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Giuliani goes to bat for Loretta Lynch as attorney general

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 28, 2015 in D.C. Photo Credit: Getty/Mark Wilson

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani Friday cited U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch's probe of police brutality and demand for federal oversight of the New York Police Department in 2000 as a selling point as he lobbies Republicans to vote to confirm her as U.S. attorney general.

Recalling the controversial three-year federal investigation of the NYPD begun after officers sodomized Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997, Giuliani praised Lynch as "an excellent lawyer" and even "overqualified" despite their tough negotiations 15 years ago.

"We got an absolutely fair and complete hearing, even though she disagreed with us," he said in a call with reporters to urge her confirmation.

Her nomination has not been brought up for a Senate vote since the Judiciary Committee approved it on Feb. 26.

As Newsday has reported, letters between Giuliani and then Attorney General Janet Reno in late 2000 and early 2001 described how Lynch told the city it must accept a consent decree and federal monitor for the NYPD or be sued. Reno, however, overruled her. The case was closed in 2004.

Giuliani Friday revealed that he asked Lynch for permission before contacting Reno. "She allowed us to appeal the case to the attorney general of the United States, which many U.S. attorneys don't have the intellectual honesty to do," he said.

Lynch served as U.S. attorney for Long Island and three city boroughs from 1999 to 2001. She returned in 2010.

Giuliani criticized senators who oppose Lynch because she accepts the legal opinion backing President Barack Obama's executive order deferring deportation of millions of noncitizens here illegally.

As mayor, Giuliani said he appointed people who agreed with him. Speaking of Obama, Giuliani asked, "Why would he appoint someone who disagrees with his policy?"

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