The Senate Judiciary Committee decided yesterday to postpone a vote on President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, until after next week’s Congressional recess, meaning she won’t get a final vote until March, Politico reported.
The Republican-controlled Congress is holding up the process, not because they have problems with her record or qualifications, but as a way to fight President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. So again, the GOP is doing the right thing, but for all of the wrong reasons.
Congress should be concerned with Lynch’s record, especially with her past involvement with mega-bank HSBC. Recently leaked documents show that HSBC helped thousands of Americans avoid paying taxes on an incredibly large sum of money.
In 2012, Lynch, who was the US Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, helped put together a deferred-prosecution deal for HSBC after it came to light that the bank had been involved in some wide-spread money laundering for groups including Mexican drug cartels.
For its involvement, HSBC paid a $1.9 billion fine — or about five weeks of profits. No one involved in the case was individually punished; no one saw jail time, and no one saw money come out of his or her own pockets. It just came out of the company coffer.
Now that these new allegations of HSBC’s aiding Americans in their efforts to hide their money have surfaced, one has to ask: Did Lynch know about the tax evasion scheme in 2012? If so, why did she go so easy on the bank?
And if it comes out that no, she wasn’t aware, how will she handle the prosecution going forward?
If her past actions are any indication, HSBC will simply be penalized with another measly fine and business will continue as usual. No one will actually get punished, and these big banks will continue to conduct their illegal schemes for their wealthy clients.