‘There’s no wall of separation between the Clinton Foundation and the Department of State…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) As their time holding the majority—and with it power to investigate the Left’s ethical abuses—draws to an end, House Republicans on Wednesday led a hearing into the Clinton Foundation and allegations of “pay to play” when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee used the Clinton Foundation as a case study to investigate the general oversight of nonprofit organizations, but the question that dominated was: Is the Clinton family charity a means to political ends suffering from corruption and illegalities, or is it a charitable organization that gives back to the community?
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, testified as a whistleblower and said the allegations against the Clinton Foundation are both true and damning.
“It was with skepticism that we listed to Hillary Clinton promise that her position with the Clinton Foundation would have no bearing on her position as secretary of state,” Fitton said. “But the Clinton Foundation allows Bill and Hillary to raise money from foreign organizations that are often controlled by foreign governments.”
Fitton’s testimony seemed to confirm what has often been seen as the modus operandi for the Clintons: flouting legal and ethical guidelines by muddying the waters of their various conflicting interests, intermixing personal matters with their official duties, much as Hillary Clinton did with her private email server.
“There’s no wall of separation between the Clinton Foundation and the Department of State,” Fitton said. “It’s so bad that the crown prince [of Saudi Arabia] couldn’t get a meeting with Mrs. Clinton through the State Department, so he went to the Clinton Foundation.”
House Democrats tried to draw attention away from the Clinton Foundation by focusing the hearing on the Trump Foundation and the recent conviction of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s disgraced former attorney.
“This is our umpteenth hearing on the Clinton Foundation,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said. “The truth is, there are very serious issues we ought to be investigating instead of this one. Not a single document was submitted about Trump’s family-separation policies at the border. No one is calling for an investigation into the Trump Foundation. This hearing is a last gasp of partisanship.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said that since the hearing was on nonprofit organizations in general, Congress would be looking at all foundations. But there’s a “big disparity” between the Clinton Foundation, which brought in $2.5 billion in overall revenue last year, and the Trump Foundation, which raised $19 million.
Fitton agreed with Meadows’s assessment and noted that there is evidence proving that the investigation into the Clinton Foundation during former President Barack Obama’s administration was suppressed by the Department of Justice.
Connolly accused Fitton of spreading “slander” that has “no factual basis.”
“It’s like being in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ listening to this testimony,” Connolly said to Fitton. “None of this is happening in the real world.”
Connolly once again pointed to the Trump Foundation: “This isn’t speculation about something somebody might have done, this is a crime someone admitted to,” he said, referring to Cohen’s guilty plea. “Not phony informants, make-believe whistleblowers, rumors or hearsay—this is a pretty big thing.”
Connolly continued his rant by attempting to downplay Fitton’s charges of corruption within the Obama Justice Department.
“To compare the idea of someone putting a thumb on the scales of the Department of Justice to help the Clinton Foundation—we had Russian interference in our election. But we’re not talking about it here because we’re making a political point. The grand Christmas miracle hope is that we will distract the American public from the crisis at hand.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, responded to Connolly’s accusations by pointing out that several FBI employees recently demoted and/or fired for conspiring against the Trump administration all served under the Obama administration alongside Hillary.
“We’re not trying to distract anyone,” Jordan said. “We’re just trying to get rid of the double-standard that exists in our society today. There’s a different set of rules if you’re a part of the political ruling class and that’s what this is about.”
A whistleblower report filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI reveals evidence of misconduct in the Clinton Foundation and alleges that the Clintons may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties, reported The Hill.
But Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who represents the Clinton Foundation’s district, insisted that Bill and Hillary are known only for their “outstanding work in New York.”
Jordan also pressed Phillip Hackney, an associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh who previously served as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service during the Obama administration, about the targeting of conservative organizations by the IRS.
High-ranking partisan officials, including Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Unit, acknowledged that some wrongdoing transpired in targeting conservative groups disproportionately for extra scrutiny leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Lerner, however, pleaded the Fifth and was able to escape any criminal consequences for the agency’s actions.
Hackney said he could not speak to the political specifics, only in broad, general terms to the IRS’s responsibility to police the work of tax-exempt organizations as a practical matter.
“The law should be there to stop people from taking advantage of nonprofits,” Hackney said. “If this is going to be a tit-for-tat, showing this foundation that’s conservative did that and this foundation that’s liberal did this, it’s not going to help us. It’s just going to be another political tit-for-tat.”