A New York Times headline says it all: "Justice Dept. to Weigh Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation." Yes, the pressure is growing to fully investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton for their many questionable activities tied to their charitable foundation and to Fusion GPS, the creator of the largely bogus Trump dossier. Given the mountains of evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing, it's about time.
On Oct. 24 the Washington Post, of all publications, reported that the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS to dig up all the dirt it could find on Donald Trump.
As we noted last month, beginning in April 2016, a Clinton attorney, Mark Elias of Seattle-based Perkins Coie, paid Fusion GPS for the opposition Trump research. For the record, Elias worked with former White House Counsel Robert Bauer, who was also a partner at Perkins-Coie, known for its Democratic Party ties.
From June 2015 to December 2016, Perkins Coie took in $5.4 million from the DNC and a whopping $12.4 million from the Clinton campaign as "legal fees." Perkins Coie's Elias secretly paid Fusion GPS for its "research" from the legal fees that Hillary Clinton and the DNC forked over.
Funded to the hilt, Fusion GPS hired a former British spy named Christopher Steele, who previously headed British intelligence agency MI-6's Russian desk, ultimately paying him $168,000. Using his many Russian contacts, Steele put together a Trump dossier filled with rumors, innuendos and some outright lies — the kind of thing that could be incredibly damaging to Trump in a last-minute campaign blitz.
All of this is bad enough. None of it was disclosed in Federal Election Commission filings as required by law, so there is a very sound basis for legal action.
And somehow the dubious dossier made its way into the hands of both the media and the FBI, raising the obvious question: Did the FBI use essentially a political document funded by the Democrats to seek special surveillance from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on officials in the Trump campaign? Is that what started the whole "Trump collusion with Russia" ball rolling? If so, it's likely a major crime has been committed, one that would dwarf Watergate in its dimensions.
But it goes even deeper than that.
While the media shriek about the Trump campaign's alleged Russia ties, the Democratic Party in general and the Clinton campaign in specific had very clear links to nefarious Russian figures, both inside and outside of Vladimir Putin's government.
Going back to the very beginnings of the Obama administration, Russian leader Vladimir Putin made extraordinary efforts to get a dominant foothold in the U.S. nuclear industry. Using the Russian state-owned nuclear monopoly Rosatom, Putin engaged in a campaign of "bribery, extortion, (and) money laundering" in his efforts to acquire Uranium One, a Canadian-based nuclear materials company that controls 20% of all U.S. domestic uranium supplies, according to Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Obama's Justice Department, then under Eric Holder, knew about this but did nothing about it. And, despite knowing about Russia's illegal activities, when the Rosatom bid to take over Uranium One came up for a vote, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) approved it in 2010. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a member of the CFIUS board, voted in favor of the deal. So did Holder.
If that sounds funny, it should. Because it turns out that the Clinton Foundation, the global "charity" run by Bill and Hillary, had taken in an estimated $145 million from Uranium One shareholders and executives, mostly around the time the deal was being approved.
The Justice Department waited until 2014, after Hillary's departure from office, to do anything about the Russian criminal activity. And details of the Uranium One deal didn't even emerge until 2015, after Holder left office. It reeks of quid-pro-quo double-dealing that involved Clinton using her powerful office of secretary of state to enrich her own private foundation and family.
Americans may be starting to come around to the idea that something very bad happened.
Our own IBD/TIPP Poll released earlier this month shows that, among those who are closely following the uranium deal, some 59% believe that "Russian donations to the Clinton Foundation played a role in the previous administration's decision to approve the (Uranium One) deal" with Russia.
And 54% said they agreed either "strongly" or "somewhat" that Special Counsel Robert Mueller "has a conflict of interest (in investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election) since he was the FBI director at the time of the 2010 uranium deal."
We began saying way back in 2016 that this entire affair deserved to be investigated. Last year, the FBI, under then-Director James Comey, made it known it was doing just that, though there has been no further comment.
Based on what has been revealed, it's time for the Justice Department to step up. We continue to believe that a special counsel or federal prosecutor needs to be appointed to see if members of the Obama administration — in particular former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — were guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors in their dubious dealing with the Russians.
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