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Loretta Lynch: The GOP Must Play Hardball

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Originally posted by Jeffrey Lord at Conservative Review

Will Republican senators play hardball – as a legendary Democratic attorney general once phrased it – with the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the chief law enforcement official in the land? Will they stand up for the Constitution?

Will they focus on corruption at the Justice Department? The blatant misuse of raw governmental power for political purposes?

If there were any issues central to President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as the Attorney General of the United States, these three issues – and the Constitution, corruption at the Justice Department and abuse of governmental power for political purposes are actually one and the same issue – would be it. Will Republican senators have the guts to stand up on the Lynch nomination and illustrate just why she should not be confirmed?

The issues pertaining to the Lynch nomination are not new ones. Here’s some history.

The Attorney General of the United States was furious.

And so he convened a grand jury. His target? A business, and not just any business but a major American corporation. Why? The business, a publicly traded corporation, had displeased the president of the United States by raising its prices. No laws were broken, the company’s board of directors had approved the increase for the perfectly legitimate free-market reason of competitiveness. And so the order from the Attorney General had gone forth. He was going to play, in his words, “hardball.” The Department of Justice would be used for raw political purposes – to deliberately intimidate the leaders of the corporation. In the words of the attorney general himself, he would go after them “as individuals…We were going to go for broke – their expense accounts and where they’d been and what they were doing. I picked up all their records…I told the FBI to interview them all – march into their offices the next day….We weren’t going to go slowly…So all of them were hit with meetings the next morning by agents. All of them were subpoenaed for their personal records and…their company records.”

As if this weren’t enough, when a newspaper ran a story related to the price rise, citing information from another company, the Justice Department wanted to know the paper’s sources. So the FBI swooped down on the reporters – at their homes. Before dawn. Pounding on their doors and rousting them out of bed to question them about what they knew and how they knew it.

It was indeed hardball. But one would never know it today. The Attorney General – Robert F. Kennedy – wound up with a political black eye at the time, as did the president he served. That would be his brother, President John F. Kennedy. Cries of the Justice Department as the “Gestapo” filled the air. The company in question – United States Steel – had raised the price of steel by six dollars a ton, upsetting JFK’s political plans to fight inflation. In the heat of the moment the President had snapped: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches,” and that attitude had been directly transmitted to his brother, the attorney general. Bludgeoned politically and intimidated legally, US Steel would roll back their increase – seemingly giving JFK a victory. But it was a pyrrhic victory. Eventually the company – as was its right – raised its prices piecemeal, finally getting the desired increase it sought in order to remain competitive.

Today the building that houses the Department of Justice on Pennsylvania Avenue is named after Robert F. Kennedy, a tribute made in the presidency of George W. Bush. RFK is recalled today as a martyr, his tenure as attorney general most often associated with the fight for civil rights. A perhaps understandable and decidedly sentimental reaction to his assassination six years after the episode with US Steel when by-then Senator Kennedy was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Yet the conduct of the Justice Department in 1962 – a flagrant abuse of raw power to achieve a flagrantly political goal – Is a reminder (if one is needed in the Eric Holder era) not just of the power that rests with the office of the attorney general but the ease with which even one of its most revered occupants could abuse the public trust in the interest of raw politics.

Read Jeffrey’s entire commentary here.

Follow on Twitter @JeffJlpa1 and @ConservReview


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Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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