8/12/16

A newly released batch of emails from the Clinton “trove” indicates a clear and close relationship between the Department of State (DOS) under Clinton and the Clinton Foundation (CF).

In this particular case we see that CF top officials have direct access to the top level of the DOS in the person of Clinton’s top two most senior and closest advisors. Emails from top CF officials got immediate response and positive action.

Whether it was to arrange a meeting for a foreign (Nigerian in this case) billionaire with a senior career diplomat at the DOS (responsible for an area that was of interest to the Nigerian business man) or arranging a job offer for someone (we do not know who) as a “favor” (that is the subject line in the email, “a favor”).

Time and time again we hear about these close relationships between the two entities, the CF and the DOS, under Clinton.

Many people—all Democrats, most pundits and media—admit that those things are not appropriate but excuse them by stating that they are “going on all the time,” “everyone does that,” etc. etc.

Time and time again I observe a total failure by anyone (not even the redoubtable WSJ editorial board for which I have enormous respect) to connect the dots.

Yes, we do hear, a little, that this behavior breached the written undertakings of understating that Clinton gave to both the White House and to the Senate as part of her confirmation process regarding keeping the CF separate from the DOS. But no one makes a big deal out of that. So what if she gave an undertaking and then ignored it? Big deal, right?

Given the above, it is worth repeating once again why this behavior is different than “the business as usual” that Democrats and others try to portray it as.

It is not unusual to do favors for people that you know. It is known that access is available to people of power and to donors. It is unseemly, it could get close to the line but the “business as usual” stuff does not cross the line.

What is unusual in this case is that here it is done for huge amounts of money. No one ever in the history of favoritism (with the exception of confirmed bribery cases) has ever been paid personally for doing these favors and providing this access. Donations to political campaigns, sure, but not personal payments.

Indeed, the laws are so restrictive in this regard that even an expensive lunch could be interpreted as a bribe. The Justice Department (DOJ) does not hesitate from suing say, JP Morgan (JPM), for giving a job to someone if they believe that that someone got the job because he was the son or daughter of a connected person that resulted in JPM getting business utilizing the connection of the parent. This is a real case.

The Clintons, on the other hand, have been paid, and paid handsomely, for providing such access and influence peddling.

That is where the “business as usual” crosses the line into bribery.

People say that there is no smoking gun, i.e. we do not have proof beyond reasonable doubt showing the Nigerian businessman got the access that he wanted BECAUSE he paid CF millions of dollars AND paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill for speaking fees.

People say that CF is a charity and not a payment to the Clintons.

People are wrong on both counts.

I am not going to go into too many details regarding the payments to the CF, as it is not the main issue here. Suffice it to say that it is NOT a charity as it does not qualify as one by industry standards. Look at the Charity Navigator page for the Bill Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The untold part of the story in this very diplomatic entry is that it does not meet the “criteria” because most charities, at least the good ones, donate about 90% of the money they raise. For instance, the Red Cross donates over 90%. Admin and fund raising costs amount to less than 10%. At the CF, these costs amount to over 85% and they “donate” about 10%. A significant portion of the CF admin costs relate to Bill and, at times, Hillary Clinton’s costs: travel, subsistence, etc. These are big amounts. For instance, the CF had travel expenses of $50,000,000 over a period of 3 years (maybe 5, it is unsure).

But back to the main point: Bill Clinton’s speaking fees.

As I said in prior postings, we will never have legal-level proof of the connection between the payment and the “favor” in any individual case. These people are not stupid. They are sophisticated and some things are never mentioned in writing or even verbally; they are just understood amongst this “clique.”

But there is a pattern of behavior and the overall facts, which probably are enough even for a legal case. In any case, this is not a legal case. This is a case about morality and about the level of corruption that the public is willing to accept in their president.

The pattern of behavior is now known beyond dispute. The number of people and companies that had serious issues requiring high level political access and problem solving, and were also donors to CF and hosts for Bill’s amazing speaking talents—for cash of course—is large.

The fact that the Clintons amassed a net worth, after tax, of $100,000,000 and more over a period of 15 years from the moment they left the White House broke (“dead broke” according to Mrs. Clinton herself) is undisputed.

How did they manage it? How did they amass that kind of fortune?

They did not invent Angry Birds or Pokémon Go.

They did not manufacture the iPad or come up with the idea for the iPhone.

So how?

By peddling political influence.

A lot of ex-politicians do that, but NONE—absolutely NONE—were ever able to accumulate that kind of revenue from peddling influence over a period of 15 years. After all, your influence wanes very quickly and 15 years later you are not worth as much as a political contact person as you were when you just left the presidency.

But here is the difference: One of the Clintons was, and continues to be, a public official of high level for 13.5 years of that 15 years period.

And if there is any doubt left in anyone’s mind, look at the pattern of wealth accumulations. That can be seen from their tax returns; the rate of wealth accumulation has increased substantially and measurably during the years that Clinton served as Secretary of State.

In a surprise gravity defying fact, the speaking fees paid to Bill did not go down 8 years after he left the White House, but starting in 2009 they actually doubled from about $250,000 for a 30-minute speech to about $500,000 and even more, and he booked more of those lucrative speeches.

Why?

Is there any connection to the fact that his wife is the Secretary of State?

Is it coincidental that almost ALL of those who paid these levels of fees had at around the same time issues dealt with by the DOS and access granted to their pet projects to top US diplomats around the world with influence regarding these people’s pet projects? How many times can there be a coincidence? There comes a time when these occurrences cease to be a coincidence and form a pattern of behavior.

The bottom line is this: This pattern of behavior and facts is more than enough to show real corruption on a massive scale.

Except that the media and the DOJ are colluding to avoid putting the dots together.

The question remains, then, why is the most annoying and at time disgraceful Republican presidential contender in history not trying to connect the dots for us?