It is a testament to the potency of the allegations against Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that Democrats aren’t talking about it. At least, not yet.
Ed has a breakdown of the charges against the Clinton Foundation levied in a forthcoming book. The controversy centers on the implication that Clinton’s State Department failed to do anything when Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk’s company allegedly violated United Nations and U.S. sanctions on Iran. Why? Because Pinchuk was invested in the Clinton Foundation’s operations to the tune of $8.6 million.
It is an allegation of a piece with an investigation conducted by International Business Times reporters. That paper contended that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions from a donor linked to a Columbian oil company. Months later, Hillary Clinton dropped her longstanding objections to inking a free trade deal with Bogota despite that nation’s human rights and labor abuses.
On Monday, ABC News White House reporter Jonathan Karl confronted White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest with the claim that Clinton sold her influence as secretary of state to prominent Clinton Foundation contributors:
“I know there’s been a lot of accusations made about this, but not a lot of evidence,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing. “The president continues to be extraordinarily proud of the work that Secretary Clinton did as the Secretary of State. But for the details of some of those accusations, I’d refer you to Secretary Clinton’s campaign.”
“I’m not going to be in a position here where every time somebody raises a spurious claim, that I’m going to be the one sit down here and say that it’s not true,” Earnest explained to ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
Earnest noted that the administration and the Clinton Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding before Clinton took the helm of the State Department in 2009, saying it went “above and beyond the ethical guidelines that the federal government previously had in place.”
From Clinton’s perspective, there is ample evidence that indicates it is preferable to keep quiet when another scandalous accusation surfaces. Keep quiet, hope it goes away, and it usually does. From a political perspective, though, it only makes sense that Democrats would want to thoroughly address voters’ concerns about the Clinton Foundation and whether or its donors enjoyed undue influence over American foreign policy.
To Democrats trying to bully reporters away from @ClintonFdn story. Do you want to get to the bottom of this now? Or in general election?
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) April 20, 2015
If Democrats decline to defuse the Clinton Foundation time bomb ahead of 2016, Republicans will not be so accommodating.