December 3, 2017
Making the Clintons Pay
Few would deny that the ascendance of the United States from colonial poverty to the world’s top economic and military superpower in just 200 years is largely attributable to principles and rule of law in our founding documents enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And so it should come as no surprise that America’s decline in the last 25 years has coincided with the erosion of the U.S. Constitution and the corruption of the nation’s law enforcement and judicial system.
What has most greased the skids of America’s decline toward the ways of a banana republic is the emergence and acceptance of two-tiered justice and attendant cronyism and political corruption. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the pass given to the Clintons, and particularly former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
When the Clintons left the White House in 2001, taking with them over $190,000 worth of heirloom china, flatware, rugs, and furniture as they cleared out -- much of which they later had to return -- they claimed they were flat broke. Today their net worth exceeds $150 million, accumulated not by traditional means of work and investment, but rather by pay-for-play influence peddling through speeches and Clinton Foundation fundraising -- with the tacit understanding that the Clintons would be in a position to return favors to donors after Hillary won the 2016 presidential election.
A key function of our law enforcement and justice system is of course the punishment of lawbreakers. But perhaps more important is the judicial system’s function in preventing repeat or escalated lawbreaking and deterring other would-be copycat lawbreakers.
It is a felony, punishable by fine and imprisonment up to 20 years, according to 18 U.S. Code 1519, to destroy, conceal, cover up or falsify any record or document whether on paper or on any digital device with the intent to impede or obstruct the investigation of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States.
The pattern of deceit through withholding and destroying documents and records in order to obfuscate and facilitate self-dealing and political crime started early in Hillary’s career. While her husband would face impeachment, stiff monetary fines and a near million-dollar settlement as well as disbarment for five years, Hillary Clinton skated with no accountability for anything in her checkered career.
There were the missing records documenting the statistically impossible profits from cattle futures trading, the disappearance of Hillary Clinton’s billing records from the Rose Law Firm -- under subpoena by Federal and Congressional investigators (which were found some two years later in the First Family quarters of the White House) -- where she previously worked on matters related to the Whitewater real estate sham, the removal and destruction of a hard drive from the computer of her former Rose Law Firm partner and then White House Deputy Legal Counsel Vince Foster, whose death by gunshot wounds was ruled a suicide in the midst of the Whitewater investigation. And then there were the missing documents from the White House Travelgate firings -- documents that would also surface after the scandal passed -- showing Hillary’s duplicity and contradiction of her prior statements.
As egregious, scandalous or unlawful as these were, it was small time and a warm-up for what was to come after Hillary became Secretary of State and insisted on using a private computer server and email address -- about which she was warned would be vulnerable to hacking and security breaches. Her purpose in so doing was ostensibly to evade Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Federal Government record-keeping laws and obfuscate conflicts of interest such as indirectly helping the Clinton Foundation raise enormous sums from governments and parties with whom she was also interfacing as Secretary of State.
But it all began to unravel after Hillary left office and was required to testify before a House committee on Benghazi in October 2015 and answer questions about the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate on September 11, 2012. It was those hearings that brought to light the existence of Hillary Clinton’s secret, unsecured, do-it-yourself server. And then it was learned that she not only stored classified and top secret information in an unsecured location, but that she had also authorized the destruction of subpoenaed evidence -- some 33,000 emails -- after she was put on notice of the existence of the subpoena. These violations are felonies with stiff penalties and there were at least six other laws that appear violated for which Hillary could be indicted.
What is now waking up Americans about the seriousness of Clinton family self-dealing and the need for prosecution is the realization that the Clintons were at the center of what appears to be the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history. The fact that the Clinton Foundation’s single largest aggregate donation of some $145 million came from various parties linked to the Uranium One sale to the Russian government nuclear agency Rosatum makes this the mega-case of Russian influence and corruption.
Before the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution were even written, Samuel Adams observed that, “neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Political corruption in America has now become a cancer destroying people’s trust in government and their respect for the rule of law.
The inclination to give a pass to high profile politicians once out of office would be a grave mistake. Boldness is needed and there is simply no more important or cathartic action to take to restore equality before the law and bring an end to cronyism and double standards than the prosecution of the masters of political corruption -- the Clinton crime syndicate.
Scott Powell is senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.