October 18, 2016

"You can defend Clinton and say saying 'Oh, this goes on all the time,' but that’s the point."

"They are trying to wipe away this sort of culture of corruption. It is hard to deny that there is a quid pro quo, or at least one was proposed, when the phrase 'quid pro quo' is used to describe the transaction in the documents. This is the 'camera and sausage' factor. I don’t think that we should be shocked that this happens in any bureaucracy, but once you see it in black in white, and you hear the charge that Clinton represents business as usual — and corrupt business as usual — that, I think, accentuates the charge, and makes it a very serious one."

Said Charles Krauthammer, as reported at National Review, talking about the newly released documents showing that a senior State Department Official offered what somebody else called "quid pro quo" to get the FBI to mark a document unclassified.

Is "the 'camera and sausage' factor" an expression we are supposed to recognize? No. A search for the precise term got to the emblematic nothingness of "Real Haunting Caught On Camera: The Haunted Sausage":



I have to assume that Krauthammer meant to gesture at the quote: "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." That's the original remark from 1869, and it's less of a famous quote than a famous simile, not always specific to law: Something is like watching sausage getting made. I guess Krauthammer didn't picture himself in the sausage factory, witnessing the gruesome goings-on, but watching video of the process. So a camera is in the sausage factory.

And now, I'm actually watching the video of Krauthammer speaking, which appears at the first link in this post along with the transcription, and I am cursing from down here in this rat hole. Krauthammer did not say "the 'camera and sausage' factor." National Review mistranscribed what was in fact "the camera in the sausage factory." Ah, well, my supposition was correct, and it would have been perfectly easy to understand if it had been correctly transcribed in the first place.

I know. I know you're going to say the important thing here is the State Department and the so-called quid pro quo. Althouse got off on one of her language kicks again. She's always ready to take the off-ramp to Languageville. Stay on the super-highway of current politics, Althouse.

But why? In the future, someone Googling something will find this in the archive because they're interested in the simile that's lived and prospered for a century and a half so far and that will exist, I suspect, for as long as humanity has meat scraps that need to be made into something delicious. No one will remember the outrage of the day that was October 17, 2016.

It would be more useful to amble down another street in Languageville and talk about what "quid pro quo" really means and whether the proposed trade of favors, referred to as "quid pro quo," is really the kind of quid pro quo that we talk about when we talk about political corruption.

ADDED: The 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission talks about the phrase "quid pro quo" quite restrictively:
That Latin phrase captures the notion of a direct exchange of an official act for money. See McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, 266 (1991) . “The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors.” Federal Election Comm’n v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U. S. 480, 497 (1985)...

119 comments:

TreeJoe said...

It is patently clear that Undersecretary Kennedy was in a position to offer the FBI desired benefits in exchange for treating their investigation in a certain manner and that he was comfortable enough to offer such an exchange in writing.

The fact that the State Department could even offer the FBI some sort of benefit is demonstrable proof that the FBI was compromised in performing this investigation.

Brando said...

I'm fine with the language parsing--someone has to stand up for rules around here.

Is it really that awful to watch sausage being made? We're so often told that it is that I wonder if maybe actually watching it won't be so bad.

Brando said...

I'm getting a feeling that like Watergate, Hillary's scandals will only really be uncovered after the noise of the election (and the helpful distraction caused by Trump) is over. If a key witness cracks, we may see everything unravel in the new year.

Owen said...

Professor Althouse, please keep taking the off-ramp. And program your GPS with the coordinates for Languageville.

MadisonMan said...

@Brando -- that's wishful thinking. Clinton's "Charity" has 100s of millions of dollars with which to buy silence.

Original Mike said...

"showing that a senior State Department Official offered what somebody else called "quid pro quo" to get the FBI to mark a document unclassified."

Wasn't that somebody else the person who was offered the bribe? Aren't they in a good position to characterize it?

David Begley said...

Why was the FBI prohibited from having agents in certain countries?

David Begley said...

Brando

Cheryl Mills is the key. More important than John Dean. But she won't crack. It will have to be someone else.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Wasted away again in Althouse Languageville
Taking it all with a grain of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
But I know . . .

The Cracker Emcee said...

I wonder if a web-based body of work will endure. There's nothing remarkable about a 300 year old book. Will Althouse show up in some esoteric web search in 2317 or will the medium itself be wiped out by natural disaster, authoritarian statists, progressive illiteracy, cyber war, or a flood of new technologies. Maybe you should put something on paper, Althouse.

AprilApple said...

Koch money bad

Soros money good

NPR, hard at work.

rhhardin said...

Languageville is fine. It's womenville's poltical reasoning that's the problem. Not that it can't be entertaining, but self-awareness is necessary. "Now this won't make any sense to you men, but..."

How else could women learn to fly on instruments and be adult citizens.

Terry said...

That video was the spookiest thing I've ever seen. They shouldn't allow it to be shown so close to Halloween. Jesus a fellow could have a heart attack.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wasn't that somebody else the person who was offered the bribe? Aren't they in a good position to characterize it?"

We should know, right? What is the answer? From the linked CNN article:

"An FBI records management official told the FBI in one interview that a member of the International Operations Division (IOD) told him that Kennedy had reached out to have an email unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo," according to the records management official, documents revealed Monday show. The records management official said the IOD official "pressured" him to change the email's classification."

That's hard to read. Can you answer the question? I think the answer is: no.

Also, you are saying "bribe," but is it, technically, a bribe? It seems like an exchange of official acts, with nothing going personally to someone. I think that's an important distinction, but I haven't delved into it.

"Quid pro quo" is a very important term in First Amendment analysis of campaign finance regulation. We could study Citizens United together. I haven't done that here, but I could go there.

cf said...

Wait. to be precise, it is hillary clinton's sausage-making that is at issue here.

Everyone meets behind closed doors and holds their secrets, it is their job, and all make sausage.

Not all defy the Law of the Land like Hillary's sausage-making does.

{ America needs the kind of sausage Mr. Trump is going to make. ]

Godspeed.

Terry said...

Blogger Brando said...

Is it really that awful to watch sausage being made? We're so often told that it is that I wonder if maybe actually watching it won't be so bad.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v11u2_Z8Dg

AprilApple said...

Don't worry. Once Hillary Clinton takes over, it will be a crime to give any money to the GOP.

sunsong said...

Also from Krauthammer:

..."That Trump crashed because of a sex-talk tape is odd. It should have been a surprise to no one. His views on women have been on open display for years. And he’d offered a dazzling array of other reasons for disqualification: habitual mendacity, pathological narcissism, profound ignorance and an astonishing dearth of basic human empathy.

"To which list Trump added in the second debate, and it had nothing to do with sex. It was his threat, if elected, to put Hillary Clinton in jail..."



Krauthammer: Trump's chilling ‘lock her up’ threat: It's far more worrisome than the 'locker room' talk

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe you should put something on paper, Althouse."

It doesn't work without the links.

It's 46578 posts long now. I can't even extract it out of Blogger.

I'm relying on Blogger (i.e., Google) and Archive.org.

Paper rots too. Rots. Burns. Gets wrinkled. Blows away.

Ann Althouse said...

"Will Althouse show up in some esoteric web search in 2317 or will the medium itself be wiped out by natural disaster, authoritarian statists, progressive illiteracy, cyber war, or a flood of new technologies."

All of humanity could be wiped out by a natural disaster or nuclear war.

rhhardin said...

They're actually both quids, but pro takes the ablative.

Ken B said...

Of course it's corruption. I'll abuse my discretionary power if you'll abuse yours. Are you suggesting it isn't *direct personal enrichment* do it's okay? But of course Kennedy stands to gain personally, advancing his patron, earning power and preferment, advancing a political agenda he cares about and earns prestige for advancing.

Brando said...

"@Brando -- that's wishful thinking. Clinton's "Charity" has 100s of millions of dollars with which to buy silence."

Well, that and it counts on a GOP and allies who can't seem to figure out how to nail the Clintons after 25 years of practice.

"Cheryl Mills is the key. More important than John Dean. But she won't crack. It will have to be someone else."

Maybe that Pagano guy who took the 5th. Or some mid-level drone we haven't heard about, with some grudge against the Clintons and enough info to unravel the whole mess.

There's something there, but after watching over two decades of the GOP getting outfoxed by these people, it'll only blow wide open despite their best efforts, not because of them.

Brando said...

{ America needs the kind of sausage Mr. Trump is going to make. ]

We've been discussing Trump's sausage a little too much lately; it's part of the reason he's down in the polls.

C Stanley said...


Is it really that awful to watch sausage being made? We're so often told that it is that I wonder if maybe actually watching it won't be so bad.

Ha, we sometimes make kielbasa at home. Next time we do I'm going to be thinking "This is like reading politician's emails!"

Of course it's not a fair comparison because we end up with something good at the end of the sausage making process.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm rereading the sentence:

"An FBI records management official told the FBI in one interview that a member of the International Operations Division (IOD) told him that Kennedy had reached out to have an email unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo," according to the records management official, documents revealed Monday show."

So who used the phrase "quid pro quo"? Kennedy, the IOD member, or the record management official?! It's impossible to tell!

Laslo Spatula said...

You can parse corruption until it isn't corruption anymore.

I am Laslo.

JPS said...

"It would be more useful to...talk about what 'quid pro quo' really means"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFndeRQaThc

Nicely defined at 2:35.

Michael K said...

"I wonder if maybe actually watching it won't be so bad."

I've made sausage. Sausage is a friend of mine. I made sausage when I was 10 years old.

The link took me to the NPR obsession with the Koch brothers who are stiffing Trump. One of his virtues.

Krauthammer is a GOPe/Democrat who hates Trump and the Trumpenproletariat.

AprilApple said...

The Truth about Citizens United

The collective left, from Obama on down to his peons at MSDNC, lie.

Rusty said...

"It would be more useful to amble down another street in Languageville and talk about what "quid pro quo" really means and whether the proposed trade of favors, referred to as "quid pro quo," is really the kind of quid pro quo that we talk about when we talk about political corruption. "

There are former Chicago aldermen who are doing jail time for proposing less. So. The question becomes. Who sent you? Because. We don't talk to nobody what nobody sent.

Laslo Spatula said...

Chinatown quote.

Casablanca quote.

You know the ones.

I am Laslo.

Gusty Winds said...

Human Behavior towards abusive relationships apples to the interpersonal and our relationship to those that seek to rule us. Well, at least for some...

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright, because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright, because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

Nigel Tufnel said...

Also, you are saying "bribe," but is it, technically, a bribe? It seems like an exchange of official acts, with nothing going personally to someone.

It's not that complicated.

Who personally gains by burying the email?

AprilApple said...

sunsong-

Hillary is a liar, and a criminal. Martha Stewart spent time in jail for much less.

Hillary should pay for her crimes with a stint in a prison cell.

It's called - rule of law. Without it, we are a banana republic.

Gusty Winds said...

It's impossible to tell!

Oh yeah, just impossible. Maybe this will allow me to dismiss it.

It's like trying to find a fennel seed in the bratwurst.

buwaya puti said...

How about that - I've made sausage too.
Dad had a little sausage factory for a while, making Bilbao- style and Spanish style specialties.

As for Krauthammer - he's in no way cynical enough.
The poor man is deep inside the bubble.

EDH said...

I thought the "camera and sausage factor" was about Anthony Weiner.

walter said...

"his threat, if elected, to put Hillary Clinton in jail..."

Was it Trump claiming to chase her down for revenge or alluding to an FBI etc not in her pantsuit pocket?

Kraut goes well with sausage sometimes.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

In the long history of corruption trials, has one government agency ever been convicted of attempting to bribe or extort another? I suppose Paul Ryan could impeach Patrick Kennedy, either before or after the election.

Sebastian said...

"No one will remember the outrage of the day that was October 17, 2016." Not quite. People will remember that outrage died in 2016 when the country elected the most corrupt and unethical public figure in its modern history, while sentient commentators either cheered or engaged in linguistic hair-splitting.

The real problem with the Krauthammer metaphor is that when you watch sausages being made at least it is sausages you watch being made.

cubanbob said...

Sunsong has a problem with criminals and traitors being prosecuted for their crimes and treason. What's corruption and treason when we have vaginas to angst about?

"You can parse corruption until it isn't corruption anymore."
Leave it Laslo to sum it up as short and to the point as possible.


Achilles said...

Blogger sunsong said...
Also from Krauthammer

"To which list Trump added in the second debate, and it had nothing to do with sex. It was his threat, if elected, to put Hillary Clinton in jail..."

"Krauthammer: Trump's chilling ‘lock her up’ threat: It's far more worrisome than the 'locker room' talk"

Worrisome for corrupt politicians and their minions. Would you be one of the Hillary minions that broke the law sunsong? Are you one of the subversive agents in the federal government trying to destroy the rule of law and the republic?

It would make sense. You clearly hold Clinton above the law. Maybe there is some self preservation at stake here.

CStanley said...

This is actually the same as the critique about Trump's "locker room talk" defense. if the culture is corrupt and immoral, then it not helpful to show just how much the individual is a creature of that culture.

AprilApple said...

The democrat party left want to squish and obliterate free speech. Leftists yell - "Yeah! we agree!"

Gusty Winds said...

Yes...that's it...just an exchange of official acts where no one benefits more than the other.

"Your were a-soakin' my cork....I was a-soakin' your cork...:

cubanbob said...

There are former Chicago aldermen who are doing jail time for proposing less. So. The question becomes. Who sent you? Because. We don't talk to nobody what nobody sent."

Rusty you forgot to mention that former Illinois Senators and Governors did and are doing time for less than anything Hillary and Co have done.

Dave D. said...

I love sauseeege.

Unfortunately in this case the sausage is a lot like the kind you might get from Satriale's Pork Store. Recall Christopher and Furio cutting up Richie Aprile in the back. Presumably Richie ends up in some the product sold by the store.

Original Mike said...

"So who used the phrase "quid pro quo"? Kennedy, the IOD member, or the record management official?! It's impossible to tell!"

I think there's less here than you think. The actual document is here.. It's not clear if the IOD member ot the records management official used the phrase, but even if it's the records management official he had a conversation with the IOD official so I'm comfortable assuming (until further evidence is available), that the word "quid pro quo" accurately characterizes what the IOD member thinks happened.

"Also, you are saying "bribe," but is it, technically, a bribe? It seems like an exchange of official acts, with nothing going personally to someone. I think that's an important distinction, but I haven't delved into it."

I'm no law professor. I will say Andrew Napolitano thinks it's illegal. I believe he said felony last night.

rhhardin said...

It falls under the principal/agent problem. The agents start doing things in their own interest even when it's against the interest of the principals.

They're not free to do that. It's corruption.

Achilles said...

April Apple said...

"Hillary is a liar, and a criminal. Martha Stewart spent time in jail for much less."

There are dozens of service members in jail now for exactly what she did. Some have even tried the "Clinton Defense."

It only works for wealthy powerful democrats.

It will not end with her election IF she wins. I don't think she will but women are testing my faith in humanity at this point.

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

"An FBI records management official told the FBI in one interview that a member of the International Operations Division (IOD) told him that Kennedy had reached out to have an email unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo," according to the records management official, documents revealed Monday show."

So who used the phrase "quid pro quo"? Kennedy, the IOD member, or the record management official?! It's impossible to tell!


This seems like one of those sentences that has three or four authors, and that probably used to be at least two sentences until some lawyer decided to edit it for brevity.

buwaya puti said...

As for this all getting opened up and released once Clinton is elected - my money is on hell no.

The system is too corrupt to do it and there wont be any point in it for any of the significant players. This isn't 1974.

Far too many of the second tier of politicos and made men are vulnerable. They are compromised. A deep dive into this stuff will spawn who knows how many more investigations. And then there are the untouchables, the career personnel also mixed up in this, because, of course, everybody knew.

In 1974 it was just a few of Nixons staff and a couple of others who went down concerning a single incident. This case is about SOP procedures at the highest level of government for four years at least, opening a tangled web of probably worse stuff.

traditionalguy said...

Do you remember Blagoavik's offer to trade the appointment as Illinois Senator after Obama was elected. It was offered to the highest bidder. But sweet Hillary expects to be immune from any attacks for doing thousands of such trades. I wonder why.

Nonapod said...

The reactions in the media are always somewhat mystifying to me every time something new in unearthed about the Clinton's corruption. There's the constant redefining, reparsing, and reframing of language and events, this endless moving of goalposts that seems to require a herculean effort on the part of the Clinton media allies. I often wonder what has earned so much unwavering loyalty. My only answer is the tired old answer, Progressivism is essentially a religion. The faithful trust that they are doing gods good work work to fight the evil of the enemy (the Right).

Bad Lieutenant said...

the important thing here is the State Department and the so-called quid pro quom

Nothing soi-disant about it. Shall I parse it for you, Ann?

sy1492 said...

I just glad Ann is off the pussy grabbing ramp ...at least for a bit.

Achilles said...

Blogger Dave D. said...
"I love sauseeege."

This gave me an interesting idea.

Tar and feathers. Burning Stake. Firing Squad. Gibbet. Guillotine. Sausage Grinder?

It might be too slow.

Mac McConnell said...

U.S. State Department's Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy owes his position to the Clintons. It was his job and responsibility to STOP Hillary Clinton from using her private server, he knew about the server and failed in his responsibility for obvious political reasons. He was instrumental in Hillary's Benghazi lies, he ignored subpoenas and FOIA request. He suddenly is concerned about reclassification of state secrets in Hillary's emails when an server investigation is unavoidable. Obama and Clinton corrupts every institution they come in contact with.

Hillary is like Al Capone, he never imported or sold illegal alcohol, never ordered anyone killed or was the head of a Chicago crime organization, etc. We know this to be a fact because he was only convicted of tax evasion.

Ken B said...

Here's the passage

>> Kennedy had reached out to have an email unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo," <<

I think the normal reading is Kennedy offered the quid.

Susan said...

It wasn't a quid pro quo\quid pro quo, more of a professional courtesy, really.

Yeah, that's it!

And who expects professional courtesy from the vulgarian Trump administration?

Writ Small said...

This is pretty small-ball corruption for Hillary. I'll support some departmental changes if you retroactively change the classification of some documents I mishandled. Compared to the money she received from Russian interests in exchange greenlighting Russian ownership of US uranium mines, this is a real nothing. It's a bit like Trump's barging into beauty pageant dressing rooms in comparison to his non-payment of contractors and bribing government officials.

It makes me wonder if Comey, who I presume authorized the leak, is trying to make up for not indicting Hillary. His press conference didn't do the trick, and maybe he thinks this will. He should have just indicted.

Original Mike said...

I'd love to know the contents of the email at the center of this. I guess it's classified, so we don't get to see it. I've seen it reported that the topic was Benghazi.

Mac McConnell said...

The FBI doesn't indict anyone, DOJ does. Comey made the no indictment announcement instead of DOJ so morons wouldn't think the fix was in from the beginning, even FBI agents thought they were actually investigating something, fools.

damikesc said...

I'm getting a feeling that like Watergate, Hillary's scandals will only really be uncovered after the noise of the election (and the helpful distraction caused by Trump) is over. If a key witness cracks, we may see everything unravel in the new year.

Brando, can you think of a single time where a witness of Democratic wrongdoing "cracks"?

Me neither.

Also, you are saying "bribe," but is it, technically, a bribe? It seems like an exchange of official acts, with nothing going personally to someone. I think that's an important distinction, but I haven't delved into it.

But one of the benefits does go to somebody directly: Hillary. It would impact HER "investigation" from out pointless and lawless FBI. Wouldn't basically neutering an ALREADY-dog-and-pony show investigation be considered a good going personally to an individual?

"To which list Trump added in the second debate, and it had nothing to do with sex. It was his threat, if elected, to put Hillary Clinton in jail..."

Can't make government officials abide by the law. NOT IN THIS COUNTRY!!


Well, that and it counts on a GOP and allies who can't seem to figure out how to nail the Clintons after 25 years of practice.


Because the media's required standard of proof for the Clintons would be impossible in scripted crime dramas. Democrats all get an absurdly high standard (if Larry Craig was a Republican, his "wide stance" would've been a non-issue), but the Clintons get a comically high one.

Maybe that Pagano guy who took the 5th. Or some mid-level drone we haven't heard about, with some grudge against the Clintons and enough info to unravel the whole mess.

How would you turn him? The FBI gave him immunity. Hillary pays him well. There is no leverage there and he clearly has no moral compass to give him issues.



PB said...

You don't have to use the words "quid pro quo" to make it one.

mockturtle said...

I know. I know you're going to say the important thing here is the State Department and the so-called quid pro quo. Althouse got off on one of her language kicks again. She's always ready to take the off-ramp to Languageville. Stay on the super-highway of current politics, Althouse.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I was.

The Drill SGT said...

what TreeJoe said...

These aren't patrons in a barbershop throwing 'quid pro quo' around. These are trained LEO's, likely lawyers or CPA's, who know exactly what the phrase means, because it is the basis for most public corruption charges. If an agent used 'quid pro quo' it happened.

Original Mike said...

Here's another thing. Read the following paragraphs in the FBI report. According to Napolitano, while it is common for agencies to negogiate reducing classification status for the purpose of allowing people to read material they don't have high enough clearance for, that's not what's going on here. The purpose of Kennedy's lobbying is to protect Clinton, pure and simple. Remeber that when you hear that agencies negogiate classification status "all the time".

Michael K said...

If Hillary is elected, this stuff will never see the light of day. All records will be destroyed and there will be no evidence.

Maybe you should all read "1984" again to see how it is done.

traditionalguy said...

We all need to remember now that Trump is the ONLY one who is not corrupted by the entrenched system of bribes by Multi-million dollar donations and exclusive media monopolies.

If you like a corrupt hierarchy abusing most of the peasant people but rewarding the mega-wealthy, then you need to vote in the Queen of The Corruption herself.

But if you want to make America honest again, then that asshole Trump is your only option.

Michael K said...

Or, you could ask the Europeans what they think.

Interesting video.

Brando said...

"The system is too corrupt to do it and there wont be any point in it for any of the significant players. This isn't 1974."

Well, it didn't help matters that Nixon taped the conversations for some reason. Without that, he could have kept half the country believing John Dean was just trying to nail the president to cut some deal with him.

"Brando, can you think of a single time where a witness of Democratic wrongdoing "cracks"?"

Nope--they're a lot more loyal to their side than the Right.

"Because the media's required standard of proof for the Clintons would be impossible in scripted crime dramas. Democrats all get an absurdly high standard (if Larry Craig was a Republican, his "wide stance" would've been a non-issue), but the Clintons get a comically high one."

Media does what it does (the pro-Clinton portion at least) but I'm not letting the GOP or their media allies off the hook. They've managed to bungle every time they went after them. They'd do more damage to the Clintons if they tried to protect them.



Brando said...

"We all need to remember now that Trump is the ONLY one who is not corrupted by the entrenched system of bribes by Multi-million dollar donations and exclusive media monopolies."

That's hilarious. I'm old enough to remember the same crap being said about Obama, but not old enough to remember people saying it about Carter. The bright side for you if Trump loses is that you can go on believing that.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It would be more useful to amble down another street in Languageville and talk about what "quid pro quo" really means and whether the proposed trade of favors, referred to as "quid pro quo," is really the kind of quid pro quo that we talk about when we talk about political corruption.

Yeah, just a couple of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats conspiring together and unashamedly discussing breaking rules & laws to help themselves & advance the political career of a favored politician. No big deal! Hey, just think--they probably both got paid from tax money for the time they spent emailing back and forth.
But yeah, this isn't what people mean by "corruption" so why even bother talking about it?

This, by the way, is why it's so laughable when the Media & nice people like Professor Althouse dismiss evidence against the Left with phrases like "there's no smoking gun." What they mean by that usually is not an email saying "I will do this illegal thing for you in exchange for money or favors from you." That's a ridiculous standard, but for some reason non-silly people seem to use it. It's doubly ridiculous, though, since even in cases like this where people breaking the rules RECORD THEMSELVES ADMITTING THEY ARE IN THE ACT OF BREAKING THE RULES it's still dismissed--"no big deal" or "not precisely what we mean by quid pro quo w/r/t politicians." Like...what would it take, guys?

Gusty Winds said...

The liberals and the Democrats have been setting this up for years through their purposeful monopoly on the education of our children and the erosion of free thinking on college campuses.

Only some brain-dead historically ignorant sheep would be unable to recognize the severity of the corruption being exposed in the election cycle. How can you be a campus Bernie supporter, have the evidence put right in your face that your candidate was cheated, and then think Hillary is somehow your best alternative.

Only if your teachers or professors are pushing you in that direction.

Wonder how many students on campus today could summarize the premise to Animal Farm. I'll bet 1%, and they're all college Republicans. It's not so much that people have been taught to ignore corruptions danger, they have been washed to the point they can't even, or won't even recognize it. The scrubbing is part of the diploma.

CStanley said...

To Hoodlum Doodlum's point- if caught on tape or in these documents admitting things, the new spin seems to be "if he really were knowingly breaking the law he wouldn't admit to it- so he was obviously joking."

Despite the fact that this makes no sense since the whole premise (that no one would be so dumb as to make admissions) relies on the idea that the person knew that their statements would be made public.

traditionalguy said...

If you still see Hillary's corruption as equal to Trump's corruption, then she deserves to win.

Michael K said...

Well, it didn't help matters that Nixon taped the conversations for some reason. Without that, he could have kept half the country believing John Dean was just trying to nail the president to cut some deal with him.

Presidents since Roosevelt had been doing this. Have you read any of the transcripts of Johnson's taping ? Nixon wanted to write a history of his administration, which was the usual reason.

John Dean might well have been the one behind the DNC burglary as his wife Maureen had been an "escort" in DC before marrying him. He thought they might be planning some disclosure about her.

The "18 minutes" deletion was a blip compared to Hillary's e-mail server.

Brando said...

"If you still see Hillary's corruption as equal to Trump's corruption, then she deserves to win."

It's not a matter of equal, but to paint Trump like some crusader for good government is a bit much. The best argument for Trump is he might not do as badly as Hillary, not that he's clean.

"Presidents since Roosevelt had been doing this. Have you read any of the transcripts of Johnson's taping ? Nixon wanted to write a history of his administration, which was the usual reason."

Oh, I know they have--and LBJ did a lot shadier wiretaps. But Nixon had it set up to automatically record everything in his meetings--so it caught a lot more than he'd want released. The issue was he either didn't think what he was saying at the time was so bad, or he assumed it would not be released until a long time later. It was his fatal mistake, though. Without the tapes, his defenders might have had a chance.

"John Dean might well have been the one behind the DNC burglary as his wife Maureen had been an "escort" in DC before marrying him. He thought they might be planning some disclosure about her."

Dean was no angel in any of that. Nixon's entire team lacked loyalty.

"The "18 minutes" deletion was a blip compared to Hillary's e-mail server."

I'm sure there's a lot Hillary did with that foundation that we'll never learn about. It's lucky we know as much as we do so far.

damikesc said...

Wonder how many students on campus today could summarize the premise to Animal Farm. I'll bet 1%, and they're all college Republicans. It's not so much that people have been taught to ignore corruptions danger, they have been washed to the point they can't even, or won't even recognize it. The scrubbing is part of the diploma.

According to a survey, 1/3 of college kids think more people died under Bush than under Stalin.

Shut the universities down. Kill public education. It is only providing us with highly credentialed morons, instead of less-credentialed moron. I'd rather deal with a person who knows they're ignorant than somebody who truly believes they are not.

The "18 minutes" deletion was a blip compared to Hillary's e-mail server.

No joke. And to the press, that gap was the smoking gun. Didn't matter if they had no idea what was in that gap...the attempt to hide it was damning.

But for Hillary...not so much.

As I said, if I was writing such bullshit as CSI, I couldn't write an episode where a Clinton could be convicted without coming across as laughably silly.

Fritz said...

After soothing a deer wit a "high powered" rifle and butchering it on the kitchen table, sausage making doesn't seem so bad.

damikesc said...

I'm sure there's a lot Hillary did with that foundation that we'll never learn about. It's lucky we know as much as we do so far.

And the press and Democrats (I repeat myself) are more mortified at the people releasing the info than the crime.

I've always said, when the scandal involves Republicans, the info is the story. When it involves Democrats, how it got leaked is always the story.

Why isn't the press obsessing over who provided Trump's tax returns?

narciso said...

yes, nixon thought there would be self serving aides like dean who would spin the tale, dodgy campaign financing, political surveilance, that was baked in the cake, going back to kennedy if not earlier,

narciso said...

one, the press is not that smart, and two, the point is to get it out there, hook or by crook,

Ann Althouse said...

From McCUTCHEON et al. v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION (2014):

"That Latin phrase [quid pro quo] captures the notion of a direct exchange of an official act for money. See McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, 266 (1991) . “The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors.” Federal Election Comm’n v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U. S. 480, 497 (1985)...

rhhardin said...

Financial quid pro quo is financial.

Susan said...

If I have this straight, Trump shooting the bull with some guy in a private conversation says something weird that is absolutely evidence of criminal assault but an official FBI report doesn't mean what it clearly says because, you know how the FBI is, always blowing smoke.

Michael K said...

“The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors.”

Does anyone think Hillary or her minions do anything that cannot be turned into money ?

Michael K said...

The issue was he either didn't think what he was saying at the time was so bad, or he assumed it would not be released until a long time later. It was his fatal mistake, though. Without the tapes, his defenders might have had a chance.


Agreed. I think he planned to edit them to get the policy issues and delete the casual conversation. Nixon had no small talk. I never met him but I know people who did from his San Clemente period.

Had he been as evil as the left has portrayed him, the tapes would have been destroyed once he saw the trouble coming.

to paint Trump like some crusader for good government is a bit much.

I know some do but I have never done so and was rather negative until recently.

In the movie business, there’s something called the “cheer moment,” when the long-suffering hero finally decks his tormentor with a satisfying right cross. What the Beltway Republicans fail to understand is that their conservative base — which gave them stunning congressional victories in 2010 and 2014 and has nothing to show for it — has been longing for precisely that moment since Reagan crushed Mondale 49-1 in 1984.

That is a factor. Also:

Trump certainly is making the right enemies and that is a good sign. I’ll wait and see what happens.

I now think he is the only chance to save the country but I expect nothing from him except the defeat of Hillary and that looks to be fading.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Citing McCutcheon is like Bill Clinton saying he never had sexual relations with that woman. Both legalistically true - and both risible, of course - but still both legalistically true.

Rusty said...

Brando said...
"If you still see Hillary's corruption as equal to Trump's corruption, then she deserves to win."

"It's not a matter of equal, but to paint Trump like some crusader for good government is a bit much. The best argument for Trump is he might not do as badly as Hillary, not that he's clean."

Of course not. It is a matter of Trump not being a part of the entrenched corruption.

Brando said...

"Agreed. I think he planned to edit them to get the policy issues and delete the casual conversation. Nixon had no small talk. I never met him but I know people who did from his San Clemente period.

Had he been as evil as the left has portrayed him, the tapes would have been destroyed once he saw the trouble coming."

I think for his critics, they could never understand why he didn't burn them (which was Pat Buchanan's suggestion from the outset) because they couldn't consider that he didn't really think he did anything wrong. He saw a lot of the "cover up" talk as him and his advisers considering options before ultimately deciding not to thwart the FBI investigation or pay off the burglers, and couldn't understand why others didn't see it that way (they still hung on the discussion of cover-up as the crime itself).

In the end, though, I think it demonstrated what a bad idea it is to record all your conversations, as it can take things out of context and make you look bad for non-legal reasons as well.

Original Mike said...

I doubt the FBI agent has read, or cares about, McCutcheon et al. vs FEC. He thought he was being asked to do something in return for favors granted to the FBI. According to Napolitano, that's illegal.

Michael K said...

"it can take things out of context and make you look bad for non-legal reasons as well."

Also, Nixon had a Walter Mitty side to him. He talked tough with a few intimates who knew it was just talk. They went down with him except Dean who, in my opinion, was the traitor.

Remember the scene in "The Godfather" where Vito tells Michael who the traitor will be.

Dean is currently an author, columnist, and commentator on contemporary politics, strongly critical of Neo-Conservativism and the Republican Party, and is a registered Independent who supported the efforts to impeach President George W. Bush

Still treasonous after all these years.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"So what. It's no worse than others have done."

Heard so often from the Clintons.

To put it another way, "People worse than us exist."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just so we're clear - someone within State asked someone within the FBI to help reclassify some material the person at State wanted to prevent being released, right? And this happened DURING an ongoing FBI investigation into the SecState's mishandling of classified information, right? And this happened "under color of law," with both the person at State and the person in the FBI diong this in their official capacities (at work) while employed by the Federal government and paid by taxpaying citizens, right?

And your main takeaway, Professor, is that it's not that big of a deal and anyway this isn't what is normally meant when the phrase "quid pro quo" is used (in the context of the 1st Amend/campaign finance laws)?

Cool, cool; good to know things are going so well.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...From McCUTCHEON et al. v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION (2014):

Professor, what the fuck are you trying to prove? We all agree this isn't covered by the legally-understood meaning of the phrase "quid pro quo" with respect to elected officials trading political favors for money. Neither the guy at State nor the FBI agent are elected officials! We get it; we get what you're saying.

What phrase would you like us to use? It needs to be a phrase that covers unaccountable bureaucrats with immense power (derived from their official, taxpayer-granted positions) offering to trade favors (favors that, again, derive from their official positions) in ways that violate rules & laws for the benefit of themselves and their own agendas. "Corrupt favor-for-favor?"

What magical words do you want us to use to convince you this is kind of a big deal--that it's something you should care about? If you tell me I will happily use them.

Brando said...

"Also, Nixon had a Walter Mitty side to him. He talked tough with a few intimates who knew it was just talk. They went down with him except Dean who, in my opinion, was the traitor."

Yeah--plus, I think his political strategy of slowly dribbling out information hurt him as well. Had he assumed the tapes would have to be released (and it is odd that the Court so completely shot down his argument of executive privilege), he might have gone with an early dump, with a coordinated media strategy while he still had a lot of defenders in the country. It wasn't a well-handled crisis.

rehajm said...

In the future, someone Googling something will find this in the archive...

Don't bet money on this.

Brando said...

Also, I think if the country wasn't in a recession with creeping inflation in 1973-74, Nixon would have had a chance to beat the rap. His general unpopularity over those things made it a lot easier for Congress to turn on him.

Original Mike said...

"Just so we're clear - someone within State asked someone within the FBI to help reclassify some material the person at State wanted to prevent being released, right?"

Actually, Kennedy appears to be trying to have something unclassified. Meaning, I guess, that it would be available for release.

damikesc said...

I think for his critics, they could never understand why he didn't burn them (which was Pat Buchanan's suggestion from the outset) because they couldn't consider that he didn't really think he did anything wrong. He saw a lot of the "cover up" talk as him and his advisers considering options before ultimately deciding not to thwart the FBI investigation or pay off the burglers, and couldn't understand why others didn't see it that way (they still hung on the discussion of cover-up as the crime itself).

Don't fully agree. I think, unlike the Clintons, Nixon had SHAME. I think he felt bad that he became what he became.

The Clintons REVEL in it. They think the voters are morons. And they are correct.

Dean is currently an author, columnist, and commentator on contemporary politics, strongly critical of Neo-Conservativism and the Republican Party, and is a registered Independent who supported the efforts to impeach President George W. Bush

Critical of neo-conservatives. Loves him some Hillary Clinton. At least he's consistent *snicker*

Yeah--plus, I think his political strategy of slowly dribbling out information hurt him as well. Had he assumed the tapes would have to be released (and it is odd that the Court so completely shot down his argument of executive privilege), he might have gone with an early dump, with a coordinated media strategy while he still had a lot of defenders in the country. It wasn't a well-handled crisis.

The press did hate him. Would Hillary be out of jail if the press disliked her at all?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando said..Yeah--plus, I think his political strategy of slowly dribbling out information hurt him as well. Had he assumed the tapes would have to be released (and it is odd that the Court so completely shot down his argument of executive privilege), he might have gone with an early dump, with a coordinated media strategy while he still had a lot of defenders in the country. It wasn't a well-handled crisis.

From my memory of "All the President's Men" and "Breach of Faith" (whatever that's worth) I think the Nixon team probably didn't anticipate the leaks & immediate dissemination of investigative info--they likely thought they could keep a lot more information under wraps for a lot longer and both limit the damage & spin the stuff that did eventually come out. Bernstein was by no means sympathetic but I remember his record on the grand jury leaks & authorized released of sensitive information (while investigations were still ongoing) making me feel like Nixon was guilty as hell and still got a raw deal. Instead of the public only finding out juicy tidbits years after the fact (and after endless rounds of FOIA requests, lawsuits, etc) grand jury testimony was leaked & spread within hours in some cases. It's worth remembering that members of his own party took more-or-less principled stands against him, too, and those severely limited his ability to maneuver (both in terms of official actions & politically/in terms of public opinion).

Something like that, today, is harder to imagine. It's damn near impossible to imagine for a Democrat, and even for a Republican I'd bet most of the party members would stick together. It goes without saying that the Media would bury any stories like Watergate if those stories might harm the Left--hell, you don't really have to imagine that!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Original Mike said...
"Just so we're clear - someone within State asked someone within the FBI to help reclassify some material the person at State wanted to prevent being released, right?"

Actually, Kennedy appears to be trying to have something unclassified. Meaning, I guess, that it would be available for release.


You're 100% correct, Original Mike--thank you for the correction. The UnderSecState's aim was to minimize the # of emails that would be reported as having been both Classified & mishandled by SecState Clinton. He was trying to get the FBI official to change their consideration of that document from Classified to unclassified.

Thanks for pointing out my error as to the State official's aim. I do not think it alters in any way the nature of the interaction but accuracy is important.


CNN: State Dept Official Sought Declassification of Clinton Email"

That records management official concluded State had an "agenda" related to "minimizing" the classification issues with Clinton's emails.

wildswan said...

In the James O'Keefe Videos the corrupt guy explains that he works backward from how the law is presently interpreted to how to protect himself. He says that it is easy to prove conspiracy if you hire a bus, hard to do it if people use rented cars. So he recommends renting cars.
So here. A financial quid pro quo is what investigators currently look for and for this reason experienced corruptors like the Clinton-enablers offer something other than money. This FBI records guy was bound by law to act in a certain way and he repeatedly told Patrick Kennedy and others that he would act as the law required. They tried to get him to change by offering the FBI something it wanted thus leading to pressure from FBI superiors. Do it or you won't get promoted. But this pressure didn't work or else the superiors didn't really try. This doesn't show up. This chain of events is quite clear and quite corrupt (except for the FBI records guy) but if Hillary said "corruption means a financial quid pro quo" then would she be convicted under present practice? Do we need a new laws to catch Clinton type corruption?
In the old days they put an envelope filled with cash in Spiro Agnews desk drawer. Now they donate to the Clinton foundation "private space" and they understand that they have to have a justification ready for their project because Hillary claims to make evidence-based decisions in the "public space" of State. The project and justification is sent to State stamped FOB and she gives it the OK. But in any one case it would be hard to show that she did so because of the donation and the FOB mark. It is that fact that 50% of the Haiti projects were FOB that is persuasive in that case. But do our laws at present say that this kind of scam is corruption? You have several links in the chain to prove and that's hard - yet the overall result shows the poorest country in this hemisphere being screwed by the richest and most powerful people in AmeriCCa in a quid pro quo scheme. (Large CC for Clinton Corrupted). How is that right or legal?

That isn't Tammany Hall either. Tammany Hall was about the Irish getting on the gravy train which the Yankees were keeping for themselves. If Hillary's scheme was Tammany Hall, it would be about some Haitians getting some of the money the FOB's were keeping for themselves.

Brando said...

"The press did hate him. Would Hillary be out of jail if the press disliked her at all?"

The press always hated him--he still could be quite skillful in dealing with them. Not just in his elections, but in managing his own popularity (e.g., in September '69 after major antiwar demonstrations, his "silent majority" address--detested by the media--gets his approval rating up into the 60s).

"Something like that, today, is harder to imagine. It's damn near impossible to imagine for a Democrat, and even for a Republican I'd bet most of the party members would stick together. It goes without saying that the Media would bury any stories like Watergate if those stories might harm the Left--hell, you don't really have to imagine that"

Reading about it I was surprised how much leaking was going on in the Nixon White House, and how easily so many turned on him throughout the mess.

These days, presidents are a lot better at hiding paper trails as well--no taping systems catching everything, and using underlings to do the dirty work with plausible deniability. And so long as public opinion is evenly split, the parties will circle the wagons.

Original Mike said...

It's puzzling, because given the number of emails containing classified material, what's one more? Was this early on in the saga where Team Clinton didn't know the extent of the damage?

I have, all along, believed Clinton didn't know what she was doing, vis-a-vis classified material. This doesn't exonerate her, because it points to a combination of stupidity and/or arrogance.

tim in vermont said...

She didn't have the judgement to figure out what should have been classified, but she kept her thoughts on pussy grabbing private, so there is that.

Sebastian said...

""That Latin phrase [quid pro quo] captures the notion of a direct exchange of an official act for money. See McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, 266 (1991) . “The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors." Of course, SCOTUS can make anything mean anything, but quid pro quo does not mean only, just, exclusively the direct exchange of an official act for money. Quid need not be quid. If I promise to vote for a legal provision in exchange for a job for my wife, or your promise that you will prevent an opponent from challenging me, that's equally corrupt. Here we are dealing with an attempt at corrupt dealings within the government. The Clinton aura truly corrupts everything it touches.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Press Release: Chaffetz, Nunes Statement on FBI Files release


Career State Department personnel who typically handle FOIA requests told the FBI the process for reviewing and releasing Secretary Clinton’s emails was highly unusual, coordinated through the Office of Legislative Affairs rather than the normal FOIA office, and that decisions were made far differently for these emails than for any other FOIA request.

These career public servants, which normally process FOIA requests, considered it odd that a separate system was set up to review the Clinton emails, including bringing on Austin Evers and former IRS employee Kate Duval, both of whom had formerly worked at Williams & Connolly – the very same law firm representing Secretary Clinton


Secretary Clinton has said her federal records were preserved throughout her tenure through the Department employees who received emails from her. Accordingly, the State Department sent a Department-wide request to produce to the FOIA office any emails with Secretary Clinton. Yet when Secretary Clinton’s lawyers produced a limited batch of emails, some of them involved employees who claimed they had no emails with Secretary Clinton. The FOIA office considered itself unable to compel the employees, and State failed to take any further action to discover if the employees had additional emails that had not yet been produced.


But hey, it's not a "quid pro quo" so I don't see what the big deal is. Sure, I pay the salary of these corrupt bureaucrats--Democrats all--and they use illegal and unethical means & the power of their positions to hide unpleasant facts about Democrat politicians, subvert investigations, and thwart efforts at public transparency, but it's not a "quid pro quo" and there's no "smoking gun" so why even talk about it?

Gee isn't President Obama a lovely guy? I already miss him & his Administration, don't you?

Michael K said...

I think the Nixon team probably didn't anticipate the leaks & immediate dissemination of investigative info--they likely thought they could keep a lot more information under wraps for a lot longer and both limit the damage & spin the stuff that did eventually come out.

You have to keep in mind that this was an operation run by Mark Felt, the #2 FBI guy.

The FBI had been spying on the White House for years. Nixon was like a bug on a pin. Woodward and Bernstein were stenographers.

This was an FBI coup. and even the NY Times admitted it. Much later, of course.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Giving special treatment to special people...isn't that corruption?

Giving special consideration to Clinton Foundation donors ("Friends of Bill") in State Department business...isn't that corruption?

Eh, no "quid pro quo" so no problem, I guess. (I mean, getting fast-track consideration in exchange for making large donations to the Clinton Foundation sure seems like a quid pro quo to me, but I never went to law school so I'm too stupid to recognize that this isn't actually a problem.)

Sorry I'm so stupid, Professor--thanks for trying your best to help me understand.

William Chadwick said...

To those of us who value liberty (yes, there are a few of us left), the lewdest thing Trump uttered to Billy Bush isn't half as obscene as Hillary's "We're going to take things away from you for your own good" and/or "We've got to start thinking more about the common good and less about individual freedom." Crude "locker room" speech neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg (to use the Jeffersonian phrase). Statism kills.

William Chadwick said...

Forgot to add that the main "corruption" I'm interested in is that which makes modern elections "an auction of stolen goods held before the fact" (as Mencken put it). In other words, buying votes by promising the rubes a chance to pick, by proxy, their neighbor's pockets--or, again quoting Mencken, "promising to set A loose in B's cornfield."

tim in vermont said...

Lawyers specialize in providing fig leafs for the powerful made of persiflage and judges pretend to believe it.

Did I miss the post on the leak about intimidating Roberts? Seems like a fitting topic for this blog, but Althouse still has to live in Madison, I guess.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Actually, Kennedy appears to be trying to have something unclassified. Meaning, I guess, that it would be available for release.

Nope! Kennedy wanted to bury it in the archives "never to be seen again.":

Kennedy, in return, wanted a classification change to "B9," a Freedom of Information act redaction that he hoped would allow him to "archive the document in the basement of [the State Department] never to be seen again."

Michael The Magnificent said...

The House Benghazi Committee issued a subpoena in March for Hillary's Benghazi emails.

But in May or June Kennedy is pressing for the reclassification of one of Hillary's Benghazi emails, so he can archive the document, never to be seen again.

So, counselor, what should happen to Kennedy, now that we know he was trying to hide subpoenaed material from congress?

Brando said...

"You have to keep in mind that this was an operation run by Mark Felt, the #2 FBI guy."

When Felt came out it took some of the shine off the rose--not some civic-minded whistleblower but a disgruntled FBI hack who was sore about not getting his promotion.