Numerous employees at the Justice Department have donated to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, causing critics to wonder if the Department can be impartial about the need to pursue charges against Clinton for her use of an insecure private email server.
Critics have raised concerns in recent days over whether Attorney General Lynch’s contributions could prove to be troublesome in terms of conducting an investigation free from bias. The donations in question took place between 2004 and 2008 and totaled $10,700 given to Democratic candidates, including $4,600 to then-Sen. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
According to a review of donations made by those who listed their employer as the “U.S. Department of Justice” or “Department of Justice,” Clinton has received $26,151 in contributions since declaring her candidacy. That is nearly half of the overall $55,201 in donations given by DOJ employees to date for the 2016 elections.
DOJ employees have given $47,501 to Democratic candidates over the last ten months, or 86 percent of the $55,201 in donations on record. The amount does not include money that was sent to committees or Super PACs.
Republican candidates, by comparison, have received just $7,700 in contributions from Justice Department employees.
These donations, combined with calls from top Republicans for the appointment of a special prosecutor if the FBI recommends charges against Clinton’s use of the private server while she was serving as secretary of state, have led some who previously worked with Lynch to come to her defense, claiming that she is “very cautious” and not an overly political person.
“The latest assertion from her allies that Loretta Lynch is not ‘political’ is totally untrue,” David Bossie, president of Citizens United, told the Hill.
The DOJ responded to demands for a special prosecutor by saying such a step is unnecessary because investigators and attorneys review the matter.
"This matter is being reviewed by career attorneys and investigators and does not meet the criteria for the appointment of a special prosecutor," said Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman.
Christian Adams, an attorney and former DOJ official who blew the whistle on alleged racial bias within the department, said that the DOJ has been a “piggy bank” for Democrats for some time now.
“The DOJ has long been a piggy bank for Democrats,” Adams, now the president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Back in 2008, it overwhelming donated to Obama. The next attorney general needs to extend the number of DOJ components that have some limits on political activity.”
Adams said that it is important for DOJ lawyers to remain free from political biases, and added that they usually give six times the amount to Democrats as they do to Republicans.
“The DOJ slowing down the FBI investigation into Hillary’s emails demonstrates why it is important that DOJ lawyers be especially free from political biases,” he said. “DOJ lawyers usually give 6:1 to Democrats over Republicans. Hillary is so far enjoying the side benefits of that circumstance.”
Others have also called into question the fairness of an investigation consisting of authorities investigating another person within their own political party.
Howard J. Krongard, who served as the inspector general of the State Department from 2005 to 2008, told the New York Post that any criminal referral from the FBI to the Justice Department will “never get to an indictment.”
Krongard says that a referral “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.”
Instead of an indictment, Krongard predicts the case will quietly be plea-bargained to misdemeanors punishable by fines.
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on the donations by press time.