The Justice Department is under fire for allowing the involvement in the investigation of a high-ranking official with close ties to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Now, in the latest disclosure of emails, it appears that Peter Kadzik, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, proved tips to Podesta on developments in the email controversy.
A May 19, 2015 email from Podesta’s account was hacked by Wikileaks or its cohort. These emails have given the public a vision into how our government works from media figures secretly helping the Clinton campaign to Democratic officials trying to rig the primary to sycophants currying favor from the expected winner of the election. Despite the low regard of the public for Washington, the emails have shown the situation to be far, far worse in what I previously called America’s Game of Thrones election.
Now this email shows the close relationship between Kadzik and Podesta where the former gives Podesta a “heads up” about several developments in the Clinton email case. He tells Podesta “There is a [House Judiciary Committee] oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify.” That is likely a piece of public information but the communication still raises question of propriety. Then there is this: “Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the [Freedom of Information Act] case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”
Kadzik has been in the lead with Congress on communications about the investigation. In the letter to Congress, he promised that the Justice Department “will continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible.”
Kadzik went to Georgetown law school with Podesta and has remained close friends. Kadzik also reportedly was part of a controversial dinner after Hillary Clinton testified before Congress on Benghazi with Podesta, deal maker Vincent Roberti and other powerful figures. The dinner was a the expensive Posto restaurant. Kadzik also was reportedly a dinner guest at Podesta’s home and Podesta helped Kadzik’s son in his seeking a job on the Clinton campaign.
Kadzik also represented Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Podesta was accused of making false statements to a grand jury but was not prosecuted. He insisted that he merely repeated false statements from Bill Clinton. Kadzik also lobbied Podesta on behalf of Marc Rich in the Clinton pardon scandal. His client was Rich, a billionaire financier who was wanted by the U.S. government for evading a $48 million tax bill.
In a 2008 letter, Podesta described Kadzik as a“Fantastic lawyer. Kept me out of jail.”
The fact is that it does not appear that Kadzik is directing the investigation as assistant attorney general for legislative affairs. However, it is incredible that Kadzik would not recuse himself for any involvement in this matter in light of his relationship with Podesta. He remains an attorney subject to the ethical rules of the Justice Department. It is hard to see how his involvement avoids conflicts or the appearance of a conflict.
What do you think?