What scandals might the American people find themselves dealing with in Hillary Clinton’s Administration if she slides into the presidential home plate, trailing a cloud of controversy?
Let us be honest about who suffers from presidential misbehavior—it’s the American people who pay the price, including the literal price of the expensive investigations. The odds of justice actually catching up with Hillary Clinton dwindle to almost zero if she gains the White House. She might have to sacrifice an aide here and there, but if the political system of 1998 couldn’t remove her husband from office for blatant perjury, it’s hard to imagine what could possibly bring The First Woman President down in the even more corrupt and confused political system of 2017.
That being said, here are a few lingering legal headaches Clinton could face:
1. Perjury: Why not start with a blast from the Clinton past? Hillary Clinton signed documents testifying that she turned over all work-related emails to the State Department, on orders from a federal judge, under penalty of perjury. We already have indisputable proof she violated this sworn statement… thousands of times.
The cloud of false statements under oath surrounding Hillary Clinton is thousands of times thicker than the one around Bill. Democrats seem to have found a hidden clause in the Constitution that says Clintons can never be prosecuted for perjury, but Madame Secretary is really stress-testing that particular privilege of Clintonhood. One would think the federal judiciary had some interest in establishing that sworn documents must be taken seriously.
2. Obstruction of Justice: Bill Clinton’s primary motive for committing perjury was to obstruct justice—it was the second count in his impeachment. (The justice he was obstructing was a sexual harassment suit from Paula Jones, at a time when liberals insisted sexual harassment was the most overlooked, under-prosecuted crime in the legal code.)
Hillary’s thousands of perjury counts are also related to the obstruction of justice. She held back documents she didn’t want Congress to see. She subverted the Freedom of Information Act, which is a law, not a lovely suggestion.
Most media timelines of the Clinton email scandal are either incomplete or deliberately obtuse, because they almost never accurately relate how her secret server was discovered. For example, these timelines from USA Today, CNN, and ABC News all get it wrong.
Sharyl Attkisson, who was a participant in the story, has an accurate timeline that makes the important point Clinton-friendly media outlets don’t want to talk about: we know about the secret server because the State Department was sued for failing to respond to FOIA requests. The State Department’s official story is that they were surprised to discover Clinton was withholding thousands of documents on her private computer.
That’s straight-up obstruction of justice, in cases involving multiple federal courts, as surely as Bill Clinton’s impeachable offense of obstructing the Paula Jones suit. Clinton may become untouchable if the American people allow her into the White House, but the lawsuits don’t evaporate, and neither do the angry judges.
3. Bribery: After the FBI set off a headline earthquake by re-opening the Clinton email investigation, we learned that several other FBI investigations of Clintonworld have been quietly in progress for some time. One of those investigations is digging into bribery allegations against the Clinton Foundation. The FBI agents working on these cases were reportedly very angry that top Bureau and Justice Department officials were pressuring them to drop their investigations.
The most attention-grabbing of these suspicions concerns an FBI official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife received an inexplicably huge political donation from Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe, currently the governor of Virginia. The timing of this donation was so convenient that even the Left side of the blogosphere has produced some uneasy speculation that McCabe probably should have recused himself from all things Clinton-related.
Well, he didn’t recuse himself, and the conflicts of interest are so apparent that the lack of a chiseled-in-stone quid pro quo might not be enough to kill this case off. After all, corrupt officials aren’t usually dumb enough to write down their quid pro quo agreements, or repeat them into microphones. The McCabe controversy already has longer legs than most observers expected, when the news first broke.
4. Pay for Play: There has also been recent confirmation that the FBI has investigated influence-peddling allegations against the Clinton Foundation, which was so obviously used for that purpose that it’s funny to watch Clinton apologists insist nothing can be proven in a court of law. Some of the most vigorous infighting within the Bureau reportedly concerns whether pay-for-play investigations should move forward.
WikiLeaks has exposed emails from Clinton insiders that openly discuss how the Foundation was part of a network that steered millions of dollars to “Bill Clinton Inc.” Even longtime members of the Clinton syndicate professed themselves troubled by these operations. They were also unhappy with arrangements like Hillary Clinton’s agreement to speak in Morocco after a $12 million donation to the Clinton Global Initiative.
It’s entirely possible that more documentation about these suspicious Clinton Foundation dealings will come to light after the election, especially if some of the people Clinton took money from grow upset with her. It’s downright dangerous to have a President with so many strings attached.
5. Illegal Use of a Nonprofit Organization: There are many laws governing the management of charitable organizations, generally intended to prevent them from becoming money-laundering operations, ripoff operations, and vehicles for political influence peddling. The Clinton Foundation and its galaxy of related operations may eventually find itself answering some questions about compliance with those laws, assuming the IRS decides to stop focusing its efforts on hassling mom-and-pop pro-life groups and kitchen-table Tea Party outfits. If the Foundation is ever held to account for any other impropriety, charges of abusing a nonprofit should be part of the legal package as well.
6. Racketeering: Former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has recently observed that Hillary Clinton’s abuse of the State Department looks an awful lot like a “racketeering enterprise,” which could trigger the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1971, more widely known as RICO. McCarthy explained:
Under RICO, an “enterprise” can be any association of people, informal or formal, illegitimate or legitimate – it could be a Mafia family, an ostensibly charitable foundation, or a department of government. It is a racketeering enterprise if its affairs are conducted through “a pattern of racketeering activity.” A “pattern” means merely two or more violations of federal or state law; these violations constitute “racketeering activity” if they are included among the extensive list of felonies laid out in the statute.
7. Fraud: Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel has been building a case that the “Clinton Charity Network,” as he calls the complete system of Clinton operations, has committed “charity fraud of epic proportions.” In part, he refers to discrepancies between donor accounts and the Clinton Foundation’s books.
Others have pointed out how the Clinton Health Access Initiative has essentially ignored New York state law for years, without a peep from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (who just happens to be part of the Clinton campaign’s “leadership council.”) There are some interesting differences between the paperwork CHAI submitted to the IRS and what it submitted to the state of New York, which has more specific requirements about identifying foreign donors.
In addition to getting a free pass on perjury, the Clintons are traditionally allowed to violate tax laws without penalty, eventually refiling paperwork when “errors” are discovered years after the fact. Another round of whoops-my-bad, no-harm-no-foul “refiling” during a Hillary Clinton presidency would be embarrassing, especially if she’s busy trying to ratchet up taxes on everyone else.