The last several years of American politics have been a roller coaster of fake news, corruption and sheer, election-manipulating media hysteria, so it can be easy to lose sight of the egregious underhanded tactics employed by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
All the same, the actions of these notoriously corrupt entities have long gone unpunished … that is, until now.
The Washington Examiner reported this week that the Federal Election Commission has, at long last, fined Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee for the part they played in the creation of the notorious “Steele dossier,” which served as the building block for the lengthy Trump-Russia collusion investigation and the material for breathless cable news monologues for years.
They’re being fined a scant $8,000 and $105,000 between Clinton’s treasurer and the DNC’s treasurer — compared to the combined $1,024,407.97 these officials paid out to fund the dossier.
The words “slap on the wrist” come to mind.
The FEC says that the DNC violated strict agency rules on describing campaign expenditures of the payments they funneled through the political opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, which commissioned former British intelligence operative, Christopher Steele, to compile his notorious dossier.
The Examiner reported that the Clinton campaign and the DNC described the shelled-out funds — $849,407.97 from the Clinton campaign and $175,000 from the DNC — as legal services, not political research.
While the Clinton campaign and the DNC both claim that it was correct to characterize these payments as “legal advice and services” because law firm Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS, they will not contest the finding.
“Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed” the FEC’s memo, which was issued to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation in response to its complaint with the agency, noted.
The memo is said to be made public next month.
“This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once,” said Dan Backer, who represented the foundation in its complaint.
“The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites,” he added.
I’m sure the organization, which focuses on First Amendment liberty issues and filed its complain three years ago, is quite content to be vindicated, as well they should be.
Yet I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling rather strongly that this small payout to the FEC hardly amounts to appropriate retribution for the damage that the Steele dossier caused to the American political scene.
Backer seems to feel the same way.
“Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning,” he said.
Let’s certainly hope so.
It’s been long known and well-documented that the Clinton-linked firms were behind the exhaustively discredited dossier, yet the information contained within formed the basis for the most emphatically stated narrative on Trump’s presidency for years.
Ironically, as his critics love to focus on his supposed penchant for fake news and mistruths, we have several years of American press coverage on the books that surrounded a completely fabricated claim of “Trump-Russia” collusion.
It was always impossible to get a fair gauge of Trump’s presidency, in very large part thanks to the salacious garbage that was disseminated within the nation’s intelligence agencies by thinly-veiled political operatives intent on undermining the outsider president who infuriated the establishment with his popularity and, eventually, historic defeat of the Clinton political machine.
It’s not unreasonable to speculate, at the very least, that there was downright treason going on, if not, at the very least, minor crimes.
FEC fines are hardly going to cut it.
Do you agree?