All but partisan Democrats agree that Eric Holder has been a bad Attorney General. Many think that Holder is so bad that almost anyone with a license to practice law would be better.
Regardless of how you feel about Holder, that does not mean that the current nominee Lorretta Lynch should go forgo scrutiny and questioning. And some concerns are emerging.
First, it is alleged Ms. Lynch was part of secret deal that cost many crime victims a chance at restitution.
More than a year before President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, a former federal judge quietly called on Congress to investigate her U.S. attorney’s office for trampling on victims’ rights.
Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah, said Ms. Lynch’s office, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, never told victims in a major stock fraud case that a culprit had been sentenced — denying them a chance to seek restitution of some $40 million in losses.
However now it looks like the case may be more than just a failure to notify:
What is more, Ms. Lynch’s office—aided by judges in the Eastern District of New York—fought tooth and nail to preserve the secrecy of the case long after the sentencing, raising questions about whether the victims will ever be notified. One victim’s attorney argued that the office was evading federal forfeiture and restitution laws to reward the defendant for his assistance. Regardless of how helpful a particular defendant might have been to the government, though, the law does not allow the government to waive the restitution rights of victims simply because they are inconvenient.
Jonathan Keim concludes by writing three questions for Lynch:
1. Do you believe that the government can simply ignore victim rights to restitution whenever it is convenient? If not, why didn’t the scam victims get their day in court? 2. Did the defendant in this case forfeit property to the government, and if so, how much? Was the forfeited property used to pay back the victims? If not, why not? 3. If confirmed, how will you ensure that the Department of Justice adequately protects the restitution rights of crime victims in the future?
Lynch should have a vigorous hearing in which she is forced to answer these and other tough questions.