Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, December 14th, 2018.

The End of an Era?

Trump Maladministration

Have we seen the last House investigation of Hillary Clinton? The final Clinton hearing scheduled in the current House blew up in everyone’s faces yesterday, and it’s hard to believe there will be any more until such time as Republicans become House majority again. So, let me tentatively say, possibly.  Of course, there’s still the Senate.

Nancy LeTourneau explains what happened yesterday.

Hillary Clinton haters were all a-flutter about the prospect of “explosive” information being revealed at Thursday’s hearing on the Clinton Foundation as the last hurrah from Rep. Mark Meadow’s (R-NC) chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee.

What could go wrong?

The first blow to their expectations came when U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tasked by former Attorney General Sessions to investigate all of the anti-FBI conspiracy theories germinated by right wingers, announced that he would be a no-show.

One suspect U.S. Attorney Huber had a clue what might happen and didn’t want to be there.

The eagerly anticipated stars of the show were two guys often called “bounty hunters,” John Moynihan and Larry Doyle. Moynihan and Doyle — sounds like an old vaudeville act — claim to have spent the last three years doing an intensive forensic financial analysis of the Clinton Foundation.

John Moynihan and Larry Doyle testified that the foundation had violated its tax status, co-mingled funds with personal use and engaged in pay-to-play while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But as even Alana Goodman of the Washington Examiner reported, the hearing eventually blew up over their refusal to turn over their 6,000 page written report to the committee.

Moynihan and Doyle, maybe.

Why? Because the whole point of this exercise was for Moynihan and Doyle to make a lot of money.

While I wouldn’t doubt that there is some dark money behind their efforts, the real payoff they’re hoping for stems from the fact that they filed their claims with the IRS. That’s because a whistleblower program “pays those who expose any form of tax underpayment. In cases that exceed $2 million, the Office pays 15-30% of unpaid taxes, fines, and interest collected.” According to Doyle’s testimony, they believe that the Clinton Foundation owes at minimum $400 million in taxes, which would net them between $60-120 million for their efforts. That provides both the motivation for their findings as well as their reason for not wanting to turn their evidence over to the committee—they want to protect their investment.

The IRS so far has denied their claims, but Moynihan and Doyle are holding out hope and might eventually file a civil suit against the IRS to collect the money.

However, the committee had some parts of the report. They had gotten it from John Solomon, a “journalist” with a long history of skewing stories to support right-wing agendas.

So in other words, while the “whistleblowers” refused to give their written findings to the committee, they had obviously been willing to share them with a reporter who has been spinning conspiracy theories about the Clinton Foundation for years. We know that is the case because Solomon wrote an article based on their documents a full week before the hearing.

You know me to not be an unabashed supporter of Hillary Clinton, and if someone ever does dig up actual dirt on her I’m not going to faint away in shock. But I have always doubted the Clintons played fast and loose with Foundation money, if only because it would be really hard for managers of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to get away with much without getting caught, seems to me. Especially when there is so much money and interest in finding dirt on that particular nonprofit.

In Trump scandal news, ProPublica has evidence that Trump’s inauguration committee way overpaid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, and that this was Ivanka’s doing.

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