WASHINGTON, D.C. – Why isn’t the Trump administration under Attorney General Sessions investigating clear proof of Hillary Clinton’s violations of campaign finance laws and regulations?
The WikiLeaks Podesta emails document a money-laundering scheme that gained Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign hundreds of millions of dollars in direct violation of FEC campaign financing laws and regulations.
During the campaign, the Clinton campaign violation was suspected by Politico and charged by Bernie Sanders, yet the FBI under Trump continues to turn a blind eye.
To understand the Clinton campaign money-laundering scheme, we need to understand the Clinton campaign realized that top-dollar millionaire and billionaire Democratic Party donors wanted to contribute several hundred thousand dollars to Hillary’s campaign, but were constrained by limits to individual and spousal contributions set by FEC campaign funding laws and regulations.
For instance, in an email exchange in November 2015, Podesta expressed irritation that the Clinton campaign wanted him to “hit up his clients” to contribute $33,400 per person, or between $66,000 to $100,000 per couple, to attend a Hillary Victory Fund event in New York City, joining Hillary and Bill Clinton for dinner, in an “intimate evening” designed to feature “a memorable performance” by Sting.
Other celebrity events involved the Democrats charging $353,000 for an April 16, 2016 dinner for two seats at the head table with Hillary Clinton, actor George Clooney, and Clooney’s wife, attorney Amil Clinton.
Eleven sponsors each gave more than $100,000 to attend a Hillary Victory Fund Elton John concert at Radio City Music Hall on March 3, 2016, with Hillary and her family, former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton.
In other instances, senior DNC officials scrambled to arrange special “packages” for high-dollar donors, as indicated by an email exchange in which DNC officials discussed what “special convention package” can be given to reward Wharton associate professor Eric Schoenberg for sending a $75,000 wire transfer from his Fidelity account to help pay the costs of the DNC convention in Philadelphia.
These emails indicate, Schoenberg had already received tickets to a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event for a previous $25,000 contribution to the DNC.
In an email exchange in April 2016, Graham Wilson, a Perkins Coe attorney, advised officials at the DNC to be circumspect in responding to questions being asked by Politico reporter who suspected the DNC was using the Victory Fund to circumvent campaign finance contribution limits.
Specifically, Vogel was investigating whether the Clinton campaign had developed a strategy to use the Hillary Victory Fund to raise money for state DNC operations as a means of dramatically increasing legally campaign contribution limits, even though the DNC never intended to pass the money back to the states
In particular, Vogel was asking the following: “Of the $3.8 million that HVF has transferred to the state parties through 3/31/16, $3.3 million has been transferred almost immediately to the DNC. That means that through 3/31 the state parties have kept $500k – or less than 1 percent – of the $61 million raised by the HVF. Why so little?”
What Vogel correctly suspected was this: “Based on these numbers, are Hillary Clinton and her allies overstating their support for state parties?”
Wilson’s advice was for the DNC to tell Vogel the DNC at the national level “for critical investments in infrastructure, maintaining the DNC’s national voter file, and bolstering our research, communications and digital capabilities, all of which will help elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November and help strengthen state parties across the country.”
In the email exchange with the outside counsel, the DNC also made clear the DNC was running the money through Amalgamated Bank, one of the largest union-owned banks in the United States, owned by the SEIU – a union strongly supporting the Democratic Party and Hillary’s candidacy.
One particularly hilarious email exchange documented the DNC had so much money coming in to the campaign that a $50,000 check from a top contributor could not be found simply because campaign officials were confused whether the check had been send directly to the DNC office in Washington, or to Amalgamated Bank to be deposited in a DNC account.
An email from the DNC included in the WikiLeaks Podesta email file makes clear Amalgamated Bank was the bank where funds were wired to the DNC General Fund.
In an article published by Kenneth Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf in Politico on May 2, 2016, the suspected money-laundering scheme was revealed.
By including the 32 states with state committees, the DNC could solicit checks of $350,000 from super-rich Hillary supporters into the Hillary Victory Fund that allowed the DNC to host extravagant fundraisers featuring the ability to interact personal with Hillary.
Had the scheme to include the state parties not been concocted, the limit on an individual contribution to the Hillary Victory Fund would have been in the range of $30,000 – not large enough to be of serious interest to Hillary or her well-healed wealthy supporters in Hollywood and New York City.
So what the DNC did was to wire Hillary Victory Fund money to the states one day, with the agreement the states would wire the money back to the Hillary Victory Fund the next day in an apparently obvious scheme designed to circumvent the caps placed by FEC campaign laws and regulations on individual contributions.
The Politico article concluded the following: “Between the creation of the victory fund in September and the end of last month, the fund had brought in $142 million, the lion’s share of which — 44 percent — has wound up in the coffers of the DNC ($24.4 million) and Hillary for America ($37.6 million), according to a POLITICO analysis of FEC reports filed this month. By comparison, the analysis found that the state parties have kept less than $800,000 of all the cash brought in by the committee — or only 0.56 percent.”
Politico commented the Hillary Victory Fund through April 2016 had transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but most of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was transferred back to the DNC, usually within a day or two.
On May 2, 2016, Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver charged Hillary’s campaign was engage in a “money-laundering” conduit that required state party leaders to keep less than 1 percent of the millions raised by the Hillary Victory Fund, even though Clinton’s campaign was relying upon the states to shut up and go along.
“Secretary Clinton is looting funds meant for state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign,” Weaver charged. “We think the Clinton campaign should let the state parties keep their fair share of the cash.”
An article published in Wisconsin during the campaign makes clear many prominent contributors to Hillary’s campaign used the Hillary Victory Party state-funding scam to contribute over $300,000.
The list includes the following:
- Haim Saban, $343,400 and Cheryl Saban, $353,400: Israeli-American media magnate who is currently head of Univision.
- Alice Walton, $353,400: #`6 on the Forbes List of World Billionaires and heiress to the Walton empire.
- George Soros, $343,400: Creator of Open Society Foundation, also donated $8 million to the leading Super PAC supporting Hillary’s presidential campaign.
- Jeffrey Katzenberg, $353,400: Former chair of Disney Corp and CEO of DreamWorks Animation.
- J.B. Pritzker, $330,000 and Mary Pritzker, $330,000: Hyatt Hotel heir. Brother to Penny Pritzker, former Secretary of Commerce.