30 Aug '16     home | previous

The Clinton Foundation Scandal: Final Words

In their columns, Eugene Robinson and Richard Cohen give us adequate summaries of the Clinton "pay to play" scandal that Donald Trump has been using to advance his candidacy. The following are excerpts.

Robinson:

As I have written, it seems obvious that she wanted total control of her electronic correspondence — probably to make sure that no personal emails would ever become part of the public record. Did this reflect an obsession with secrecy? Did she have something to hide?

Before drawing conclusions, remember this: It's not paranoia if enemies really are out to get you. The Clintons have been doggedly pursued by their foes for decades. It's understandable that they would try to avoid giving any ammunition to their adversaries.

But now Trump and others allege a "pay to play" scheme in which big donors to the foundation got access to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. To my eye, however, this charge is ludicrous because so many of the donors in question would surely have obtained an audience with the secretary of state anyway.

Cohen:

The mountains of money that came into the Clinton Foundation, some of it offered by otherwise heartless men, apparently got the donors nothing. They came from parts of the world where a man's bribe is his word, and yet money offered in New York to the foundation did not open a door in Washington at the State Department.

"The fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation," said Josh Schwerin, a Clinton campaign spokesman. Apparently, this is true, and it no doubt breaks the hearts of Republicans everywhere who think that Clinton is both a crook and a fool. She is possibly only a bit of the former and certainly none of the latter.

Let us take the case of Casey Wasserman. He runs the Wasserman Media Group, a sports marketing and talent-management agency. According to The Post, Wasserman's charitable foundation contributed between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation and his investment company also hired Bill Clinton as a consultant, paying him $3.13 million in fees in 2009 and 2010. For this, aside from a warm feeling, it seems Wasserman got nothing. When he tried to get the State Department to approve a visa for a British soccer star with a criminal record, he got nowhere — so much quid, so little quo.

The Robinson and Cohen columns appear in the Opinion Section of the Washington Post.

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