Fact Check

Loretta Lynch, Sharon Malone Connection

Did Orly Taitz uncover a hidden connection between attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder?

Published Nov. 19, 2014


Claim:   Orly Taitz discovered a hidden connection between Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch and former Attorney General Eric Holder.


TRUE: Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was a sorority sister of former Attorney General Eric Holder's wife.
FALSE: The connection between Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder was concealed until Orly Taitz uncovered it.

Example:   [Collected via Twitter, November 2014]

Is Loretta Lynch really a Harvard sorority sister of Sharon Malone (wife of AG Eric Holder)? #CoverUpContinues

Can you verify Loretta Lynch is an old college friend of Sharon Malone, the wife of the current AG Eric Holder.


Origins:   On 9 November 2014, Orly

Taitz (one of the most prominent proponents of "birther" conspiracies) published a claim on her website about President Obama's appointment of federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to fill the position vacated by former Attorney General Eric Holder. According to Taitz, the name Sharon Malone (the name of Eric Holder's wife) in relation to Loretta Lynch "rang a bell," inspiring her to dust off her gumshoes and investigate the connections between Lynch, Malone, and Holder.

Taitz published her findings on 9 November 2014, explaining she discovered an interesting secret about Loretta Lynch and Sharon Malone. Taitz suggested through her painstaking investigative work, she had uncovered a bombshell revelation: she was "rather certain" that Malone and Lynch were old sorority sisters from their days at Harvard:

I started investigating Loretta Lynch, Obama's pick for Attorney General and immediately could see an interesting connection. I read an article stating that when Loretta Lynch started Harvard, she co-founded an African-American sorority. There was only one other girl in this sorority, Sharon Malone. The name rang a bell.

The name of the wife of AG Holder is Sharon Malone, she is the sister of a known civil rights leader Vivien Malone-Jones (one of 2 black students who enrolled in all white University of Alabama).

I checked the age: both were born in 1959 and both went to Harvard at the same time. There were very few African American students in Harvard in 1977-1981, so I am rather certain that Loretta Lynch is an old college friend of Sharon Malone, the wife of the current AG Eric Holder.

The wording suggested a degree of record checking and date confirming was necessary to smoke out the Lynch-Malone connection, implying only through a review of long-buried materials was the relationship made apparent. Implicit was the notion Lynch, Malone, Holder, and the Obama administration all sought to cover up the women's college friendship. Even then, Taitz could only be "rather certain" Malone and Lynch were college friends and sorority sisters, so deeply buried was the secret link.

Taitz went on to suggest the existing relationship between Lynch and Holder (and the implied coverup) could jeopardize Lynch's investigation of such important matters as Taitz's long-since debunked claim that President Obama stole the Social Security number of a dead person:

Why this connection is important? Holder covered up Obama's use of a stolen CT Social Security number of Harrison J. Bounel 042-68-4425 and Obama's use of bogus IDs. It seems that a long time college friend of Holder's wife was picked up as a gate keeper to continue all of the cover up by Holder and shield Holder and Obama from criminal prosecution.

What Taitz either overlooked or left out is that a Washington Post profile of Lynch, published a full day earlier than Taitz's allegedly shocking revelation, had already openly discussed the history between Lynch, Malone, and Holder:

When the African American Delta Sigma Theta sorority chapter was established at Harvard College in 1980, its first members included two undergraduates named Loretta Lynch and Sharon Malone.

Decades later, Lynch, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, stood at a podium in the White House with Malone's husband, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., and was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the first African American woman to serve as attorney general.

The decades-old friendship between Lynch and Malone was also referenced farther down in the Washington Post article:

At Harvard, where Lynch was a sorority sister of Malone, now a Washington obstetrician/gynecologist, she studied hard. But Lynch also had her share of fun, as evidenced by a photograph that U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Timothy Heaphy included in a slide show he presented to Justice officials at a conference two years ago, highlighting where they were "back in the day."

That article was syndicated to the Chicago Tribune on the same day it was published in the Washington Post. Taitz may not have been aware of the articles trumpeting Lynch's connection to Holder's spouse when she published her claims; but given that the connection between the two women was specifically pointed out in stories run by major newspapers prior to Taitz's so-called revelation, it's clear Lynch's college friendship with Sharon Malone was no secret.

Last updated:   19 November 2014


    Horwitz, Sari.   "Attorney General Nominee Lynch Called 'The Soul of Grace Under Pressure."

    Washington Post.   8 November 2014.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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