Okay, I have watched the Clinton Foundation case study hearing twice now, and made appropriate pages of notes, and here’s my assessment: the clowns are running the circus. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that no one in the circus that we call “government” is really that interested at running our country insofar as it concerns justice and the rule of the law. What is apparently the objective of the circus is to cover one’s back and one’s friend’s back as the clowns take turns entertaining (i.e. distracting) the appropriate audiences with token acts.
Have you seen the hearing? Well, walk with me through my notes and let’s see what we can figure out. The hearing was almost three hours, so we’ll cover half of it in this article and the other half in part two.
On December 13, 2018, Congress held a hearing on the “Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study on the Clinton Foundation.” (The hearing can be viewed here.) My understanding is the committee is supposed to be looking into nonprofit organizations and possible abuses. This particular hearing highlighted alleged abuses in the Clinton Foundation.
There were two panels that gave testimony and answered questions from committee members. The first panel was with witnesses Tom Fitton, attorney for Judicial Watch, and Philip Hackney, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh and prior counsel at IRS. The second panel was from Mr. Lawrence Doyle and Mr. John Moynihan of MDA Analytics, LLC.
There are some good breakdowns of this hearing: Sara Carter’s report, Breitbart’s report, and ZeroHedge’s report are great starting points. The Hill did an overview of some details a week before the hearing that can be read here. [I’d offer mainstream media links for comparison, but in my initial search, the first 29 listings were either conservative or neutral – like Cspan, etc. Apparently maybe it wasn’t worth interrupting the propaganda to report?]
Here are some things I walked away with from the first panel of Mr. Fitton and Mr. Hackney, and their question and answer session with committee members. I’ve highlighted data points which are especially indicting in the view of the maligning of the rule of law, and the utter brokenness of our government systems….
There is a concerted effort within the governmental systems to pervert justice. Judicial Watch filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) in 2011 for the Clinton Foundation records. This request was ignored for two years. They then sued for the records in 2013. This is a perversion of justice.
In Mr. Fitton’s Q&A, he brought to light the gross disparity between how the Clintons are investigated versus the ongoing two year investigation (witch hunt) for Russian collusion, when Mr. Jordan highlighted that the 2016 Clinton investigation was ordered to be called a “matter” and that the procedures differed greatly on how some people were investigated versus others. Mr. Fitton’s response:
“I would just love the committees or someone to investigate. We’re doing it separately at Judicial Watch – to find out whether or not, as reports suggest, the Foundation Investigation the FBI was conducting in 2016 was actively suppressed by the Justice Department and curtailed. Public reports are that FBI agents were only able to read newspaper articles as part of their investigation, and they were denied subpoenas and other basic tools available to them. When you compare and contrast the Special Counsel Investigation into President Trump and his associates, that’s what a real investigation looks like. Abuses aside, we haven’t had anything comparable even during the Clinton email issue. Certainly this is tied to the Clinton email issue.”
You could see the exasperation in his face, the frustration in his voice, as he was pleading with Congress for someone to please do a real and fair investigation into these very, very serious allegations. It’s utterly indicting that our judicial branches of government are unwilling to do their job, so much that a civilian outside of government is pleading for the government to do what is required of it!
The system is corrupt. It is broken.
The Clinton Foundation has taken in over two BILLION dollars in donations since 2001. From NON-governmental investigations, there is serious evidence of corruption at the grossest of levels.
Mr. Fitton asserted that the Clinton Foundation (CF) is a mechanism for tax fraud and money laundering, that it facilitates bribes from individuals and nations for pay-to-play schemes, and that it hides income streams for illegal activity.
Representative Connolly (VA) was more concerned at this hearing of bringing up President Trump and the Trump Foundation than actually listening to the testimony of the witnesses at hand. He was indignant that there was not a current investigation on the Trump Foundation. It seems Democrats are only concerned with investigations when it is against President Trump and/or Republicans. They seem quite uninterested in evidence that leads elsewhere, especially if it leads to their cronies.
Chairman Meadows (NC) made the point of explaining that at this time there were witnesses available with evidence on the CF. He further explained the CF has run $2.5B through its foundation, while the Trump Foundation has only run $19M. It seemed a good idea at the time to investigate the allegations of a two year investigation with a 49-page claim submission, 95 formal exhibits and 6000 pages of documents.
These things are so very telling of the attitude of our “law makers”. (This seems such an oxymoron. Perhaps paid-law-breakers is better suited.) I don’t really get the impression that our “elected officials” on Capitol Hill are that interested in truth, in upholding the law, or justice at all. It’s a dog and pony show, replete with snide comments, disregard for evidence, and willful prejudice. It’s a disgrace and a mockery of our Constitution and the very word “justice”.
I loved that Congressman Jim Jordan (OH) asked the question if it seems there may be a DOUBLE STANDARD in America? Could it be there are two sets of rules, one for the political class, versus the one for the ruled? He asserted there are clearly unequal scales when enforcing American laws on regular citizens, versus politicians such as the Clintons. At last! Some truth in D.C.!
Mr. Fitton’s response was, “Mrs. Clinton was protected and frankly still is being protected from the consequences of her behavior at the State Department and subsequent.”
Another sideshow erupted thereafter as Congresswoman Maloney of NY picked right back up with partisanship, in complete disregard of the purpose of the hearing at hand: “A Case Study of the Clinton Foundation”. She wanted to use her Q&A time to state the “Republicans are targeting the Clinton Foundation.” Never mind there are 6000 pages of documented evidence. She wanted to talk about “dark money” at the Whitaker Foundation and refused to look at anything about the Clinton Foundation.
Congressman Blum (IA) was a light in the otherwise darkness (Jim Jordan excepted) as he pressed Mr. Fitton on if there was any quid pro quo involved. Some very real examples given were as follows:
- In 2016, King Mohammed of Morocco donated $28M to the CF. Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton relaxed the foreign aid restrictions on Morocco.
- Laureate University awarded Bill Clinton $17.6M through the CF as an “Honorary Chancellor”. Interestingly, L.U. has an “International Youth Foundation” that received $40M in grants while HRC was Sec. of State. After she left, the grants went down to $3M.
- Ukranian oil and steel magnate, Mr. Pinchuk, gave between $10-25M to CF, and received “priority access” to the State Department.
- Uranium One interests donated $140M to the CF. I think we know the quid pro quo received there.
Congresswoman Norton (D.C.) at least stayed on topic, but just thinks that these things are coincidental because Bill and Hillary Clinton are “high profile” people.
Congressman Gosar (AZ) pointed out that there has been a 62% drop off in CF donations since they have left political offices and no longer wield political power. Mr. Gosar impressed me with his homework and assertiveness for truth and fact finding. He pointed out that Sydney Blumenthal was retained by the CF at a rate of $10,000/month, yet also served as HRC’s unofficial advisor to Libya. He was aware of at least 25 memos Blumenthal sent to HRC regarding Libya, and pushing for a war in Libya – which incidentally, as a businessman who profits from war in Libya, he would personally benefit.
Mr. Gosar was astounding in pointing out some glaring contradictions. I will quote him here:
“Now as we turn this body over to the opposition party here and they launch fake investigations into foreign influence, I would like to take some time to ask the panel about real foreign influence because I know they’re not going to.
“Now we continually see foreign governments and foreign entities funnel millions of dollars to environmental groups. Two of the largest environmental groups in the world: the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club have received millions in grants from the Sea Change Foundation. The Sea Change Foundation itself got millions from a Bermuda company linked to Russia. As we all know, the environmental groups have undermined the energy sector in the United States. They’ve even got fracking banned in the cash-strapped state of New York. Now if my friends across the aisle, the media, and Mr. Mueller were truly interested in Russian influence, would it make sense to start there?
“So Russia money affecting US policies that Russia benefits….
“In my other committee, the Natural Resources Committee, we’re trying to investigate the relationship between the Natural Resources Defense Council and their links to the Communist China government. The NRDC has gotten cozy with the environmentally unfriendly Chinese government while suing the US government whenever it can – particularly the US Navy and its weapon development programs. Now I’m sure we don’t need to remind anyone here that China sees the US Navy as its greatest foe.”
The data Mr. Gosar of Arizona brought up is something real journalists should tackle! If only they weren’t so busy spewing their propaganda, maybe things of real interest and concern to Americans could be exposed and investigated?
Congresswoman Watson Coleman (NJ) was another one interested in talking about the Trump Foundation instead of looking at the evidence against the CF.
Congressman Meadows mentioned that the CF had their own internal audit in 2008 that raised serious concerns, and another internal audit in 2011 that raised more questions and conflicts of interest. With these internal audits yielding concerns, Mr. Meadows, asserted, shouldn’t that have raised flags for more serious investigations? Mr. Fitton agreed that it should.
Mr. Hackney was a little amusing for me to listen to. While he’s a professor at Pittsburg University, I think it was his role over the nonprofits at the IRS that brought him as a witness to the hearing. He worked for IRS in the national office from 2006-2011, over the department that oversees the non-profit 501(c) (sections 3-20). He seemed to be a “star witness” for the IRS on why they couldn’t possibly audit the Clinton Foundation or investigate it because they simply don’t have the manpower.
Mr. Hackney said there are 200 auditors over the NonProfit Department, and that the IRS has only 10,000 auditors, the least it has had since 1953. In the words of Mr. Hackney, the IRS has limited resources and has a “real crisis on their hands”.
He was full of contradictions, however, because while he was familiar with the McCabe/Axelrod conversation in the IG Report, he was quite unwilling to offer an opinion to Congressman Hice (GA) on whether their comments indicated bias, prejudice or otherwise indicated perversion of objectivity or justice. He refused to comment on whether he thought the Clinton Foundation was being protected by the D.O.J.
Moreover, Mr. Hackney was somehow completely unfamiliar with the targeting of tea party groups and conservative groups that occurred under Lois Lerner, even though he worked directly under her and even though this was during his employment in this office. He seemed quite adamant that there was no targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, even though the President at the time (BO) eventually acknowledged it and said they would be looking into it. Mr. Hackney feigned ignorance of such, and even denied it happened, although there is plenty of publicly documented evidence for it.
[Mr. Connolly must have especially frustrated me in the Q&A with Mr. Hackney, because all my notes say is, “What a cartoon character! Connolly’s a tool!”]
Interestingly, Mr. Hackney wrote an editorial on June 8, 2016 in which he opined that the Trump Foundation should be penalized for a political contribution. He said, “The level of negligence here and misuse of a private foundation frankly drives me crazy.” This is startling to me in that his witness at this hearing regarding the Clinton Foundation was almost a non-witness. He quite frankly refused to make any assessments of wrong doing, and further endeavored to excuse the IRS’s lack of interest in audit or investigation as being short-handed. If Mr. Hackney is truly concerned for the rule of law and has been an open critic of the Trump Foundation in public editorials June 8, 2016, October 3, 2016 and June 14, 2018, why could he not see a reason for CF investigation?
I’m an advocate for truth. If the Trump Foundation is guilty of breaking the law, the Trump Foundation should be investigated and restitution should be made in the case of guilt. Likewise for the Clinton Foundation. As Mr. Jordan says, for too long there have been double standards for the political class vs. the ruled. If we want to make changes in our nation, let’s start with removing the double standards.
Regardless, Mr. Hackney as a witness was remarkably unremarkable in regards for ascertaining truths.
Panel One wrapped up with Chairman Meadows reiterating the discrepancies between the Special Counsel ongoing two year investigation that was initially about “Russian collusion” but has since spread to be also about campaign finance allegations, the Trump Foundation and anything Trump related at all, and the lack of investigation by Eric Holder into Uranium One or a serious investigation into any number of obvious serious concerns with Sec. Clinton.
It is a circus, and it appears to be run by clowns. Our well paid “elected” officials appear to be serious only about protecting their cohorts and pretending to prosecute their opponents. Those three rings in the middle of the tent? Well those are to convince the American public (audience) that something is actually getting done. The reality is, lots of things are being said, but nothing is actually being done.
Stay tuned for Panel Two. It’s my favorite part…
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