The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking the Department of Justice’s inspector general to investigate the Clinton campaign’s relationship with top agency officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, a close friend of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“The Department has utterly failed to manage the significant appearances of conflicts of interest,” the Republican continued,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote in the letter, which was sent on Wednesday to DOJ IG Michael Horowitz.
“The leadership of the Department has stuck their heads in the sand, assuming that their reputations and silence would be enough to insulate them.”
Grassley laid out a litany of potential conflicts of interest that have been recently publicized.
He noted the secret airplane meeting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had with Bill Clinton in Phoenix in late June, just days before the FBI and DOJ were set to interview Hillary Clinton as part of its email investigation.
He also referred to Kadzik’s close friendship with Podesta, whose emails were illegally hacked and have been published by WikiLeaks.
“Reports have also illustrated long running, close ties between Peter Kadzik and the Clinton’s inner circle,” Grassley wrote, citing The Daily Caller’s report earlier this month that broke the story of the close friendship between Kadzik and Podesta. (RELATED: Clinton Campaign Chairman Had Multiple Dinners With DOJ Official During Email Investigation)
[dcquiz] Podesta’s hacked emails show him discussing dinner plans with Kadzik on several occasions during the Clinton email probe, which was being conducted by the FBI but with oversight from DOJ.
The pair had dinner together a day after Clinton’s Benghazi Committee testimony last October. Kadzik’s son also emailed Podesta last year asking for a job on the Clinton campaign.
In 2014, when Podesta was working as a senior adviser at the White House, he wrote an email praising Kadzik as a “fantastic lawyer” who “kept me out of jail.”
In the late-1990s, Kadzik represented Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. And he lobbied Podesta during the Marc Rich pardon controversy.
Earlier this week, Kadzik sent a letter to several congressional committees promising to expedite a search of emails found on a laptop owned by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
In an email released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday, Kadzik, who emailed from his Gmail account, gave Podesta a “heads up” on two Clinton email happenings last May. (RELATED: Podesta’s DOJ Pal Gave A ‘Heads Up’ On Clinton Email Developments)
“As the senior official in the Office of Legislative Affairs, Mr. Kadzik is being allowed to participate in decisions about what information on these matters will be disclosed to Congressional oversight committees,” Grassley wrote to Horowitz.
“Given these facts, Mr. Kadzik’s relationship with the Clintons and their associates is incompatible with the ability of Congress to have any confidence in his ability to be fair and impartial in advising on decisions about how to respond to Congressional oversight inquiries related to these matters,” the Republican added.
Grassley is asking Horowitz to consider whether Lynch’s previous history with the Clintons create “the appearance of a conflict of interest” and whether Kadzik’s relationship with Podesta does the same.