…from Sputnik News, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: This is all going to be much ado about nothing. Someone is really scraping the bottom by going after these past staff associations and business deals to get something against the candidate… a little mud splattered maybe? And who will really care about that on election day when getting ready to make their pick?
As much as we enjoy Sputnik News, their understanding of American politics is non-existent. In the old style of the ham-handed propaganda, the desperation to do anything to defend Trump based on his offhand promise to “negotiate” with Russia is a serious judgment problem. In this case, Russia trying to damn Hillary by fabricating a tale of her being secretly “pro-Russian” is the height of incompetence. g ]
Influence pedaling by past top officials is hardwired into not only our political system, but also into the multi-million dollar per year retirement careers these ex-officials are looking to bed down into. Clients are not paying the astronomical fees these big-wheel insiders get to help fill out out their proposal paperwork correctly, or buying the right people lunch… but to assure that the deal goes through.
It is up to the Washington law firms to structure these lobbying transactions to where no illegal intent can bite their client in the fanny. Usually, all that takes is the law firm giving a legal opinion that the deal “on paper” is not illegal and the client, the lobbyist, is covered.
But where they get caught is lying about the transaction during any subsequent investigation, or it is determined that the on-paper deal was actually a conspiracy with full intent to circumvent the law. You can google to see what you can find on the big time Washington, DC law firms getting busted for setting up an illegal deal.
A legitimate issue for public scrutiny is this combination of huge speaking fees and foundation donations being used as disguised bribes on the front end to get a deal done — the “pay to play” charges being insinuated here, or the deferred compensation arrangement, where a useful political figure will be handsomely rewarded “down the road” for favors they did while in office.
These are usually collected soon after government retirement to guard against dying before you can collect, heaven forbid. The Clintons are both lawyers and have endless lawyers at their disposal, so without an insider testifying on “willful intent to defeat a lawyer, the media is just pounding sand, which, in their business, they can actually get paid to do… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … August 21, 2016 –
The FBI and Department of Justice have launched an investigation into whether the Podesta Group has any connections to alleged corruption that occurred in the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
It seems like just yesterday that the top campaign official for Donald Trump found himself caught in the middle of a political dragnet for his work as a lobbyist on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych with the media clamoring about his purported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a reason why the Republican nominee was a less desirable candidate than Hillary Clinton. Wait, that was just yesterday?
It turns out that Hillary Clinton’s campaign guru, head of the lobbying firm the Podesta Group, has found himself smack dab in the middle of the same criminal investigation spawned when devious political operatives decide to merge international relations with campaign politics.
For weeks, the pages of the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal have chimed that Trump is a “Putin pawn” as part of some maniacal plot by the Kremlin to interfere with the US election.
Turns out, the Podesta Group founded by none other than John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chair and chief strategies, was retained by the Russian-owned firm UraniumOne in 2012, 2014, and 2015 to lobby Hillary Clinton’s State Department based on John Podesta’s longstanding relations with the Clinton family – he was the White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton.
Interestingly, UraniumOne’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation from 2009 to 2013.
Perhaps a more blatant evidence of allegations that Hillary Clinton’s State Department operated on a pay-to-play basis is the fact that, as the New York Times reported last April, “shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting UraniumOne stock.
Not only are investigators wondering whether there was any impropriety in the lobbying arrangement such as the provision of beneficial treatment by the State Department to an old friend, but they are also probing the work that Viktor Yanukovych’s regime paid the Podesta Group to do while he was the head of the Ukrainian government.
The controversy for Podesta links to his work for the Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels based organization that describes itself as “an advocate for enhancing EU-Ukraine relations.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Podesta, the organization has been described as “an operation controlled by Yanukovych” and tied to the former leader’s Party of Regions suggesting the Podesta Group may have been, like has been said of Paul Manafort, tasked with greater reporting requirements pursuant to US law.
The Podesta Group quickly hired the white-shoe law firm Caplin & Drysdale as “independent, outside legal counsel to determine if we were misled by the Centre for a Modern Ukraine or any other individuals with regard to the Centre’s potential ties to foreign governments or political parties.”
And the plot of the 2016 presidential election thickens.