And naturally the media rushed to get their hands on Lynch’s past — partly to make a parallel between Holder and his civil rights past (what kind of AG will Lynch make?), and partly to support a conservative narrative that Obama’s picks are either inept or saddled with controversial political pasts that need to be exposed and addressed.
Enter conservative news website Brietbart.com with a story that was sure to fan the flames surrounding the Obama administration by alleging Lynch was a part of the defense team for President Bill Clinton during the Whitewater scandal in 1992.
We think this a good time to mention that Lynch was never a part of that defense team. Nope. Wrong Lynch. THE WRONG PERSON, ENTIRELY.
In fact, the right Lynch started serving as a federal prosecutor in 1990. She now serves as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
And just to be clear, here’s definitive proof that Breitbart’s Lynch and the Obama nominee aren’t the same person. This is Breitbart’s Lynch:
Pictures sure do come in handy.
But now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s some real information about Lynch that you may want to know.
– Lynch’s fascination with politics began during childhood, when she would watch court proceedings with her minister father in North Carolina. She was inspired by her grandfather, who helped people flee to the north to escape Jim Crow laws in the 1930s.
– As a result, Lynch earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1984. She earned a degree in English and American literature from Harvard College three years prior.
– Lynch has a storied past in law — she was first a litigation associate and then joined the Eastern District as a drug and violent crime prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. And in 1999, she was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. (She left the appointment in 2001 to become a partner at Hogan & Hartson.)
– According to her bio, her most gratifying public service undertaking occurred in 2005, when she served as a special counsel to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (established in 1994 to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations in the now infamous genocide). During this time, she ” investigated allegations of witness tampering and false testimony involving those who testified against their tormenters.”
– In 2010, President Obama nominated Lynch to serve as the U.S. States for the Eastern District of New York a second time.
– Interesting tidbit — Lynch oversaw prosecution of the NYPD officers who brutally assaulted Abner Louima.
– Shortly after the death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officers, Lynch met with Garner’s family to hear their plea for a federal takeover of the case.
– In fact, Lynch is seen as a strong civil rights defender. Obama had this to say about Lynch when introducing her at the White House nomination ceremony: “She has spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor, aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud, cybercrime, all while vigorously defending civil rights.” He said her prosecution of the officers in the Louima case was “one of her proudest achievements.” [HuffPost]
– She has worked on several political corruption cases — as early as April, Lynch’s office indicted Republican Congressman Michael Grimm on tax evasion charges.
– If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lynch will make history as the first African-American woman to hold the office.
– If confirmed, Lynch is also set to inherit the civil rights case against the Ferguson Police Department. Many speculate that her prosecution experience paired with her civil rights interests is a clear message sent from the Obama administration on how the Justice Department will handle police violence in the future.
For more information on Lynch, read her official bio at Justice.Gov.