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Loretta Lynch Fast Facts

Andrew Cuomo

Here is a look at the life of former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch.


Birth date: May 21, 1959

Birth place: Greensboro, North Carolina

Birth name: Loretta Elizabeth Lynch

Father: Lorenzo Lynch, Baptist minister

Mother: Lorine (Harris) Lynch, school librarian

Marriage: Stephen Hargrove (2007-present)

Education: Harvard College, A.B., 1981; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1984

Other Facts

Lynch is the first black female attorney general in US history.

Served as a board member for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


1984-1990 – Litigation associate at New York law firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel.

March 1990 – Becomes a trial prosecutor for the US attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York. The Eastern District includes Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

1994-1998 – Serves as chief of the Long Island office.

March 1998 – Becomes chief assistant to US Attorney Zachary W. Carter.

1999 – Lynch serves on the trial team that prosecutes and convicts New York City police officers for violating the civil rights of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

1999-2001 – Appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as US attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

January 2002 – Joins Hogan & Hartson LLP as a partner.

2005 – Serves as special counsel to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

January 20, 2010 – Nominated by President Barack Obama to be the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the job she previously held from 1999 to 2001.

April 22, 2010 – Lynch is unanimously confirmed by the Senate. She takes office on May 3, 2010.

May 2010 – Is appointed to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of US Attorneys (AGAC).

September 7, 2011 – Becomes vice chair of AGAC.

January 2013 – US Attorney General Eric Holder appoints Lynch the chair of AGAC.

April 2014 – Lynch’s office indicts Congressman Michael Grimm (R-New York) for fraud.

November 8, 2014 – Obama nominates Lynch to be the next US attorney general.

December 3, 2014 – Holder announces that the Justice Department will lead a civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner in New York. Lynch will lead the investigation.

January 28-29, 2015 – Lynch’s confirmation hearing for the US attorney general position is held.

February 26, 2015 – The Senate Judiciary Committee approves Lynch as the next attorney general.

April 23, 2015 – Is confirmed by the Senate, 56-43, to be the new US attorney general.

May 9, 2015 – Lynch announces a lawsuit against North Carolina officials over a state law restricting bathroom access based on a person’s biological sex.

May 18, 2015 – In response to civil unrest and addressing one of her main priorities, Lynch announces the launch of a “Community Policing Tour,” to showcase collaborative programs that are “designed to advance public safety, strengthen police-community relations and foster mutual trust and respect.”

June 27, 2016 – Lynch and Clinton have a private meeting on an airport tarmac in Phoenix. Clinton boards Lynch’s plane and the two talk for half an hour. The encounter raises eyebrows because the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server to store government documents during her tenure as secretary of state. Although Lynch denies discussing anything substantive with the former president, she later says that she regrets the encounter. She adds that she will accept whatever recommendations the FBI makes once the agency concludes its Clinton probe. Some Republican lawmakers suggest that Lynch should recuse herself from the investigation.

July 5, 2016 – FBI Director James Comey holds a surprise press conference to announce that the Clinton email investigation has concluded and the agency has not found evidence of criminal conduct. He does, however, criticize Clinton for her “extremely careless” handling of sensitive information. It is an unusual move for an FBI director to publicly discuss an investigation and comment on the behavior of the person at the center of the probe. Officials say Comey felt he should make the announcement on his own rather than jointly with Lynch amid the controversy about her airport tarmac meeting with Clinton.

July 6, 2016 – Lynch says that she has met with Comey, and the Justice Department has accepted his recommendation not to press charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server.

January 13, 2017 – Lynch announces that the Chicago Police Department will work with the Justice Department on reforms after a 13-month investigation into excessive force. The fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, prompted federal investigators to look into whether the use of deadly force was justified.

January 20, 2017 – Leaves office.

May 3, 2017 – During a Senate hearing, Comey says that he felt Lynch compromised the Clinton email investigation. Comey testifies that he held a surprise press conference to stress that the FBI reached its conclusions independently, and Lynch’s meeting with the former president did not impact the outcome of the case.

June 8, 2017 – Comey testifies on Capitol Hill that Lynch instructed him to refer to the Clinton email probe as a “matter” rather than an investigation. He says that the directive made him feel “queasy,” because there was a criminal investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified intelligence. He says ultimately, he decided not to argue the point with Lynch.

June 23, 2017 – The Senate Judiciary Committee sends a letter to Lynch asking her to disclose any conversations she had with the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee regarding the Clinton email investigation. The judiciary committee is conducting a wide-ranging probe of political interference at the FBI.

April 15, 2018 – Lynch defends her handling of the Clinton email investigation, saying in a statement that she “never hesitated to make the hard decisions.” She further states: “At no time did I ever discuss any aspect of the investigation with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the DNC.”

November 22, 2018 – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issues subpoenas for Lynch and Comey. Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who is retiring, is requesting private depositions from Comey and Lynch.

December 19, 2018 – Lynch testifies behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

May 28, 2019 – Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announce that Lynch is joining the law firm as a litigation partner.

February 24, 2020 – Syracuse University’s chancellor announces that Lynch has been hired to review the university’s Department of Public Safety at the school’s request following student protests over incidents of racial bias.

June 10, 2020 – New York Attorney General Letitia James appoints Lynch as one of two special advisers in her investigation into recent NYPD interactions with the public.

February 22, 2021 – Lynch releases her final report into Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety, capping a nearly yearlong inquiry into the department. Among Lynch’s key conclusions in the nearly 100-page report is that campus public safety should streamline how it shares information to the campus community, better adhere to its standard operating procedures for bias-related incidents, and strengthen its “community policing ethos.”

Article Topic Follows: US & World

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