Hillary Clinton’s Problem with Ethics

GOP strategist Karl Rove recently brought up Hillary Clinton’s December 2012 hospital stay, saying he’s convinced there is much more to the story that has not been released.

“Thirty days in the hospital?” he asked. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Of course, Clinton handlers deny Rove’s allegations, writing them off as nothing more than partisan scare tactics.

“Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 percent,” a Clinton representative said in response to his comments.

The comments are being used to divert people’s attention from the real problem Clinton is facing.

The U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) says $6 billion dollars in State Department funding is ’missing,’ much of it under Hillary Clinton’s watch. Two-million dollars has disappeared which was ear-marked for the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

The State Department misplaced the money due to the improper filing of contracts over the past six years. The unaccounted funds poses a “significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” reads the OIG’s report.

Contracts related to the U.S. war in Iraq, for instance, could not be produced in 33 out of 115 instances, according to the report.

“A recent OIG audit of the closeout process for contracts supporting the U.S. Mission in Iraq revealed that contracting officials were unable to provide 33 of 115 contract files requested in accordance with the audit sampling plan,” the report states.

The value of the 33 “missing files” totaled $2.1 billion. Additionally, 48 of the 82 contract files produced “did not contain all of the documentation required by” internal regulations and are worth another $2.1 billion.

The investigation also found instances where a company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee was not properly documented.

“In the case of work undertaken by OIG’s Office of Investigations, one investigation revealed that a contract file did not contain documentation reflecting that modifications and task orders were awarded to the company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee performing as a Contract Specialist for the contract,” the report states.

The contract in question was worth $52 million.

The report outlines several other instances where contracts worth great values were mishandled.

“In a number of recent OIG inspections, OIG identified contract file management deficiencies. For example, COR files for a $2.5 million contract lacked status reports and a tally of the funds expended and remaining on the contract,” the report states.

But it appears Clinton has bigger problems than a few billion missing dollars.

It’s come to light that her 2008 presidential campaign was illegally funded by District of Columbia businessman Jeffery Thompson.  In March of this year, Thompson pled guilty to funding what prosecutors called a $653,000 ‘shadow campaign for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010.  Five of Thompson’s associates have also pleaded guilty in federal court, including two who worked on Gray’s 2010 campaign.

Two other associates pleaded guilty to making straw contributions to political candidates on his behalf, and another acknowledged using illicit funds to help Clinton run for president in 2008.

In April, a hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser pleaded guilty to witness tampering and conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws. Sant Singh Chatwal was accused of working with an unidentified informant to use straw donors to make contributions to three unnamed political candidates, raising at least $100,000 for Clinton’s 2008 presidential.

The Center for Public Integrity highlighted a year ago that Thompson and others who donated to campaign efforts, listing his accounting company as their employer contributed at least $514,350 to federal candidates as well as political action committees since the 2002 campaign cycle came into effect. The top beneficiary of those funds was Hillary Clinton, whose campaigns raked in $50,400 while her campaign committee accepted $40,300 from employees at Thompson’s company in November of 2007.

Other recipients were Barack Obama being given $14,500 during the 2008 cycle and John Kerry who was handed over $20,000 in the 2004 presidential election cycle. John McCain was given $13,800 in the 2008 cycle.

The revelations raise reminders of fundraising improprieties just as her supporters are gearing up for a probable run for the presidency in 2016.

In 2007, when Clinton was considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, she took the unprecedented step of returning $850,000 in contributions raised by Norman Hsu, a top campaign bundler who was wanted on criminal charges in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.  At the time, Clinton campaign officials said they would undertake “vigorous” extra vetting procedures to make sure her sources of campaign funds were legitimate.

In 2009, a federal judge sentenced Hsu to more than 24 years in prison for violating campaign finance laws and defrauding investors.

The Hsu scandal, in turn, brought unwelcome reminders for Clinton of her husband’s fundraising controversies in the 1990s, including Little Rock businessman Charlie Trie. In that episode, about $640,000 was returned or refused after accusations that Trie funneled fraudulent donations.

There was also the case of businessman Johnny Chung, where the Democratic National Committee returned more than $360,000 in donations raised during President Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid. Chung admitted that he accepted some of the money from Chinese military officials.

In her younger days, Clinton served as an attorney during the Watergate investigation, but was apparently fired because of her dishonesty. She got the job working on the investigation at the request of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Senator Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair.

Clinton’s then-supervisor, Jerry Zeifman fired her immediately following the investigation concluded and refused to give her a good recommendation.

“…(S)he was a liar,” Zeifman said. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

It seems that not much has changed with Clinton over the years.

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