Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

President Barack Obama nominates Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general during an event in the Roosevelt Room on Nov. 8, 2014, in Washington. (MCT) President Barack Obama nominates Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general during an event in the Roosevelt Room on Nov. 8, 2014, in Washington. (MCT)

President Barack Obama nominates Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general during an event in the Roosevelt Room on Nov. 8, 2014, in Washington. (MCT)

Aaron Sharockman
By Aaron Sharockman November 10, 2014

Breitbart gets the wrong Loretta Lynch in Whitewater claim

President Barack Obama made some political news over the weekend, nominating federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.

The announcement sent news staffs scrambling to better understand Lynch’s political views and to better understood the likelihood that she’ll be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Conservative news website Breitbart.com unearthed a potentially controversial line in Lynch’s biography.

"Obama’s new attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch represented Clintons during Whitewater," read a headline from Breitbart’s Warner Todd Houston. Houston wrote:

There is just one problem. Breitbart got the wrong Loretta Lynch. The mistake was first noted by liberal journalists at Media Matters. Breitbart eventually acknowledged in a correction that they got the wrong Lynch, but left the story up anyway.

Later, Breitbart deleted the story, though it had already spread to other conspiracy, opinion and conservative news websites like WND, Sodahead.com and the American Thinker.

In this case, the Truth-O-Meter doesn’t have to work too hard to come up with a rating, but we think it’s important to address anyway because of how quickly false information spreads around the Internet.

Featured Fact-check

The Loretta Lynch nominated to replace Holder began working as a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York in 1990, so she couldn’t have been part of Clinton’s defense a few years later. According to her official biography, Lynch was appointed by Obama on May 3, 2010, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, an office she previously led from 1999 to 2001.

The other Loretta Lynch got a law degree from Yale and worked on several political campaigns, including Clinton’s, according to her biography. This Loretta Lynch served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2000-02 and as a commissioner until 2005.

We captured this image of her from her last appearance on C-SPAN, when she was addressing senators in 2002 about an alleged scheme by Enron to manipulate energy prices in California.

Our ruling

An article on Breitbart that has since been deleted said Loretta Lynch, Obama’s new nominee for attorney general, "was a member of Bill Clinton's defense team during the 1992 Whitewater corruption probe."

The conservative news website got the wrong Loretta Lynch. We’re hoping the correction spreads as fast as the original story.

This claim rates Pants on Fire.

Our Sources

Breitbart, "Obama’s new attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch represented Clintons during Whitewater," Nov. 8, 2014

Media Matters, "Breitbart's Attack On Obama Attorney General Nominee Goes After The Wrong Loretta Lynch," Nov. 9, 2014

Biography of Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Easter District of New York

Biography of Loretta Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission

WND, "Loretta Lynch Represented Clintons During Whitewater," Nov. 9, 2014

Sodahead.com, Obama's AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Defended Clintons during Whitewater. OK? Not OK?, Nov. 9, 2014

American ThinkerHere we go again: AG nominee Loretta Lynch wants to free blacks from the 'Prison of Racism,' Nov. 9, 2014 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Aaron Sharockman

Breitbart gets the wrong Loretta Lynch in Whitewater claim

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up