An 800-lb. gorilla in the Senate committee room

By Dr. Tar

The Senate Judiciary Committee has invited (with the threat of subpoena) both Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify this week.  Presidential adviser Jared Kushner is also expected to appear.  The senators are looking into the June 2016 meeting between Trump associates and the Russians who claimed to have damning evidence against then-presumptive Democrat nominee for president Hillary Clinton.  Donald Jr. responded at the time to the prospect of a meeting with these foreign nationals saying, "I love it." 

While the Senate committee seeks violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, the senators are actually trying to punish a citizen for acting upon his moral obligation to hear and review any evidence of wrongdoing by an important political figure and prospective president.  In order to understand how this meeting wasn't a crime, but instead a service to the nation, we need to go back a year and review what was being asserted by independent investigators about the Clintons and their foundation. 

At the time, Peter Schweizer's bestseller Clinton Cash had been out for a year.

Among the shady Russian arrangements uncovered by Schweizer was the Uranium One deal orchestrated by then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, which saw a fifth of our nation's supply of this valuable resource go to a Russian firm.  This happened after millions flowed into the Clinton Foundation. 

Schweizer's Government Accountability Institute also pointed to technology transfers to Russia that enhanced their military capacity, while tens of millions of dollars flowed to the secretary's foundation and to a firm that her campaign chairman, John Podesta, was then an executive board member.

Then there is the work of Charles Ortel, who for a year and a half, prior to the June 2016 meeting, had been examining the various public filings of the Clinton Foundation, uncovered numerous irregularities – if not outright violations of the law.  Like Mr. Schweizer, Ortel made numerous television appearances to discuss his findings and to accuse the foundation of being "the largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted."  The work of these investigative journalists alone would be enough to trigger an appointment of a special counsel to look into possible crimes linked to the Clinton Foundation.  Any rational person paying attention to political reporting that summer would have been well aware of the assertions.  Most of us would have welcomed the opportunity to examine possible corroborating materials, whatever the source.  Whether that person was the son of the political opponent or your average man on the street, all would have the moral if not necessarily a legal obligation to bring such evidence to light, if it existed.

If by setting up and participating in this meeting, Donald Trump, Jr. and associates committed a crime, then the law defining that wrongdoing is a bad one.  For it would only serve to stifle inquiry by citizens in the future into evidence of wrongdoing that may come from a foreign source.  Our citizens should be free to examine, pursue, and bring forward any material, foreign or domestic, that incriminates those entrusted with or seeking office.  Who the person is that makes the discovery of such evidence should be immaterial to what is uncovered.

To find wrongdoing now would signal the establishment's intent to ignore the glaring warning signs of the massive corruption that the Clintons were able to engage in while Hillary served as secretary of state.  If the allegations prove true, the levels of fraud that flowed through the foundation would have the crooks and liars that soiled the Grant, Harding, and Nixon administrations give a sustained golf clap in admiration.

There is one other key event that occurred almost a year ago – former FBI director James Comey's exonerating Clinton in her handling of State Department communications last June.  What Comey didn't absolve her of was the FBI investigations into the Clinton Foundation itself, which we are to assume are still ongoing.  Perhaps the Senate Judiciary Committee would best serve the nation by addressing this 800-pound gorilla and call on the new FBI director, Christopher Wray, to update us all on the status of those investigations and to abandon this Potemkin village of an investigation into alleged collusion with the Russians.

Dr. Tar is the pseudonym of Barry Foltos, Ph.D.  Dr. Tar is a regular contributor to iOTW Report and author of the speculative thriller FairPoint.

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