Why Did Former AG Lynch Use an Email Alias at the DOJ?

RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen wrote today in the Daily Caller about the recent revelations about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch's use of an email alias account at the Department of Justice:

Compare this with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her tumultuous tenure. Lynch did not recuse herself from the investigation into Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server that handled classified information.  Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, Lynch set up an alias DOJ email account under the name Elizabeth Carlisle to handle official business. 

She secretly met with Bill Clinton at a crucial moment in the investigation.  When a reporter discovered the clandestine meeting, the Lynch DOJ went into crisis mode — strategizing, preparing talking points, and working with the mainstream media to bury the story.  Lynch was involved in the response effort, but under her “Elizabeth Carlisle” alias. 

Why set up an alias email account?  The official version is the alias account avoided people guessing the Attorney General’s email address and flooding her inbox.  It is common practice for CEOs and other high profile leaders to have an email address that does not fit the organization’s customary formula. . . . What is not common practice is to use an entirely different name altogether.  Why would Lynch, and Holder before her, adopt such a strange practice?  One reason might be to avoid Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  A person would request the Attorney General’s correspondence on a certain topic, but because the Attorney General had used her alias account, none of her emails would show up on a search for emails sent to or from Loretta Lynch.  As the email alias was unknown until last week, the Attorney General’s emails on sensitive subjects were largely kept from public release under FOIA.

This would be entirely in conformity with the Obama Administration’s practice of avoiding transparency whenever possible, despite claiming to be the “most transparent administration in history.”  Last July, the American Center for Law and Justice filed a FOIA request for documents relating to the Lynch-Clinton airplane meeting and the Obama FBI responded that no responsive documents existed.  After a lawsuit, over 400 pages of responsive documents were produced last week.  This is just one example of the Obama DOJ’s lack of transparency.

Mr. Thielen compared Lynch's actions with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ethical behavior in recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election to avoid even an appearance of impropriety.  The Trump Department of Justice has important work to do to restore a culture of ethics, responsibility, and respect for the rule of law in the law firm for the American people.