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Giuliani goes to bat for Loretta Lynch as attorney general

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Credit: AP

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 NYPD 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 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. Giuliani said his appointees agreed with him.

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