Obama Takes Ownership of Clinton Scandals
November 28, 2008
From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Hillary Clinton Back in the White House
So let me get this straight. You’re the President-elect trying to deliver a new spirit of reform and integrity to Washington, DC, while at the same time healing and bringing together a divided country. And then you tap Hillary Rodham Clinton, perhaps the most corrupt politician in modern political history – and certainly the most polarizing — to be your Secretary of State? Hillary Clinton, the nation’s top diplomat?
If you’ve read this update for any length of time, or if you’re familiar with Judicial Watch’s 13-year record of holding the Clintons accountable, you know what a truly horrible decision Barack Obama has just made for his administration and for the country.
It would be impossible for me to provide a comprehensive review of the many scandals that have involved Hillary Clinton. For this you should check out our Internet site, www.judicialwatch.org. (You can also read this booklet, which summarizes Judicial Watch’s Clinton-related investigations and lawsuits) But here is a "greatest hits" list of some of Hillary Clinton’s more reprehensible acts over the last 15 years:
- Chinagate: Hillary Clinton allegedly masterminded the illegal scheme to sell taxpayer-financed trade mission seats in exchange for campaign contributions to the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign in 1996. This opened the door to campaign cash for White House access and administration favors for the communist Chinese and other foreign nationals.
- Filegate: Hillary Clinton allegedly orchestrated the theft of the private FBI files of former Reagan-Bush staffers, and then used the information to blackmail the Clintons’ political enemies.
- Travelgate: Hillary Clinton ordered the firing of several long-time employees of the White House Travel Office in order to install her friends and campaign supporters in their positions. Independent Counsel Robert Ray stated that Hillary’s testimony regarding the incident was "factually false."
- Smear Campaigns: Hillary Clinton destroyed the lives of women who had the courage to come forward and publicly disclose the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Clinton. This was all part of Hillary Clinton’s "slash and burn" campaign used against anyone who dared to cross them.
- Campaign Finance: Hillary Clinton failed to report a $2 million campaign contribution in the form of a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser dedicated to her husband. The National Finance Director for Hillary’s Senate 2000 campaign, David Rosen, was indicted in the scandal and her campaign finance operation was fined by the FEC.
Trust me this is a partial list. I could go on and on about pardons for terrorists, pardons for cash (profiting her brothers), White House fundraising coffees, Whitewater, doing business with the State of Arkansas while her husband was governor, Web Hubbell, John Huang, Chinese generals, the Lippo Group, and paid sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom, stealing White House furniture, etc., etc.
With specific relevance to her new job as Secretary of State, there are also the serious conflicts of interest involving Bill Clinton, who has become something of an international sensation since leaving the White House, brokering international business deals and reaping huge fees for foreign speaking engagements. Even the liberal CNN reported that Bill Clinton’s "complicated global business interests could present future conflicts of interest that result in unneeded headaches for the incoming commander-in-chief."
The question is what promises will Bill Clinton make to his international business associates with respect to U.S. State Department Policy that his wife will have to keep?
Hillary Clinton is ethically challenged. Her husband is ethically challenged. Has any other Secretary of State nominee been the subject of a grand jury criminal investigation? From their days in the White House to the present day, they have consistently abused their public office for personal and political gain. Hillary and Bill (not to mention their siblings) are scandals waiting to happen. She has neither the temperament nor ethics to be in such a sensitive office.
I believe Obama made a deal with the devil to avoid a floor flight at the convention. It may have served him politically, but the public shouldn’t suffer the consequences. If the Senate is serious about ethics in government, Hillary’s nomination would be rejected. In putting forward Hillary, Obama now owns the Clinton scandals. Her nomination is another weak personnel decision that will harm his presidency.
Will the Obama administration exercise due diligence and keep a watchful eye on the Clintons? My guess is that if Obama is willing to hire Hillary given her dismal record, he’ll be willing to turn a blind eye to her likely corrupt behavior at the State Department.
The vetting of Hillary seems to have been run by John Podesta (her husband’s former Chief of Staff) and Cheryl Mills (the ethically-challenged lawyer who served as Clinton White House lawyer). Surprise. Surprise. She passed.
Will the names of those at home and abroad who gave the Clinton machine millions over the years be released?
With pals like Rezko, Wright, and Ayers, Obama doesn’t seem to care about the ethics of his cronies.
That means it’ll be up to Judicial Watch to monitor Hillary Clinton’s every move if she and Bill make it to State.
Another Clinton Crony to Join the Obama Administration
What is this obsession Barack Obama has with scandal-ridden former Clinton officials? Rahm Emanuel, Greg Craig, John Podesta, and Eric Holder are all slated to hold key positions in the upcoming Obama administration (not to mention Hillary herself, see above). And now you can add former Clinton Energy Secretary Bill Richardson to the list. Richardson will now serve as Obama’s Secretary of Commerce.
Richardson may not have the corruption resume of, say, a Hillary Clinton. (But who does?) That said, Richardson is not without his ethical skeletons.
You may recall that Richardson was the Secretary of Energy at the time nuclear secrets were stolen from the Los Alamos Laboratory and possibly transferred to the Communist Chinese. Judicial Watch client Notra Trulock, the DOE Director of Intelligence who uncovered this serious breach of national security, was subjected to a massive smear campaign by Clinton officials in retaliation, led by Bill Richardson. Trulock was demoted and ultimately forced out of the agency. (Judicial Watch deposed Richardson in litigation on behalf of Trulock.)
(Richardson was roundly criticized for his mishandling of the Los Alamos fiasco, but that didn’t stop him from publishing a book entitled, Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution. You gotta admit; he’s got nerve.)
While serving as Clinton’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Richardson also narrowly escaped prosecution for his alleged participation in the attempted Monica Lewinsky cover-up. Richardson met with Lewinsky on several occasions in her Watergate condo and offered her a job at the UN. This was an attempt to keep Lewinsky quiet about the affair. In fact, Richardson apparently lied during his Secretary of Energy confirmation hearings when he said he offered a job to Lewinsky to fill an "existing opening." Evidence suggests there was no such job.
Still, Richardson was confirmed and, following the Clinton administration, was elected Governor of New Mexico. Now, he’ll be in charge of guiding the nation’s Commerce Department through the most serious financial crisis in 60 years. During the Clinton years, Commerce was a bazaar where, at Hillary’s direction, taxpayer-funded seats on trade mission junkets (and waivers for missile technology transfers to the communist Chinese) were sold to companies in exchange for political donations. It is fair to ask whether Richardson will follow the corrupt model of the Clinton years at Commerce.
So who’s next on Barack Obama’s list? Sandy Berger, the disgraced former Clinton National Security Advisor who was caught stealing and destroying documents from the National Archives? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least…
FEC Gives McCain Campaign a "Pass" on Foreign Campaign Fundraiser
Apparently, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is not concerned about foreign nationals attempting to influence the U.S. election process.
Judicial Watch was notified recently that the FEC had decided to "close the file" on an April 22, 2008, Judicial Watch complaint related to a fundraising luncheon held at London’s Spencer House to benefit Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, despite noting questionable delays in billing for the event.
In its "factual and legal analysis," the FEC noted that the McCain campaign was invoiced for the event one week after Judicial Watch filed its complaint, which "could raise a question as to the commercial reasonableness of Spencer House’s extension of credit to the campaign." However, the FEC ultimately decided nonetheless that no violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act had occurred.
(According to 2 U.S.C. § 441e, it is illegal for any foreign national to "make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value" to a Federal, State or Local election.)
The McCain fundraiser was held on March 20, 2008 at London’s Spencer House, which is billed as "London’s most magnificent 18th century private palace." The McCain campaign distributed an invitation indicating that the site for the luncheon had been provided "by kind permission of Lord Rothschild, OM GBE and the Hon. Nathaniel Rothschild," who are both foreign nationals. In statements to the press, the McCain campaign referred to the luncheon as a "fundraiser."
Judicial Watch filed its complaint with the FEC on April 22, 2008, suggesting the McCain campaign, "may have accepted an in-kind contribution from foreign nationals Lord Rothschild OM GBE and the Hon. Nathaniel Rothschild of Great Britain in contravention of federal election laws." On April 29, 2008 – one week after Judicial Watch’s complaint and 40 days after the event was held – the Spencer House finally invoiced the McCain Campaign for the event. The invoice was paid three days later.
So what is the excuse for the delayed billing?
Spencer House officials claim they "needed to consult with ‘advisors’ to ascertain whether Value Added Tax should be added to the charges since the Committee is located in the United States."
This is a feeble excuse, and I’m not buying it. The McCain foreign fundraising event was only cleaned up after we filed and publicized our complaint. I find "after the fact" invoices and excuses about taxes unconvincing. Pity the FEC bought it.
The FEC had better start taking seriously the threat posed by foreign nationals who seek to corrupt our election process because this McCain campaign fundraiser is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember all those foreign Internet contributions allegedly flooding into the Obama campaign? Foreign influence in U.S. elections is a serious problem and it deserves the FEC’s (and law enforcement’s) full attention.
On behalf of all of us here at Judicial Watch, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday, I want to extend my gratitude to all of you who continue to support Judicial Watch and our work to clean up corruption and to hold politicians of every political stripe accountable to the rule of law.
As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, Judicial Watch is going to have its work cut out in 2009. We need your help now more than ever. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to help Judicial Watch monitor the Obama-Clinton administration, please click here.
Thank you and God bless…
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