Tags: MidPoint | Michael Flanagan | Loretta Lynch | Eric Holder | AG

Ex-Rep. Michael Flanagan: Loretta Lynch Will Be Confirmed as AG

By    |   Thursday, 29 January 2015 03:48 PM

Loretta Lynch is not Senate Republicans' ideal choice to succeed outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, but they appear satisfied, based on her confirmation hearings, that she will run a more honest, transparent and less politically secretive Justice Department, says a former House Judiciary lawmaker.

The Republican-led Senate will confirm President Barack Obama's candidate for the job "because her level of forthcomingness and her level of candid honesty is higher than Holder's," former Illinois Republican Rep. Michael Patrick Flanagan told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"A lot of what the Senate Republicans are trying to discern is her level of general honesty," said Flanagan, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist and political commentator. "They're not going to find someone that agrees with them philosophically. They're not going to find someone that says 'No, the president's wrong, but he nominated me anyway.' "

The question, said Flanagan, is, "do we have someone who's general honesty level is high enough to actually confess that they screwed up with a Fast and Furious, or something like that? That's where a lot of the questioning is going, and generally they are satisfied so far."

Lynch has sparred with some GOP senators over immigration, and her view that Obama acted legally by ordering the federal government to begin issuing visas and work permits to millions of undocumented migrants.

Even so, said Flanagan, Lynch is "the best they're likely to get."

Holder's tenure is widely viewed by Republicans as having been divisive, racially biased in matters of law enforcement, and highly politicized when it came to covering for the administration.  

Flanagan predicted fewer partisan fireworks under Lynch, but added that she is still, ultimately, an Obama appointee.

"Mrs. Loretta Lynch probably doesn't view herself as being a toady of the president," he said, "but she'll agree with him in every detail simply because they have the same view of the role of the president — incorrect though it may be."

Flanagan also discussed the president's new budget, which seeks new taxes and an end to spending caps that both parties agreed to under the sequester, and said that Obama's proposals — like most a president submits to Congress — are dead on arrival because "Congress writes its own budget."

But Obama's call for increased, above-the-cap defense spending creates a dilemma for Congress, he said.

"The question is will they blow the sequester caps to help out and get greater money on defense, and that's not settled yet," said Flanagan.

"If they want to spend more on defense, they're going to have to blow the caps everywhere [else in the budget]," he said, "and I don't think they're ready to do that. I don't really think it's going to happen. But I don't know. They may find a way through it."

Flanagan called the Obama budget a political document meant to impress his constituencies and an illustration of Chicago politics married to a "socialist" liberal embrace of a large welfare state.

"You have really an unholy alliance that spends a lot of your money on stuff that you don't want it spent on," said Flanagan. "Frankly, often, the people who receive it are not particularly interested in having it. It's a bad combination and thank goodness there's a Republican Congress to hopefully check this."

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Loretta Lynch is not Senate Republicans' ideal choice to succeed outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, but they appear satisfied that she will run a more honest, says a former House Judiciary lawmaker.
Michael Flanagan, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, AG
Thursday, 29 January 2015 03:48 PM
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