(c) 2016, Brenda Grantland, Esq.
for Truth and Justice Blog
After listening to the first Democratic primary debate, I thought Hillary would make an acceptable nominee. I definitely preferred Bernie, but she was saying some of the same things Bernie said, and I was impressed with her argument that she had experience in foreign affairs as a result of her stint as Secretary of State. And then I started hearing criticism that she was dishonest and corrupt.
Many Hillary followers stop up their ears to avoid hearing any criticism of her past actions, arguing the stories are all right wing falsehoods. I couldn’t do that. As a criminal defense lawyer and someone who previously lived in a high crime area, I know that when someone repeatedly gets accused of crimes – whether they are convicted or not – there is often some truth to the allegations. Because she is not my client, but a potential president of the United States, I didn’t owe her the benefit of a doubt. Some of these criticisms bothered me a lot, so I researched them for myself.
The speaker fees showed the Clintons have made a fortune peddling influence
I was particularly bothered by the speaker fees, even after just hearing about a handful of speeches to Goldman Sachs for $225,000 each. That is a lot of money, and Goldman Sachs is a huge and powerful bank. I decided to do my research. And that research led me to learn that it wasn’t just 6 speeches to Goldman Sachs, but 184 speeches by Hillary and Bill to 148 huge and powerful multi-national corporations for a total of $47,756,500 in just the two years before she declared her candidacy. I was alarmed that the main stream media did not talk about this. When I wrote about it on Facebook, Hillary supporters claimed I was lying or getting my information from right wing conspiracy theorists. But no, I got my figures from the financial disclosure forms Hillary submitted when she declared her presidential bid. When I did research on the corporations that were paying them these staggering figures, many of them turned out to be crooked as well as big and powerful. Many of them helped cause the banking collapse and the Great Recession. Many of them were investigated or indicted for crimes and agreed to pay huge fines – sometimes in the billions of dollars – but nobody went to prison. They got off the hook by pulling strings apparently – they were too big to jail. I wrote several blogs about it, and then published an ebook, Who Owns Hillary?
In the course of researching Who Owns Hillary? I learned a lot of alarming things that Hillary’s friends in the main stream media didn’t tell us about. You can hear about some of these things on Fox News and right-wing media, but “liberals” don’t watch Fox News, and we tend to discredit anything they say as being partisan or even falsehoods.
Lately, alarming facts about Hillary’s record as Secretary of State have begun to come to light. Although the right wing media was the first to give these issues publicity, the facts can be verified by evidence that is now in the public record: documents and testimony obtained in the FOIA cases brought by Judicial Watch, Hillary’s own emails, the Clinton Foundation donor lists, etc.
The Clinton Foundation profited from Hillary’s actions as Secretary of State
Peter Schweizer’s recent book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich spawned a series of articles in main stream newspapers, about huge donations to the Clinton Foundation that coincided with lobbying by the donors, resulting in favorable treatment by the State Department during Hillary’s term as Secretary.
I was very alarmed by the multi-million dollar donations the Clinton Foundation got from mid-Eastern countries – while these corporations were lobbying Hillary’s State Department – which approved their purchases of military planes and weaponry from US corporations. Saudi Arabia, home of most of the 9/11 hijackers, was allowed to purchase $29 billion worth of fighter jets. Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar were also cleared for huge weapons sales, after donating to the Clinton Foundation, according to Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department, by David Sirota and Andrew Perez, 5/26/2015, International Business Times.
Maybe even more alarming was the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian corporation owned by Bill Clinton’s friend Frank Giustra among others, which bought up uranium mining contracts in Utah, Wyoming, Texas among other US states. While Hillary was Secretary, the State Department approved the sale of Uranium One to the Russian nuclear energy agency. As the result of this sale, Russia now owns one fifth of all US uranium reserves. Also during this time, the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars of donations from the former owners of Uranium One. See Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal, by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, 4/23/2015 New York Times.
Other stains on Hillary’s record as Secretary of State include regime-changing military attacks gone awry. Hillary urged the US to topple Gaddafi in Libya, with no plan for the aftermath. Obama now regrets that decision as his greatest mistake. The chaotic aftermath gave rise to ISIS.
Hillary also urged the regime-change war in Syria that is causing multitudes of Syrian families to flee to other countries for safety, causing an international refugee crisis. A number of communities in the US are resisting taking in the Syrian refuges which our bombing raids and insurrection we caused have displaced.
And she assisted the coup government that had taken power in Honduras by using her powers as Secretary of State to keep Zelaya, the previously democratically-elected leader of Honduras, from regaining power in the US sponsored election of a new leader. Hillary wrote in the hard-copy version of her book, Hard Choices:
“We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”
When the resulting chaos and insurrection in Honduras led to families sending their children to the United States to escape the violence, Hillary advocated sending the children back to Honduras.
The truth will come out
Whether they try to keep their eyes and ears closed or not, Democratic voters are being exposed to damning facts about Hillary, even pro-Hillary corporate television news.
First the State Department Inspector General’s report and, more recently, FBI Director Comey’s report on the FBI investigation revealed that Hillary has been lying to the public about the classified information on her private server. It concluded that she had in fact emailed classified information including top secret and above top secret information, and that the information was classified as such at the time it was sent. Comey said the FBI could not rule out the possibility it had been accessed by hackers and foreign spies.
Comey’s announcement was not the end of Hillary’s investigations for misconduct in office.
Congress has asked the FBI to investigate her testimony under oath at the Benghazi hearings to see if she committed perjury when she said no classified information was sent through her private email server. The State Department has begun another investigation, now that the FBI investigation is concluded. Further, the Lynch/Comey decision not to indict is questionable on conflict of interest grounds since Loretta Lynch, was first appointed to a Justice Department job (US Attorney) by Bill Clinton, and then had that suspicious meeting with Bill Clinton in her airplane. She should have appointed a special prosecutor in the first place, and certainly should have done so once her impartiality was questioned by the meeting on the plan.
If Hillary is the nominee, the Republicans will have a field day from all of these facts. They will not spare her reputation and her feelings as Bernie Sanders has done.
Voters and delegates need to open their eyes and ears before it is too late to switch to Bernie. Hillary’s baggage is very likely to force American voters into Trump’s lap.
Pledged delegates and superdelegates – please put the country’s interests ahead of your loyalty to Hillary
This is not a football game, but a matter of national and international importance. Blind loyalty to the team could lead to the destruction of the country in a world war, among other things. Even if she is elected, the investigations will not end. Expect her entire presidency to be embroiled in impeachment proceedings, like the second terms of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Fortunately the Democratic party does not have to force Americans to choose between two unacceptable candidates. There is a Democratic primary candidate that managed to get close to half of the popular vote – despite rampant election fraud and voter suppression, and despite the fact that Independents — who make up a larger percentage of the population than Democrats or Republicans, and who overwhelmingly favor Bernie — were not allowed to vote in many state primaries. Bernie has the votes to defeat Trump by a large margin. Hillary doesn’t, polls show.
Once you see what you kept yourself from learning by refusing to listen to anything negative about her, I think you will agree that both Hillary and Trump would be disastrous for most of the people in America.
For both delegates and superdelegates, selecting Bernie instead is justified
Democratic delegates and superdelegates, please stop holding your noses and thinking of your own interests and your loyalty to the DNC establishment.
Your vote at the convention may be the most important act of your life – for good or bad. Do our own research on these issues and form an educated opinion about whether this evidence renders Hillary unfit for the presidency.
Pledged delegates for Hillary would not be voting against the will of the people to support Bernie instead of Hillary if they factor in the fact that, at the time they were elected pledged delegates, the voters did not know about much of this evidence that is now coming to light.
Hillary’s poll numbers have taken a huge nose dive since the release of the State Department and FBI reports. Her abysmal unfavorability ratings indicate that, had the voters known the truth about her track record of dishonesty, influence peddling, war-mongering and unwise regime change activities – or if they had known more about Bernie Sanders – before they voted, they would have voted for him instead of her.
Rather than Hillary’s foreign policy experience being an asset, it has turned out to be a major flaw. It shows she cannot be trusted to put the best interests of the country ahead of the interests of her own corporate and international donors. It shows she has poor judgment in her hawkish approach to mid-Eastern countries and South American countries that happen to have leaders she does not like. Hillary is a war-monger, who thinks she has the prerogative to meddle in the leadership of other countries and use military force to topple them if she doesn’t like their leader. If elected, her strategy will be more war, not peace.
Superdelegates need to rectify the situation
Many of the Democratic superdelegates who committed to support Hillary, pledged their support before learning the full story about Hillary.
Shenanigans involving the superdelegates and their premature promises to support Hillary have given the concept of superdelegates a black eye – one it probably deserves.
For one thing, the Hillary-backing main stream media has abused the superdelegates’ premature statements of support for Hillary by adding superdelegates to the vote counts of each state, misleading the public into believing Hillary’s actual vote counts were higher than they really were. That is not legal because the superdelegates do not vote until the convention. But the ploy achieved its goal of discouraging Bernie Sanders supporters from voting.
Even worse, the major corporate media conspired to skew the June 7 primaries by falsely announcing on June 6 that Hillary Clinton had clinched enough delegates to secure the nomination. Once again they created this illusion by adding in the superdelegates’ proposed votes – even though the superdelegates don’t vote until the convention. They made this announcement the day before California and several other states went to the polls to vote.
Under the DNC’s own rules, it would take 2,383 pledged delegates (the kind selected by the majority of voters in each precinct) to win the nomination before the convention. Hillary does not have that number – even today. Under DNC rules, superdelegates do not vote until the convention, which hasn’t happened yet.
The superdelegates were designed to give the party establishment oversight to make sure the Democratic nominee is likely to win in the general election – not to manipulate the primary election to take it out of the hands of voters.
The superdelegate system functioned under the radar until this election. Now the voters are crying foul when they learn that one superdelegate – someone selected by the DNC leaders such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz – has the same power as one pledged delegate, who is selected by approximately 10,000 voters. In other words, one establishment picked superdelegate has the same voting power as 10,000 real voters!
Who the superdelegates are has also created many black eyes for superdelegates as an institution and distrust for the Democratic party. Of all of the people who could be given the power of 10,000 voters, why did they select so many corporate lobbyists and people like Raj Fernando who have no business having so much power?
It is astounding, and I believe unprecedented, that so many of the Hillary-endorsing superdelegates have come under criminal investigation or been indicted or even convicted of crimes after their appointments as superdelegates. New York Assemblyman Shelden Silver was convicted of honest services fraud, money laundering and extortion; he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and resigned as a superdelegate. US Congressman Chaka Fattah was convicted of bribery, fraud, money laundering and racketeering and recently resigned as a superdelegate – but only after I started my Change.org petition asking that he be removed.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was indicted for bribery and corruption for allegedly doing favors in exchange for campaign donations and perks he didn’t disclose on financial disclosure forms; he appealed his indictment (prior to trial) arguing “the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause prevents lawmakers’ legislative acts from being scrutinized by the other two branches of government — except for ‘Treason, Felony and Breach of Peace.'” Isn’t bribery a felony? If we can’t stop our congressmen from being bribed, what is the good of bribery laws? Menendez is still a superdelegate.
More recently, Representative Corrine Brown was indicted for conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, failure to make required disclosures on campaign financial disclosure forms, theft of government property, and tax violations – yet remains a superdelegate.
Virginia governor Terry McAuliff is under federal criminal investigation for campaign contributions by Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang (also a frequent Clinton Foundation donor), yet he remains a superdelegate.
Why did they select so many seemingly corrupt politicians to be superdelegates? I think there are too many to be a mere coincidence. This Washington Post article published in 2015 says there have been only 12 US Senators indicted while in office in the history of the US. Most if not all of the activities that got these superdelegate legislators in criminal trouble happened before they were named superdelegates.
I am only speculating here, but institutionalized corruption seeks corrupt allies. That’s why a criminal conspiracy such as a drug ring demands that all members be dirty and loyal to the conspiracy. It is also why corrupt police forces don’t want “goody two-shoes” to get jobs in their departments because they might rat out the whole bunch of them.
As a criminal defense lawyer I whole-heartedly defend the concept that criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but our political candidates for public office should not be criminal defendants facing prosecution. Our candidates should all be far above the low standard for an indictment — “probable cause to believe they have committed a crime.”
Superdelegates: look who you are in bed with. Show your integrity by standing up for justice, accountability and respect for the law by voting your conscience, guided by the best interests of the American people, instead of blind loyalty to a candidate who is tainted by influence peddling and corruption herself. And force those superdelegates compromised by ongoing criminal investigations to resign – they have no business helping select the next president.
We need to select our leaders only from the pool of experienced politicians who have impeccable honor and integrity. “Not indicted yet” is not enough.
We don’t need a blue code of silence to hamstring our political system.