RAWA Champion Chaffetz Grills AG Lynch, While Sanders Shocks with Clinton Endorsement

Posted on: July 13, 2016, 11:29h. 

Last updated on: October 12, 2016, 08:35h.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was back at it on Capitol Hill this week, as the congressman continues to demand answers about the FBI’s recommendation to the Department of Justice (DOJ) not to prosecute Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

On July 6, FBI Director James Comey said Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state was careless, but didn’t warrant criminal charges.

Jason Chaffetz FBI DOJ Loretta Lynch
US Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) seen here at an earlier hearing with the FBI’s James Comey, grilled AG Loretta Lynch at a House Judiciary Commitee hearing on Tuesday about the legalities surrounding Hillary Clinton’s claims about her private email server usage. Lynch largely avoided taking any stance whatsoever, visibly irritating Chaffetz. Representative Elijah Cummings (D- Maryland) sits to Chaffetz’ right. (Image: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Chaffetz is Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson’s right-hand man in Congress. The representative introduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in the House to coincide with Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) legislation in the Senate.

RAWA seeks to restore the Wire Act to its pre-2011 interpretation. Five years ago, the DOJ issued an opinion saying the Wire Act applied only to online sports betting, effectively opening states to legalize Internet casinos.

Chaffetz believes the DOJ had no right to unilaterally overhaul federal law. He also doesn’t believe the department is being candid in how it’s responding to Comey’s findings.

Pleading the Fifth

The morning after his agency recommended no charges against Clinton for storing classified emails on non-secure servers, Comey met with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of which Chaffetz is the chairman.

Although he didn’t have the luxury of as much interview time as he did with Comey, Chaffetz did his best to take full advantage of the five minutes he had with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday. As AG, Lynch is technically Comey’s boss, as the FBI is a division of the DOJ.

But Lynch deflected one question after another, much to the chagrin of the Utah congressman. The AG avoided giving specific answers to Chaffetz’ ongoing attack of “Is it legal or illegal?”

“Is it legal or illegal to share classified information with somebody who doesn’t have a security clearance?” the congressman asked Lynch. “Is it legal or illegal to provide access to somebody who doesn’t have the requisite security clearance to view classified material? Is it legal or illegal to store, house, or retain classified information in a non-secure location?”

When Lynch consistently and repeatedly referred him to “statutes” to clarify the legal standing on any of these issues, Chaffetz’ frustration was abundant and unhidden.

“The lack of clarity you give to this body is pretty stunning . . . My time has expired, I wish I had about 20 more minutes,” he noted.

Sanders Endorses Clinton

With the email scandal (at least legally) behind her, Hillary Clinton has now gotten the official nod from her former nemesis in Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination,” Sanders said in New Hampshire, standing alongside the former secretary of state and First Lady. “I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.”

Republican nominee Donald Trump countered the announcement by immediately releasing an ad highlighting the various times Sanders said Clinton was unfit to be president.

Bush and Obama Unite, for One Brief Shining Moment

Meanwhile, a rare moment of unity between the political parties emerged on July 12 in Dallas. During a memorial service for the slain police officers ambushed on July 7, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush came together in an attempt to honor those killed by a crazed anti-law, anti-white gunman in a sniper attack

Obama told mourners, “As Americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail. They will not drive us apart. We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.”

Before Obama, Bush talked about the selflessness of police officers everywhere.

“Most of us imagine that if the moment called for it, we would risk our lives to protect a spouse or a child,” the former president said. “Those wearing the uniform assume that risk for the safety of strangers [at all times].”

Further comments about gun control and the Black Lives Matter movement during the service from Obama drew criticism from some segments, however, with many saying it was not the right place or time to address politically loaded issues.