by Glenn Harlan Reynolds • USAToday
Back in July, Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “there is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.”
On Monday of this week, ABC’s Liz Kreutzer reminded people of that statement, as a new batch of emails reveal that there was a connection, and it was cash. As the emails, recovered by the public-interest law firm Judicial Watch, demonstrate, people who made donations to the Clinton Foundation got preferential treatment, and access, at the State Department when Hillary was Secretary of State:
The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Continue reading
More than half of Hillary’s meetings with nongovernmental people were with donors. And foreign government officials who met with Hillary gave more than $170 million to the Clinton Foundation.
By George Landrith • Frontiers of Freedom
The winds of scandal continue to swirl around Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the State Department. Oddly, the State Department has allowed itself to become sucked into defending Hillary and the Foundation despite the unsavory facts. It is highly inappropriate for the State Department to work to tamp down the facts and obfuscate what actually happened. It has no duty to defend Hillary’s private actions. As a result of the State Department’s very odd behavior in trying to hide Hillary’s actions from pubic view, it has made Hillary’s wrongs, its own.
One of the biggest whoppers often told to defend the Clintons and their Foundation is that it is a charity doing lots of good all over the world and thus we should not worry about these details. The Foundation may very well do some good here and there. But the truth is — the Clinton Foundation collects hundreds of millions of dollars from some very curious donors and gives less than 10% in charitable grants.
In 2013, the Clinton Foundation raised $149 million and only distributed charitable grants totaling less than $9 million. That is only about six percent. Continue reading
Various progressive factions have undertaken an effort to criminalize dissent using the courts and statutory law.
By Daniel Payne • The Federalist
For quite some time the American Left has been busy turning American law into a partisan political weapon. Various progressive factions have undertaken a disparate and uncoordinated but still ideologically homogeneous effort to criminalize dissent using the courts and statutory law.
By most traditional metrics, these efforts have been failures: the liberals have often lost, and the conservative targets have avoided jail time or crippling criminal or civil convictions or penalties. But the weaponization of our legal system should not be judged by traditional metrics. The point is not for liberals to “win” any particular lawsuit or legal enforcement so much as it is to use lawsuits and the law as the weapons in and of themselves. The process is the punishment. And in most of these cases the punishment is very severe. That’s the idea.
In large part this reflects growing liberal opposition to a pluralistic society: not merely opposition to ideas but rather opposition to ideas about ideas, a strong and deliberate enmity towards intellectual diversity and dissenting thought. Continue reading
Setback for coalition of Dem AGs seeking racketeering charges
By Lachlan Markay • Washington Free Beacon
The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands withdrew his subpoena of oil giant Exxon Mobil on Wednesday afternoon, dealing the first setback to a group of Democratic officials seeking racketeering charges against the company.
Exxon told a federal court that AG Claude Walker had agreed to walk away if the company would drop a related lawsuit alleging that the subpoena violated its constitutional rights and the laws of its home state of Texas.
Walker was the third state attorney general, after New York and Massachusetts, to subpoena Exxon Mobil over allegations that it committed fraud and racketeering by misleading customers and shareholders about the risks of climate change.
Walker is the first to walk back the effort against Exxon, but he is also in litigation in Washington, D.C., over a separate subpoena sent to a libertarian nonprofit that received donations from Exxon more than a decade ago.
Both subpoenas have triggered legal action. In a federal lawsuit filed three weeks after it was subpoenaed, Exxon alleged that Walker’s subpoena violated its “rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and Texas common law.”
District Judge Ed Kinkeane ordered Exxon and Walker to meet no later than July 11 to discuss “the possibilities for a prompt resolution of the case.” Exxon’s filing notified the court that they’d reached an agreement to withdraw both the subpoena and the resulting lawsuit.
Walker had asked for a massive number of internal Exxon documents, including documents pertaining to its internal deliberations and projections about climate change, but also requested communications with nearly a hundred nonprofit groups.
They included conservative and libertarian advocacy groups, but also more mundane organizations such as the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Arizona State University office of climatology, and Africa Fighting Malaria.
New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey asked for communications with many of the same research and advocacy groups, including the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute.
Schneiderman is the leader of a group of 20 state attorneys general that have seized on reports from news organizations funded by environmentalist groups that allege that Exxon misled the public about the risks its product poses.
Exxon and other critics say it is an unconstitutional effort to use state governments’ legal authority to shut down political speech and advocacy with which the attorneys general disagree.
The attorneys general, all Democrats, have been planning the legal campaign for more than a year. When a Schneiderman aide emailed a questionnaire to other attorneys general involved in the effort, Walker said he was “eager to hear what other attorneys general are doing and find concrete ways to work together on litigation to increase our leverage.”
Though Walker has withdrawn his Exxon subpoena, he also subpoenaed the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian group that used to receive Exxon funding, seeking evidence in its investigation into the company.
Walker has dropped his effort to enforce that subpoena in D.C., where CEI is based, but has not actually withdrawn it. The group is now alleging that the effort violated a DC law against lawsuits designed to censor, harass, or intimidate a public critic. A federal judge heard arguments on that motion on Tuesday.
The larger campaign was orchestrated behind the scenes with leaders of prominent environmental groups and deep-pocketed foundations that fund them and the news organizations whose reporting ostensibly spurred the investigation.
According to internal documents detailing the effort, its goals are to “delegitimize [ExxonMobil] as a political actor,” “force officials to disassociate themselves from Exxon,” “drive divestment from Exxon,” and “to drive Exxon & climate into center of 2016 election.”
Democratic lawmakers have also pressed the Justice Department to bring civil racketeering charges against Exxon over the same allegations. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said that she referred the case to the FBI, which is deciding whether to prosecute.
by Rebecca Rainey • Daily Caller
Emails obtained through a Freedom Of Information Act request from the group Citizens United reveal that Department of State staff members expressed “concern” and an urgency to “protect the Secretary’s name,” after probes from an ABC producer regarding the appointment of Rajiv Fernando, a Hillary Clinton donor, to the International Security Advisory Board under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Fernando had given “between $100,000 and $250,000” to the Clinton Foundation, a charity founded by former President Bill Clinton, according to a report from ABC News. He had no prior experience handling sensitive government intelligence.
A total of $27,600 was donated to various Democratic campaigns in 2008 from various donors employed at Chopper Trading, a company Fernando founded in 2002, according to Opensecrets.org. Continue reading
by Julian Hattem • The Hill
The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.
Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal “clintonemail.com” account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State. Continue reading
Brazilian president praised by Clinton for fighting corruption now faces impeachment
by Brent Scher • Washington Free Beacon
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, whom Hillary Clinton praised for “setting a global standard” on how to fight corruption, now has protestors calling for her impeachment thanks to her own alleged corruption.
The New York Times reported that this month’s protests calling for Dilma Rousseff’s ouster, including a 500,000-person gathering in São Paulo, were the largest since the protests that toppled Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1980s. Recent polling shows that 68 percent of Brazilians want the legislature to impeach Rousseff, who has made clear she will not step down and plans to fight the charges against her.
Clinton praised Rousseff in Brazil in 2012 at the first meeting of the Open Government Partnership, an international initiative co-chaired by Brazil and the United States aimed at fighting corruption. Continue reading
Aides shouldn’t take the fall for her self-serving actions.
Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday victory gives her a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination, but Bernie Sanders has never been her biggest obstacle to the White House. Her real liability is an email scandal that has put her in legal jeopardy.
Camp Clinton is arguing that the State Department’s Monday release of the final batch of emails ends the controversy over her private server. Yet that release is merely the end of one judicially mandated exercise overseen by a bureaucracy friendly to the former Secretary of State. The real action is in the courts, the FBI and Justice Department.
But even the friendly State Department review has been damaging. Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton turned over to State, we now know that 2,093 were classified as “confidential” or “secret.” Another 22 were classified “top secret”—and State withheld their contents from public release. Mrs. Clinton keeps claiming these were “retroactively” classified, but that’s been vigorously disputed by intelligence community members, who note that at least some of the top-secret emails refer to intelligence projects classified from the beginning. Continue reading
by Victor Davis Hanson • PJ Media
His hard-left politics have insidiously eroded the Democratic Party, which has lost both houses of Congress and the vast majority of the state legislatures, state elected offices, and governorships. Obama has redefined the black vote, as a necessary, no-margin-of-error 95% bloc majority to offset his similar creation of an increasingly monolithic 65% bloc white vote. We are no longer individual voters, but, in Chicago-politics style, merely faceless “Latinos,” “Asians,” “African-Americans,” “gays,” “women,” and now “whites.”
Obama issues a new initiative—and the nation snoozes. He wastes the day on the golf links—and the nation snoozes. He smear his critics, invites a rapper to the White House whose latest album cover has a dead white judge lying in front of the White House—and the nation snoozes. He cozies up to America’s enemies and snubs our friends—and the nation snoozes. For the nth time, he blusters about closing down Guantanamo—and the nation snoozes. He opens the border even wider to welcome in more illegal aliens and future constituents—and the nation snoozes. Lame duckestry means not even being able to wake up your opponents. Continue reading
State, the Associated Press reports, won’t release 22 of Clinton’s messages to the public because they contain too much most-secret information.
OK: Clinton’s only promised that none of her e-mails were labeled “classified” — so she’s technically not a blatant liar.
But US intelligence agencies have determined these message contain enough sensitive information that even blacking out whole passages isn’t enough to make them safe for public view.
These e-mails are part of a trove of 7,000 pages — the last from Hillary’s private server the State Department was poring through — that were to be released this month. Continue reading
by Steve Guest • Daily Caller
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, the former CIA director said “the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day.”
Hewitt asked Gates, “[A]re you surprised by the news that continues to come out about the former Secretary of State’s server and the fact that the intelligence community’s inspector general has said there was a lot of very highly classified information on her server?”
“Yeah, that’s a concern for me,” Gates said. “I never used email when I was head of CIA or head of the Department of Defense. Continue reading
by Deroy Murdock
Imagine that you own a large department store called Foggy Bottom. Your most frequent customer is a superbly connected globetrotter with some one million miles on her passport. She never uses a standard shopping basket like everyone else. Instead, she strolls in with her own gigantic, custom-made, black-leather handbag.
Quite often when this 68-year-old grandmother visits Foggy Bottom, you catch her shoplifting. Indeed, you have pried 1,340 pilfered items that magically tumbled into her black bag.
How does she get away with it? Whenever you call the police, she gives them the same excuse:
“I did not take anything marked with a price tag.”
You keep wondering, “Why don’t the cops arrest her already?”
The authorities seem to accept her unprecedented justification. But everyone believes she knows better: Just because a sweater lacks a price tag doesn’t make it free of charge. Continue reading
by Derek Hunter • Townhall
President Barack Obama’s friend William Ayers famously said he was “guilty as sin, free as a bird” after his acquittal on charges related to the Weather Underground, the domestic terrorism group he co-founded. The unrepentant Ayers and Hillary Clinton have that veneer of Teflon in common.
Were her last name anything other than Clinton, Hillary would be indicted today. Actually, she would have been indicted long ago and sitting in prison today. But her last name is Clinton. As such, she’s on the verge of becoming the nominee of the Democratic Party for president.
“What a country, America,” to finish quoting Ayers.
What a country indeed. And what a disgrace.
The Clintons always have been about one thing – the Clintons. Continue reading
The IRS is abusing its authority once again by employing the help of a private law firm in its case against Microsoft.
By Peter Roff • USNews
If there is one federal agency that has clearly run amok during the Obama administration, it’s the United States Internal Revenue Service. From the harassment of tea party groups applying for nonprofit status to the defiance of congressional subpoenas, it’s an agency badly in need of a thorough housecleaning.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is already under threat of impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives. That might be a good start, but removing him won’t fix the problems any more than the ouster of his predecessor did. The problems run too deep. Congress needs to act, not just by stepping up oversight of the tax collectors but by jerking their chain and narrowing their authority.
From top to bottom the agency is engaged in a wholesale abuse of its authority – and is defying attempts to investigate what it has been doing. Groups on the right are still reportedly having their applications for tax-exempt status slow-walked through the process. Confidential data is still leaking out and the auditing process is out of control. Continue reading
by John Sexton • Breitbart
An investigation into possible mishandling of classified information on Hillary Clinton’s private email server has expanded to consider whether Clinton’s work as Secretary overlapped with her work for the Clinton Foundation run by her family.
Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge published the report, citing unnamed FBI sources, Monday morning. The report indicates the initial security referral looking into whether or not classified information was mishandled has expanded to look at possible public corruption involving the Clinton Foundation.
The report paints a picture of an internal struggle within the FBI over whether or not to prosecute Clinton. Herridge quotes an unnamed FBI source saying, “many previous public corruption cases have been made and successfully prosecuted with much less evidence than what is emerging in this investigation.” Continue reading