The Hill: DoJ now looking into pay-to-play allegations at the Clinton Foundation too

My, but the DoJ has taken a lot of interest in the Clintons lately, haven’t they? Jeff Sessions has ordered a review of the Uranium One deal that involved both Bill and Hillary during the latter’s term as Secretary of State, and reportedly another of the investigation into Hillary’s use of a secret and unauthorized e-mail system. According to John Solomon at The Hill, Sessions may be aiming for the Code Red hat trick — although this may also be an unavoidable outcome from Code Reds One and Two:

The 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, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.

FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the Foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in coming weeks.

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.

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 curious aspect of this is that the inquiry is “new.” Reportedly, the FBI had been working on issues surrounding the Clinton Foundation at the same time as the e-mail probe. Even a supposedly debunking report about the nature of the FBI probe still corroborated its existence in November 2016. At the same time, the IRS had begun asking questions about Clinton Foundation activities and its impact on its tax reporting. Without a statement about those investigations being concluded, which one might have expected under the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Clintons, the assumption would have been that this was already ongoing.

Probes into Uranium One and the e-mail system would eventually have to address the Clinton Foundation anyway. Part of the working theory of corruption in the Uranium One deal was that the Clintons demanded a pay-to-play for approval of the deal that involved lots of money — $500,000 for a speech by Bill from a bank involved in the transaction, and a multi-million-dollar donation to the foundation. Both of those transactions took place and have been publicly declared — grudgingly — and have been well known for well over a year. The FBI’s interest in it now would have to involve whether the foundation itself operated in a corrupt manner, laundering money back to the Clintons or to their political operations in violation of tax law.

A similar situation exists with Hillary’s e-mail server. The Clintons have never provided a satisfactory answer as to why they went to all the trouble of operating a secret and private e-mail system rather than use the government-provided system required by law, or a commercial e-mail system that would have been much more convenient. Hillary and her team deleted more than half of the 65,000 e-mail messages off the server before turning them over (in printed form, no less) to the State Department. Hillary claimed that those messages were all personal in nature, which is laughable on its face. Over four years, Hillary would have had to have sent or received 22 personal e-mails a day, seven days a week, for the entire four years of the server’s life for that to be true.

So what was in those messages that Hillary tried very hard to hide? Presumably, activities that she wanted to hide from Congress and the courts, which is the only real reason to use a secret and private unauthorized e-mail system as a Cabinet official. The range of activities that Hillary wanted to keep hidden could be as wide as the imagination, but the nexus of foreign governments and Clinton-land political players at the Clinton Foundation — including Bill and Hillary — makes it mighty tempting to think that Hillary was trying to hide pay-to-play offers involving the foundation.

Hillary’s defenders will claim that the DoJ’s sudden interest in Hillary is a plot to distract from the special counsel probe into alleged Russian collusion in the election. Perhaps, but it can be argued the other way around, too — that Hillary’s defenders have stoked the Russian-collusion hypothesis (which has yet to have any grounding in fact) as a distraction from the Clintons’ corruption, which is likely the real reason Hillary lost the election. In fact, both can be true at the same time. But we’ve waited for real answers to the strange activities by the Clintons for far too long, and the FBI needs to settle these questions once and for all.