For as long as she’s served under President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been a dutiful ally, eager to defend and enact the most heinous courses of action the commander in chief has set upon. But as his lame duck presidency comes to a close, it seems like even she is abandoning him. As the Washington Times notes:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that federal law flatly prevents President Obama from sending the detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. territory, hurting his ability to follow through on his new closure plan.
“That is the state of the law,” she said, pointing to the most recent defense policy law passed late last year, which cleared Congress on a bipartisan vote and which Mr. Obama himself signed into law.
Ms. Lynch said it’s her understanding the president’s plan, released Tuesday, is a “goal” and a challenge to Congress rather than an effort to circumvent lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
She said she supports the goal, saying the detention facility has become a security liability for the U.S.
The White House has tried to talk tough, saying that Mr. Obama won’t “take any options off the table” such as trying to close the prison by executive action. But Ms. Lynch’s comments seemed to undercut that.
“That would be prohibited from doing so. I’m not aware of any effort to do so at this time,” she said.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that Congress is already readying a legal challenge should Mr. Obama try anyway.
This means two things. Either Lynch has abandoned Obama, recognizing the dangerous implications of closing Guantanamo Bay, or, she’s simply providing political cover so that he can blame Republicans for refusing to enact the favored policies of the nuttiest members of his political base.