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Clinton’s secret meeting with Obama’s AG was exposed by a former Bama football player

Christopher Sign (left), a former University of Alabama football player, exposed a secret meeting between former President Bill Clinton (center) and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (right).
Christopher Sign (left), a former University of Alabama football player, exposed a secret meeting between former President Bill Clinton (center) and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (right).

PHOENIX, Ariz. — On Monday, June 27th, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was preparing to depart from a Phoenix, Arizona, airport on a government aircraft. In what she later described as a “surprise,” she suddenly realized former President Bill Clinton had also boarded her plane.

Under normal circumstances a former president popping in unannounced to see a sitting attorney general as they crossed paths at an airport probably would not be newsworthy. But at the time of the Clinton-Lynch meeting, the FBI was in the final stages of a long investigation into whether Clinton’s wife — the former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — broke the law by sending and receiving classified information on a private email server. Considering the Lynch-led Department of Justice could ultimately bring charges in the wake of the investigation, the conflict of interest was glaring.

And yet were it not for a former University of Alabama football player, the country would have no idea the meeting ever took place.

For about a week the national media continuously referenced a “local ABC reporter from Phoenix” who had somehow found out about the meeting and exposed it to the world.

As it turns out, that local reporter was Christopher Sign, who played left guard and center for two of Alabama’s SEC West Championship teams in the 1990s coached by Gene Stallings. Sign is now a news anchor for ABC15 in Phoenix, and credits his time at Bama with preparing him to break one of the biggest political stories of the year.

“My college football experience on and off the field prepared me for moments like this,” Sign told Football Matters. “Being under pressure. Being under stress and under the microscope. These are things Coach Stallings prepared us for. He used to always say, ‘do your job and everything else will be fine.’ I thought about that a lot as things were unfolding after we broke the story.”

Sign explained that “sources” tipped him off about the secret meeting, but he spent a great deal of time gathering evidence and facts before going public with what he had learned.

“There was a tremendous amount of stress because of the possible ramifications of the story,” he explained. “I wanted to make sure that I had every ‘I’ dotted and ‘T’ crossed. I visualized going on air for the story like I would before games. I knew once it was on tape, there was no going back. I had to make sure things went exactly as planned. I got hyper focused, just like I used to do on the football field.”

And just like on the football field, Sign says he has already moved on to the “next play,” rather than dwelling on the past.

“In football, you learn that you’re only as good as your last play,” he said. “The idea is that you need to give maximum effort in everything that you do and not take a play off. Always do your job. In my job as a reporter, you’re only as good as your last story. As I was working on this feature, I went right back to how I was trained and how I was raised. I was very strategic and methodical about how I wanted to present the facts of what I knew was going to be a big story.”

The fallout from Sign’s work continues to be a prominent storyline nationally.

Mrs. Lynch admitted to seeing Mr. Clinton, but insisted that the impromptu meeting was “about his grand children and his travels and things like that.”

But the Justice Department’s subsequent decision to not pursue charges against Mrs. Clinton has led to allegations of impropriety.

The Justice Department is now enduring a tsunami of Freedom of Information Act requests seeking more details about the Clinton-Lynch conversation. Some of the requests include demands for emails and text messages related to the meeting and a copy of Lynch’s official calendar for June 27.

Sign says the feedback he has received has been overwhelming.

“Of all the things I’ve covered in my fifteen-year career, from serial killers and hostage situations to hurricanes and tornadoes and other natural disasters, this generated the most overwhelming response by far,” he said. “And the people who got me through it were my wife, my kids, my family and my football family. The first people to congratulate me on the story were my former Alabama teammates, and on the flip side, when things were getting intense, the first people to reach out to check on me were those same teammates. During my highs and lows in life I’ve found myself relying so much on my teammates. Playing for Gene Stalling will do that for you.”

(h/t Football Matters)

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