The Clinton Cash-for-Favors Program

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Matthew Vadum, editor of the CRC newsletter Foundation Watch, has a hard-hitting, authoritative article at FrontPageMag.com today about the endlessly corrupt Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Here it is in its entirety:

 

The Clinton Cash-for-Favors Program

By Matthew Vadum

Professional leftists are going berserk over a yet-to-be-released book documenting the breathtaking graft and anticipatory bribes that foreign governments and mega-multinationals gave the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s years at the State Department.

This progressive apoplexy is being generated by a bombshell of a book that won’t even hit the bookstands for another 10 days. The opus terrifying left-wingers isClinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by acclaimed best-selling author Peter Schweizer.

The most disturbing allegation to emerge thus far from the book is that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her blessing to a financial transaction that handed partial control of America’s strategically important uranium resources to Vladimir Putin’s Russia after investors paid off her husband and gave huge donations to the Clinton Foundation.

“While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves,” the New York Times reports, citing Marin Katusa, chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research.

The newspaper’s report on the shady Canadian company Uranium One, which controls some U.S. uranium facilities, “is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States.” The newspaper acknowledges that “[s]ome of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer … [who] provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.”

From 2005 through 2011 investors in Uranium One reportedly donated to the Clinton Foundation. In 2010 Bill Clinton took $500,000 from an investment bank to give a speech in Russia. The bank had a “buy” rating on Uranium One stock and connections to the Russian government. Eventually the Kremlin gained 100 percent control over Uranium One through a subsidiary of Rosatom, a corporation owned by the Russian government.

Secretary Clinton was supposed to disclose the millions of dollars that the chairman of Uranium One gave to her foundation through his family foundation while various agencies within the Obama administration were reviewing the deal.

So now the expansionist successor nation to the Soviet Union, which seeks to revive its old empire, controls a large swath of American uranium that is needed to produce nuclear weapons. Multiple federal agencies apart from the State Department signed off on the deal, so it is inconceivable that President Obama did not know about the circumstances that led to the Russian takeover of Uranium One. And remember that Obama, who is now working hard to help the Islamic Republic of Iran get nuclear weapons, was caught on a hot mike at a nuclear summit in March 2012 assuring then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “After my election I have more flexibility.”

Because this scandal involves the energy sector, “this is Teapot Dome times 10,” radio host Mark Levin said yesterday, alluding to the infamous 1920s corruption saga involving the secret leasing of federal oil reserves that unfolded during the administration of Warren G. Harding. Although President Harding, a Republican, is not thought to have participated in the unlawful activities, senior administration officials were involved. The scandal took a great toll on the president’s well-being and he died before all the facts came out.

And the fact that the Senate yesterday confirmed the grossly unqualified radical left-winger Loretta Lynch as U.S. attorney general (on a vote of 56 to 43) seems to guarantee Hillary and Bill Clinton will never be prosecuted for their crimes. Like Attorney General Eric Holder, Lynch, who isn’t qualified to handle parking ticket prosecutions, has made it clear that she has no intention of enforcing laws she doesn’t like. Surely this is doubly true when it comes to investigating fellow Democrats.

It needs to be said that many of the so-called donations to the glorified slush fund, whose current name is the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, doubtless came with expectations of receiving something more than a discount at the Clinton presidential library’s gift shop. Surely some gifts were given to curry favor with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state and also to purchase influence over her in the (cataclysmic) event she becomes president of the United States. Many donations came from governments in Muslim countries where women are badly treated, a fact that should not reflect well on Hillary the feminist icon.

Say what you will about the Clintons – they’re awfully adept at getting paid. They are corrupt to the core and have been ever since Bill was sworn in as attorney general of Arkansas in 1979. Everyone in official Washington, where one of the Clintons’ homes sits opposite the Royal Danish Embassy, knows this.

On the campaign trail Hillary dissed Clinton Cash:

“[I’ll be] subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks, and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory, it is, I think, worth noting that Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race.”

Indeed, Republicans are talking about Hillary.  Rush Limbaugh is wisecracking, calling the philanthropy the “Clinton Crime Family Foundation” while presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) brags that Clinton Cash is filled with “big news” that will “shock people” and make voters “question” Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy.

A preliminary thumbs-up from the New York Times

In a delightful understatement, Amy Chozick of the New York Times observes that “[t]he timing [of the book’s release] is problematic for Mrs. Clinton as she begins a campaign to position herself as a ‘champion for everyday Americans.’”

The book, “a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities — is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy.” The work “asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.”

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer writes.

Schweizer “writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons,” according to Chozick.

“His reporting largely focuses on payments made to Mr. Clinton for speeches, which increased while his wife served as secretary of state, writing that ‘of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.’ In 2011, Mr. Clinton made $13.3 million in speaking fees for 54 speeches, the majority of which were made overseas, the author writes.”

Schweizer gives the Clintons’ income as at least $136.5 million from 2001 to 2012, citing a sum previously used by the Washington Post. “During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and individuals, according to the book. “Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

Then-Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) prophetically warned of the corruption that the foundation was likely to generate.

“The Clinton Foundation exists as a temptation for any foreign entity or government that believes it could curry favor through a donation,” he said during Mrs. Clinton’s confirmation process in 2009. “It also sets up potential problems with any action taken by the secretary of state in relation to foreign givers or their countries.”

Because America’s top diplomat cannot recuse herself from foreign policy decisions, “the bottom line is that even well-intentioned foreign donations carry risks for U.S. foreign policy.”

Foreigners paying to play

One of the author’s examples is a Colombian free-trade pact that boosted a major Clinton Foundation donor’s investments in that country. Schweizer also reveals that Bill Clinton accepted $1 million from a Canadian bank and a major investor in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the U.S. Department of State was examining the project.

From the Clinton Foundation’s creation, foreign donors have comprised one-third of all donors giving more than $1 million and more than half of donors who gave $5 million or more, the Washington Post reported two months ago.

The Clintons said their charity would accept only State Department-vetted donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state. They must have been crossing their fingers behind their backs because they broke that promise.A world-class spin doctor, Bill Clinton argued it was “a good thing” that these foreign governments fed his family’s hungry money machine, the New York Times reported last month.

“I think it is a good thing—for example, the U.A.E. gave us money,” he said, referencing the United Arab Emirates. “Do we agree with everything they do? No. But they are helping us fight ISIS, and they built a great university with NYU, open to people around the world. And they have helped us support the work that this foundation does. … Do I agree with all the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia? No.”

Clinton-watchers know that the former first family’s philanthropy has always been a vehicle to promote the Clintons. Although critics admit the Clinton Foundation has done some good in the world, they note that over the last few years it had become an unofficial headquarters for Hillary Clinton’s then-unannounced 2016 presidential bid.

The Clintons have treated their foundation as a means of avoid pesky campaign finance laws. These two lawyers know that foreign nationals (except for lawful U.S. permanent residents) are not allowed to donate to or spend funds in any federal, state, or local elections in the U.S., whether directly or indirectly. The Clinton Foundation, they must have reasoned, would serve as a buffer between them and foreign donors. It would also allow them to plausibly deny that donations to the foundation were bribes or campaign contributions.

Democrats have long viewed campaign finance laws as a nuisance that can be worked around. In 1996 Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign took money from the Communist Chinese government and in 2008 the Obama campaign switched off basic security measures on its website that could have prevented donations from non-Americans.

Broken promises from the Clintons

The foundation also failed to honor its promise to provide timely disclosure of donations it received from foreign sources. The Clinton Foundation’s CEO, Bruce R. Lindsey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Dec. 12, 2008 with Valerie Jarrett, who at that time was co-chairing President-elect Obama’s transition team. It provided that “During any service by Senator Clinton as Secretary of State, the Foundation will publish annually the names of all new contributors.”

In the beginning the philanthropy did publish the names of more than 200,000 donors, “[b]ut in a breach of the pledge, the charity’s flagship health program, which spends more than all of the other foundation initiatives put together, stopped making the annual disclosure in 2010,” Reuters reports. Officials at the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the foundation said no complete donors list for the Clinton charities has been released since 2010.

At The Federalist, Sean Davis questions the work the philanthropy does. “When anyone contributes to the Clinton Foundation,” he writes, “it actually goes toward fat salaries, administrative bloat, and lavish travel.”

His research reveals that the foundation raised more than $500 million between 2009 and 2012. Just 15 percent of that ($75 million) went to program grants, while $25 million covered the cost of travel. Almost $110 million was spent on employee salaries and benefits, and an astonishing $290 million, or close to 60 percent of the half billion dollars, was categorized as “other expenses.”

“Official IRS forms do not list cigar or dry-cleaning expenses as a specific line item,” Davis snickers. “The Clinton Foundation may well be saving lives, but it seems odd that the costs of so many life-saving activities would be classified by the organization itself as just random, miscellaneous expenses.”

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and federal law have long prevented U.S. officials from accepting money from abroad, he adds.

Hillary fights back

Meanwhile, the campaign team of the Benghazi bungler whose bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is so far only being challenged by a massively unpopular party-switching former governor of the smallest state in the Union, must be panicking at the impending May 5 release of Clinton Cash. The campaign has released its attack dogs.

Hillary 2016 national press secretary Brian Fallon sent out a memo to surrogates and allies, detailing easily digestible lies that can be told aboutClinton Cash.

“These types of books are standard fare in political campaigns now, and this one is clearly part of a coordinated Republican strategy,” the memo states. “But this is not the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about Hillary Clinton’s record, and we know it will not be the last.”

“The book relies on distortions of widely available data that the Clinton Foundation already makes public on its own,” reads the memo. “The author attempts to repackage and twist these previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories.”

The leftists at the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America who are on the George Soros payroll are doing their best to smear Schweizer, who serves as president of the Government Accountability Institute. That nonprofit declares on its website that its mission is “to investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance.” It criticizes pretty well everybody on Capitol Hill, whether Democrat or Republican. Schweizer was a speechwriting consultant in George W. Bush’s White House. He was also a consultant to NBC News and William J. Casey Research Fellow at Stanford University’s prestigious Hoover Institution.

After admitting he hadn’t read the book, Media Matters founder David Brock, a former Clinton detractor turned Clinton bootlicker, made a fool out of himself on MSNBC as he came under attack by left-wing co-host Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe.”

“I think this is a political put-up job, and I can smell it from a mile away,” said Brock, the king of political put-up jobs, an admitted liar whose fibbing and smear operations are exhaustively documented and whose organization has a history of lying to protect Hillary.

Brzezinski was outraged when Brock deflected a question about whetherClinton Cash might contain information about a reciprocal relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. Brock said it’s a non-issue because his pal Hillary coughed up more than 55,000 pages of her emails from her time in the Obama administration.

Brzezinski interjected, “That’s not the question,” indicating she was referring to the 30,000 or so emails Clinton acknowledged were deleted. “There’s no answer, is there?” Brzezinski said. Brock was dismissive of the female journalist, replying that the email printouts that the State Department will at some point release will elucidate Clinton’s official duties.

“No, David,” Brzezinski said.

“That’s the way the law works, Mika,” Brock replied, saying that individual government agencies are allowed to make their own policies on how their records should be archived.

Brzezinski bristled at that answer and said angrily, “No, actually, David, you don’t have to give me a lesson on the regulations of the State Department.”

It was great television, especially considering the network some call “MSDNC” isn’t known for doing journalism.

The Center for American Progress, a so-called action tank founded by Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign manager John Podesta (who was also White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton), attacked the book in a ThinkProgress blog post by Aviva Shen.

Shen seems to apply the criminal law proof standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” to a book that doesn’t pretend to be a prosecutor’s brief. She asserts that the evidence in the book is largely circumstantial and isn’t sufficiently airtight to convict the Clintons in court, an obvious fact conceded by the book’s author. (Actually, criminal defense lawyers are painfully aware that circumstantial evidence is often very persuasive.)

Shen relies on innuendoes and the lies, distortions, and half-truths that Media Matters is using to attack the author. She implies that a media conspiracy is afoot to get Hillary. There is “an unusual arrangement [in which] several top media outlets have reportedly agreed to further investigate some of the issues raised in the book.”

She ought to be pleased that the New York Times and Washington Post, two venerable left-wing newspapers, have agreed to go after storylines from the book and fact-check its claims. That’s not a conspiracy. To object to these upcoming inquiries from the nation’s most esteemed liberal-progressive media outlets is to reveal oneself as a Hillary hack.

In modern publishing such an arrangement isn’t at all unusual, and just because media outlets have agreed to investigate the Clintons doesn’t mean their reporting is destined to be unfair to them. An argument can also be made that author Schweizer is seizing the moral high ground by allowing the media to vet his research before the book comes out. He is saying, check me out: I dare you.

That’s not good enough for the Left, which is throwing whatever it can at Schweizer in the hope that something, anything sticks.

Gossip site Salon’s hit-and-run blogger Heather Digby Parton, known for her overblown, hyperbolic writing style, revisionism, and disdain for facts that don’t fit the leftist narrative, attacks Schweizer as “a right-wing propagandist.” Digby, as she is known, attempts to slime Schweizer by likening the new book to the spectacular 2004 expose, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, which saved the nation from having a phony patriot who falsely accused the U.S. of war crimes as president. Unfit for Command was a “work of fiction,” she opines, that took the 2004 “election by storm.”

“It was an audacious move and it paid off,” Parton pontificates. “One can certainly understand why they’d try it again.”

Parton can’t accept that the consortium of influential media outlets that is running with Clinton Cash is doing so because the book seems to be an impressive work of journalism on a subject that demands to be explored. It could even be Hillary’s undoing.

The Old Gray Lady’s reporter explained why Clinton Cash could present big problems for the sleazy, silverware-stealing Clintons in their quest to return to the White House:

“In the long lead up to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announcement, aides proved adept in swatting down critical books as conservative propaganda, including Edward Klein’s ‘Blood Feud,’ about tensions between the Clintons and the Obamas, and Daniel Halper’s ‘Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.’

“But ‘Clinton Cash’ is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.”

Endless corruption

In just the last few days those media organizations have dug up a mountain of dirt on the Clintons and their cash register of a foundation. And reporting by Reuters has already forced the Clinton Foundation to admit that its IRS filings from 2010 through 2012 and those of its Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) from 2012 and 2013 are works of fiction. The foundation is not ruling out revisiting its IRS filings going back 15 years.

According to Reuters, “[f]or three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.”

All this evidence of wrongdoing is hard to ignore.

Left-wing reporter Ron Fournier, who occasionally suffers fits of candor,cautions against dismissing the book. A recent column was subtitled, “I don’t know what’s in Peter Schweizer’s book. But I know what the Clintons are capable of.”

The Clinton Foundation “is both an admirable charity and a shadow political operation awash in conflicts of interest … The seedy side of the foundation is a legitimate campaign issue … They violated an ethics agreement with the Obama White House. Hillary Clinton deleted most emails she sent and received as secretary of State, including any concerning the foundation or its donors.”

The Clinton smear machine, he notes, has kicked into high gear.

“Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.

“1. Deny: Salient questions are dodged, and evidence goes missing. The stone wall is built.

“2. Deflect: Blame is shifted, usually to Republicans and the media.

“3. Demean: People who question or criticize the Clintons get tarred as right-wing extremists, hacks, nuts, or sluts.”

The Clintons are so predictable. So tedious.

The left-wing activists who are already trying to blunt the book’s effect on Hillary Clinton are hurling mud at its author because that’s all they have. If they possessed actual evidence undermining the contents of Clinton Cash, they would use it.

Instead they demonize Schweizer, in accordance with a famous exhortation by Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky, Hillary’s beloved personal mentor. He urged the small-c communist agitators of his day to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Making up stuff about enemies is standard operating procedure for the Left, especially in an era in which community organizers and other radical activists have absorbed Alinsky by osmosis.

Facts have never mattered to the Left; only winning matters.

 

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