Emails released by the State Department to Judicial Watch form yet another window into Hillary Clinton’s conduct in public office, a window that reveals conflicts of interest that suggest the Clinton State Department granted special treatment and favors to Clinton Foundation donors and other Friends of Bill. Truth be told, ethical violations and influence peddling have been a part of the Clinton modus operandi for a very long time, since at least the mid-1970’s when Bill Clinton served as Attorney General of Arkansas. Influence peddling and unethical conduct are, however, but one wellspring from the very dark pool we may collectively call the Clinton soul. It was from that dark pool which Hillary drew, early in her career, when she laughingly recounted her success at liberating from a long prison sentence a 41 year old man who brutally raped a 12 year old girl.
There is perhaps no more profound reflection of Hillary Clinton’s moral ambivalence and disregard for victims than what arises from responses she gave to questions posed her in an interview with Arkansas reporter Roy Reed in 1975. The audio recording of that 1975 interview first published in 2014 by the Washington Free Beacon is chilling in that it exposes a callous disregard for the welfare of a 12 year old girl and proof of legal ethics violations.
In 1974, Hillary Clinton left Washington, D.C. (where she served as a lawyer on the House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry Staff) to live with her fiancée, Bill Clinton (who she first met at Yale Law School in 1970), and serve as the Director of the University of Arkansas Law School’s newly formed legal aid clinic. Clinton was contacted by an Arkansas prosecutor who asked if she would defend Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41 year old man accused of brutally raping and beating into a coma a 12 year old girl, Kathy Shelton. Clinton agreed to defend Taylor. Her defense proved successful, resulting in a plea deal that reduced what was a potential 30 year prison sentence to just 10 months in the county jail (with 2 months excused as already served).
The 41 year old Taylor lured the 12 year old Shelton into a car. He violently raped her, tearing genital tissue, and he beat her repeatedly into a coma. Following her recovery in a local hospital, Shelton was informed by physicians that her wounds made it unlikely that she would ever conceive, a diagnosis confirmed years later by another physician. Now 54, Shelton remains traumatized by the horrible ordeal. She explained the relevant facts to the Daily Mail.com. As one would expect, Shelton does not have a high regard for Hillary Clinton, viewing her as anything but a sincere defender of the rights of women and children. Indeed, although in most interviews she asked not to be identified, Shelton recently went public, fearing that Hillary will be trusted by women when she claims herself a defender of women and children’s rights, claims Shelton regards as insincere.
An attorney myself, I find Hillary Clinton’s actions and subsequent description of them to reporter Roy Reed evidence of a deep moral depravity, not to mention of legal ethics violations. I would never defend a person who I believed guilty of a criminal offense, let alone the heinous act of raping a 12 year old girl (indeed, I have always refused to undertake any criminal case). The Reed interview makes it clear that Hillary Clinton represented a person she believed to be guilty of a brutal rape of a child. In the Reed interview, Hillary disclosed the confidential content of a lie detector test done on her client along with her own apparent view that he was guilty of the offense for which she personally mounted a defense, even executing an attorney affidavit in his favor that cast aspersion upon the rape victim, a 12 year old girl. Clinton’s affidavit suggested that the girl fantasized about having relations with an older man and invited the assault. Quite clearly, based on the Reed interview, Clinton spent time engineering a defense beyond the evidence, even to the point of executing an affidavit under penalty of perjury that besmirched the character of a little girl. Her apparent delight at succeeding in reducing the sentence of a man she believed guilty of a brutal rape and her callous disregard for the welfare of the child victim of that rape are revolting, wholly inexcusable and profound character flaws.
Although committed when she was a young attorney, and arguably capable of being rectified thereafter, the character flaws evident in the Reed interview have become a staple of Hillary Clinton, presaging many more acts of corruption and abuse that followed from that time to the present.
In her interview with Reed, Clinton revealed that she knew her client to be guilty of the brutal rape charge, stating with a laugh: “I had him take a polygraph, which he passed—which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” Clinton built her case against the 12 year old in part upon speculative content that besmirched the girl’s character in an affidavit she executed, wherein she called into question the role of the child’s psyche, representing that the girl probably fantasized about an encounter with an older man. She also worked to gain the testimony of a New York blood expert, who questioned the forensic evidence. Clinton was most proud of her “accomplishment” in achieving a reduced sentence for the rapist, boasting that she succeeded in getting a First Degree rape charge (carrying a 30 year sentence) reduced to a plea of unlawful fondling of a minor (carrying a 1 year sentence). “Oh,” she said in the Reed interview, “he plea bargained. Got him off with time served in the county jail, he’d been in the country jail for about two months.” So Taylor received freedom from a life sentence he richly deserved, while thanks to Hillary Clinton, Shelton, rendered infertile and emotionally scarred for the rest of her life, received no justice at all (and not a single word of sympathy from Hillary Clinton).
Indeed, in her subsequent books and interviews, Hillary Clinton rewrote this despicable real life chapter from her own legal career, professing that she had always been a defender of the interests of women and children, conveniently ignoring this politically inconvenient truth. One would hope the just among us would never forget Kathy Shelton and the injustice Hillary caused Shelton to suffer. Shelton has endured much physical and mental hardship, compounded by the callousness of Hillary Clinton and Clinton’s successful defense of the rapist. So much for the self-proclaimed champion of women and children. This November, will those who view themselves advocates of the rights of women and children reward Hillary Clinton with the presidency or will they remember Kathy Shelton and finally give Kathy a semblance of justice by denying Clinton the presidency?
The Reed interview exposes what many suspect about Hillary Clinton based on numerous occurrences since: that she cares little for those her actions adversely affect so long as she stands to gain. Hillary Clinton pursues her ambitions blindly, leaving casualties in her wake. If the rules are inconvenient for Clinton, she ignores or violates them (witness the patent violation of the Freedom of Information Act and the Espionage Act from her transfer of all of her State Department emails to private and unsecure servers). She did not care that her use of a private server put the nation’s intelligence operatives and secrets at risk. She wanted to keep her correspondence from public release through the Freedom of Information Act, even if it meant placing lives and classified information at risk. When called to produce the emails, she selectively deleted 33,000 of them, keeping from us evidence that may have made her direct involvement with the Clinton Foundation abundantly clear.
It is important for us to remember that Hillary and Bill Clinton are lawyers (albeit Bill had his license suspended from 2001 to 2006 for giving false statements under oath, denying that he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky). Hillary and Bill graduated from Yale Law School in 1973. In law school, we study legal ethics. We learn about conflicts of interest and rules designed to prevent not only overt conflicts but even the appearance of conflicts. Consequently, lawyers proceed with a high degree of awareness, trained to steer clear of conflicts of interest and be ever mindful of the conflicts of interest laws. In other words, Hillary and Bill are even more culpable than the non-lawyer, because they understand well the rules and the reasons why the rules are in place along with the consequences that follow from transgressing the rules.
During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, through her top staff, worked in tandem with the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton to develop a lucrative financial empire, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the Clinton Foundation. Ordinarily, consistent with conflicts of interest regulations and disclosures, government officials who assume public office identify potential conflicts and divest themselves of all conflicting involvement and interest before assuming office. Rather than do that, Hillary Clinton professed non-involvement with the Clinton Foundation but then proceeded to allow her office to involve itself intimately with the Foundation and act on her behalf. On occasion, Hillary herself took actions that benefited the Foundation by giving access to and performing special favors for individuals who, or companies that, paid large contributions to the Foundation or paid Bill Clinton speaking fees.
Ordinarily the FBI investigates conflicts of interest by public officials and, upon finding proof, files charges. Indeed, that was the fate of former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford (whose wife held undisclosed interests in the stocks of pharmaceutical and food companies regulated by the FDA). Crawford was investigated by the FBI, charged with violating the conflicts of interest and false statement laws, forced to resign, and then entered into a plea whereby he paid $50,000 to the United States Treasury.
The 44 emails obtained by Judicial Watch document what appear to be conflicts of interest or, if not, give rise to the appearance of conflicts, which Clinton condoned by nothing to eliminate them while she served as Secretary of State. Indeed, Clinton senior staff assisted the Clinton Foundation, corresponded with the Foundation, and promised favors for those who made contributions to the Foundation. On occasion, Clinton took actions as Secretary of State that stood to benefit contributors to the Foundation.
Indeed, it appears that on repeat occasions Bill and the Foundation milked Hillary’s position as Secretary of State for speaking fees or Foundation contributions, leading major donors to realize that they might obtain special access to the Secretary or favors from her by paying handsomely. Although still subject to discovery through legal process (assuming that a United States Attorney will do his or her job and investigate), there is more than enough publicly available to justify a complete investigation of the conflicts of interest.
Take the case of Frank Giustra, a Canadian billionaire, in the mining business. He contributed a whopping $100 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2005. After Bill Clinton and Giustra held a meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan in 2005, Giustra’s mining company received authority to do business with three state-run uranium mining companies in Kazakhstan. The Russian Atomic Energy Agency acquired the three companies, which arrangement was approved by the Clinton State Department. Following a dinner with Giustra, Bill and Hillary Clinton met in 2010 with the President of Columbia. Thereafter, a company in which Giustra has a financial interest obtained rights from the Colombian government to perform logging operations in ecological habitats along the Colombian coastline. So much for Hillary’s oft touted concern for the environment. This is but one of several highly suspicious trails of evidence that warrant detailed investigation.
At a minimum, the evidence shows indifference by Hillary Clinton to the presence of conflicts of interest and a purposeful failure on her part to take any action to avoid those conflicts. At a maximum, they reveal a pay for play racketeering operation whereby Hillary operated the Clinton State Department as a lure for obtaining funding to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton personally in exchange for grants of special access or favors. That would most definitely be a crime. We have a right to know how far this goes, and the Department of Justice or the United States Attorneys in upstate New York ought to investigate.
In a recent article by Robert Zapesochny, published in the August issue of The American Spectator, he reports that at least 181 individuals, companies and foreign governments made contributions to the Clinton Foundation while lobbying the State Department during Clinton’s term in office. The total amount of donations received by the Clinton Foundation from 2001 to 2015 is staggering: $2 billion.
The amount raked in by Bill Clinton in speaking fees, not to mention those obtained by Hillary since resigning as Secretary of State, surpasses that of any prior president in both amount per speech and number of speeches, including in excess of 650 speeches, earning over $130 million in fees.
The Clintons have proved themselves willing to break the rules of legal ethics and to go to the very edge of law violation and even transgress it, in service to themselves or in furtherance of their own blind ambitions. Their entire public lives they have used the instrumentalities of government, the offices they have held, and the trust the public has given them to feather their own nests at the expense of the nation and the public. We have once endured the disgrace of a White House where a President committed acts of infidelity with an intern and then lied about them under oath and where even the Lincoln bedroom was made available to financial donors. What is to prevent even greater abuses from occurring when Hillary and Bill return to the White House? Are we to expect an abrupt halt to Bill and Hillary’s legacy of corruption and abuse that has taken place over the last forty years?
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