Friday, April 24, 2015

The (Latest) Clinton Scandal

Ever since the Clintons burst onto the national stage in the 1990s the odor of scandal has hung heavily in their wake. Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm records, the Lincoln bedroom, Monica Lewinsky, Benghazi, deleted official emails, and now apparent influence-peddling during Mrs. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. More conspiracy-minded folk might also mention the strange run of mysterious deaths associated with the Clintons (Vince Foster, Ron Brown, et al). The Clintons are either the most corrupt political couple since the Macbeths reigned in Scotland or they are the unluckiest - although how unlucky can they be when their net worth is in the hundreds of millions and no one knows how they could have (legitimately) amassed such a fortune.

Anyway, for those who catch their news on the fly The Blaze helpfully lists six important things to keep in mind about the latest putridity to surround the Clintons. Here's a summary of The Blaze's summary:

1) The Clintons Failed to Report Millions of Dollars in Contributions From a Uranium Company Linked to Russia
The New York Times reported early Thursday morning that while Clinton was secretary of state, a Russian energy company called Rosatom was working to take over a Canadian company, Uranium One, that had stakes to uranium around the world, including some in America. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $2.35 million, which, despite Mrs. Clinton's promise to the Obama White House to disclose any such income, she never reported. Additionally, Bill Clinton was then paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow, which was paid by “a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

2) The State Department Helped Approve the Sale of Uranium One When It was Led by Clinton
According to the Wall Street Journal, the State Department plays a role on the government committee that examines whether the sale of a company to a foreign company has an impact on U.S. national security. That committee approved the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom in 2010, when Clinton was Secretary of State.

3) Clinton’s Camp Is Denying Any Wrongdoing
While the uranium deal looks like Rosatom gave money to the Clintons in exchange for allowing the sale of Uranium One, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton, said no one has produced “a shred of evidence” that this is the case.

4) The Clinton Foundation Is Redoing Its Tax Returns
Reuters reported Thursday For example, the foundation had said that from 2010 to 2012, it received no funds at all from any government. But those claims were “errors.” that based on its own review of the Clinton Foundation, several tax errors are apparent, that that news is forcing the foundation to refile “at least five annual tax returns.” “[S]everal foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period,” Reuters wrote. A spokesman for the foundation told Reuters that they were “prioritizing an external review” of its tax forms, and said it’s possible returns from the last 15 years might have to be corrected. The Clinton Health Access Initiative is also refiling tax returns from 2012 and 2012 after finding “typographical errors.”

5) Companies Lobbying State Department While They Donate to the Clinton Foundation
These facts are in addition to ongoing reports that dozens of companies were lobbying the State Department for various reasons while Clinton was in office, and were giving money to the Clinton Foundation at the same time. The Wall Street Journal reported that “at least 60 companies” were doing this, and gave the foundation “more than $26 million.”

6) Companies Paying Speaking Fees to the Clintons While They Donate to the Clinton Foundation
According to the Washington Post, Bill Clinton was paid $26 million in speaking fees by companies that were also donating to the Clinton Foundation. “The amount, about one-quarter of Clinton’s overall speaking income between 2001 and 2013, demonstrates how closely intertwined Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable work has become with their growing personal wealth,” it said.

We might add to this that only 15% of the Foundation's income went to charity (most legitimate charities have a "pass through" rate of over 90%), 25% went to "expenses," and 60% went to "other." To borrow another Shakespearian reference, something's rotten in Denmark, but with the Clinton's that's been the case for a long, long time.