reform process,” Lynch told show host David Miranda. “What we’ve seen is a number of states and state attorneys general pick up those consent decrees that we put in place and work with local jurisdictions and those police departments to continue to bring them to fruition so they can report to the court and move forward in a constitutional manner.”
She also shares her thoughts on Attorney General Bill Barr, his continued intervention on cases involving political allies of President Trump and how the introduction of partisanship into the Department of Justice can give people the view it is just a political arm of the White House.
“I think this attorney general has shown that he gets in the weeds of a lot of matters,” she said. “Every attorney general is different in how they do that but I think what is troubling to so many people is that he only seems to get in the weeds on those cases that are connected politically to the current administration, specifically to the president.”
The conversation closes with a discussion about the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the unusual way FBI Director James Comey handled the announcement and the harm his actions had on DOJ and the FBI.