March 4, 2015
Hillary Clinton: Thriving in the gap between criminal law and political integrity
Sam Smith - A key point being missed in the latest Clinton scandal is the difference between criminal law and political integrity. In recent decades, beginning with Watergate, we have increasingly favored the former as the standard for the latter, a trend the Clintons have repeatedly used to their advantage. Thus, since Bill Clinton was not removed from office after being impeached, he was able to resume his career as a highly valued role model. And Hillary Clinton’s repeated violations of integrity have been conveniently forgotten since they never ended up in court.
In truth, however, regardless of how the legal aspects of the current issue play out, what Hillary Clinton did in this case was dishonest, corrupt and sleazy.
And it’s far from the first time. As we have noted:
- She is the first First Lady to come under criminal investigation
- She is the first First Lady to almost be indicted, according to one of the special prosecutors.
- She has had nine fundraisers or major backers convicted of, or pleading no contest to, crimes.
- Providing testimony to Congress, she said that she didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar 250 times
- Three close business partners of Hillary Clinton ended up in prison.
- In the 1980s Hillary Clinton made a $44,000 profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal that took advantage of the FCC's preference for locals, minorities and women. The franchise was almost immediately flipped to the cellular giant, McCaw.
- Hillary Clinton and her husband set up a resort land scam known as Whitewater in which the unwitting bought third rate property 50 miles from the nearest grocery store and, thanks to the slimy financing, about half the purchasers, many of them seniors, lost their property.
- In 1993 Hillary Clinton and David Watkins moved to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, which was Bill Clinton's source of $1 million in fly-now-pay-later campaign trips that essentially financed the last stages of the campaign without the bother of reporting a de facto contribution. In the White House, the Clintons fired seven long-term travel employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, was charged with embezzlement, but was acquitted in less than two hours by the jury.
- HRC’s 1994 health care plan, according to one account, included fines of up to $5,000 for refusing to join the government-mandated health plan, $5,000 for failing to pay premiums on time, and 15 years to doctors who received "anything of value" in exchange for helping patients short-circuit the bureaucracy.
- Two months after commencing the Whitewater scheme, Hillary Clinton invested $1,000 in cattle futures. Within a few days she had a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out she earned nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later, several economists calculated that the chances of earning such returns legally were one in 250 million.
- In 1996 Hillary Clinton's Rose law firm billing records, sought for two years by congressional investigators and the special prosecutor, were found in the back room of the personal residence at the White House. Clinton said she had no idea how they got there.
- Drug dealer Jorge Cabrera gave enough to the Democrats to have his picture taken with both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. . . Cabrera was arrested in January 1996 inside a cigar warehouse in Dade County, where more than 500 pounds of cocaine had been hidden. He and several accomplices were charged with having smuggled 3,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States through the Keys
- In 2000, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign returned $22,000 in soft money to a businesswoman linked to a Democratic campaign contribution from a drug smuggler in Havana.
- In August 2000, Hillary Clinton held a huge Hollywood fundraiser for her Senate campaign. It was very successful. The only problem was that, by a long shot, she didn't report all the money contributed: $800K by the US government's ultimate count in a settlement and $2 million according to the key contributor and convicted con Peter Paul. This is, in election law, the moral equivalent of not reporting a similar amount on your income tax. Hillary Clinton's defense was that she didn't know about it
- Hillary Clinton’s participation in a Whitewater related land deal became suspicious enough to trigger an investigation by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
- in 2007, a Pakistani immigrant who hosted fundraisers for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton became a target of FBI allegations that he funneled illegal contributions to Clinton's political action committee and to Sen. Barbara Boxer's 2004 re-election campaign. Authorities say Northridge, Calif., businessman Abdul Rehman Jinnah, 56, fled the country shortly after being indicted on charges of engineering more than $50,000 in illegal donations to the Democratic committees.
Most of these stories are not generally known because major media have been more than willing to cover for the Clintons - using non-indictment under criminal law as the journalistic and moral standard for favored politicians.
The Clintons thus have thrived in the huge unexamined canyon between the standards of law and that of public integrity and political decency. And we continue to pay the price.