By Craig Hardegree | 

When Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger met with George Zimmerman and decided not to charge him, did you raise a ruckus?

When St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch’s assistants met behind closed doors in grand jury proceedings with Officer Darren Wilson before the grand jury decided not to charge Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, did you scream about “appearance of impropriety”?

When Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty met in secret proceedings with representatives of the officers who killed Tamir Rice before the grand jury declined to indict the officers, did you get all torqued-up over “apparent conflicts of interest”?

You need to learn the difference between a prosecutor and a judge.

A judge manages a trial and makes legal decisions that affect the outcome of a case. It is absolutely always improper for a judge to meet, alone, with representatives of either side of a case. That’s known as ex parte communications. Totally and completely prohibited.

A prosecutor presents the people’s side of the case in a trial that is conducted before a judge & jury. Prosecutors make decisions that affect whether or not a person is charged or indicted.

Prosecutors can meet with the accused, representatives of the accused, the victims, the police officers investigating the case and pretty much anyone who will agree to meet with her.

And they do. All day, every day.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is in the same role as a county prosecutor. The FBI is in the same role as a local police department conducting an investigation on behalf of a county prosecutor. The investigative agency is not a grand jury — it presents findings, not an indictment. Once the FBI completes its investigation, it is completely within the prosecutorial discretion of Attorney General Lynch as to whether or not to charge. But she will not make decisions which determine guilt or innocence — those decisions will be made by a federal judge & jury if the case goes that far.

The only people with whom Attorney General Lynch should not meet are federal judges and Supreme Court justices who could potentially preside over the case or decide appeals from the case.

Meeting with judges would be profoundly inappropriate — approaching the level of inappropriateness of Justice Thomas issuing decisions pertaining to ObamaCare when his wife is a paid anti-ObamaCare lobbyist.

Other than potential judges…

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch can meet with whomever she pleases whenever she pleases.

End-Post-Craig-Hardegree

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