To the shock of no one (at least in the NewsBusters newsroom), the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored on Friday morning the stunning revelation that the Clinton Foundation is under FBI investigation for possible crimes while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
FNC’s Fox & Friends was the only cable or network morning show (ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN’s New Day, FNC’s Fox & Friends, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and NBC’s Today) to confirm and cover the story, spending eight minutes and 50 seconds (minus teasers) on the Clinton Foundation.
The Hill’s John Solomon broke the story just after 8:30 p.m. Eastern, explaining right off the top that “[t]he Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.”
Solomon revealed that FBI agents in Little Rock, Arkansas “have taken the lead in the investigation,” including the process of interviewing possible witnesses. He cited a source has having told him that the focus is whether Clinton sought to curry favor with possible donors in exchange for access to Clinton or favorable treatment by the government.
Here’s more from Solomon:
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.
One witness recently interviewed by the FBI described the session to The Hill as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” and focused on questions about whether donors to Clinton charitable efforts received any favorable treatment from the Obama administration on a policy decision previously highlighted in media reports.
In an update Friday morning, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill blasted the move as “disgraceful” and suggested that it was ordered without merit by the Trump administration to distract from the Russia investigation and Michael Wolff’s stunning new book.
After the morning shows, both CNN and The Washington Post confirmed Solomon’s scoop. CNN Newsroom with John Berman and Poppy Harlow went live in the 10:00 a.m. hour to Justice correspondent Laura Jarrett following the publication of a CNN.com story by Jarrett and colleague Evan Perez.
In part, Jarrett told Berman and Harlow:
A significant legal development here as CNN has now learned that federal authorities down in Arkansas are actively investigating the Clinton Family Foundation for corruption. A U.S. official tells me that the FBI and federal prosecutors there are digging into specifically whether foundation donors were improperly promised policy favors or some type of special access to Clinton while she was secretary of state in exchange for donations to the charity’s coffers and coming whether tax laws were followed here.
The major broadcast networks had plenty of time for Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book of Trump White House gossip, but no time for this bomshell. If any significant time is devoted to it, watch for the liberal media and friends like Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif.) to slam the FBI before going back to suggesting any criticism of the FBI is un-American.