April 26, 2015

Peter Schweitzer — answering the questions about the lack of direct evidence (or a "smoking gun") — makes an analogy to the way insider trading cases are proved.

On Fox News Sunday:
I did not have access to internal memos, but... you see this pattern of benefit.... The analogy I would use [is] like insider trading. I wrote a book a couple years ago on members of Congress who were potentially engaged in insider trading.  When you talk to prosecutors, they will tell you, most people that engaged in insider trader don't send an e-mail that says, I've got inside information by this stock. The way that give prosecutors, by looking at the pattern behavior, did somebody who has access to the information conduct a series of well-timed stock trades that warrants further investigation? And that's my contention here, that you see a series of actions that enormously beneficial. In some cases, Hillary Clinton is reversing course on policies that she embraced before for the benefit of Clinton donors and I'm saying, this warrants investigation.... [I]f you look at the case of Governor... McDonnell... in Virginia. You look at Senator Menendez in New Jersey, there's no quid pro quo in those cases. They were simply prosecuted, and I think justifiably so, on the grounds that there was this pattern of gift giving...
On "This Week" (with George Stephanopoulos):
STEPHANOPOULOS: We've done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action. And an independent government ethics expert, Bill Allison, of the Sunline Foundation (ph), wrote this. He said, "There's no smoking gun, no evidence that she changed the policy based on donations to the foundation." No smoking gun. Is there a smoking gun?

SCHWEIZER: Yes. The smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior. And here's the analogy I would give you. It's a little bit like insider trading. I wrote a book on Congressional insider trading a couple of years ago and talked with prosecutors. Most people that engage in criminal insider trading don't send an e-mail that says I've got inside information, buy this stock. The way they look at it, they look at a pattern of stock trades. If the person has access to that information and they do a series of well-timed trades, that warrants investigation. I think the same thing applies here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That -- that is an issue for them, but it's not a criminal -- it's nothing that would warrant a criminal investigation.
There was a weird, terrified jitter in Stephanopoulos's voice right then.

78 comments:

Sebastian said...

The circling of the wagons has begun.

I'm shocked, shocked that a former Clinton staffer has a talk show on a major network to defend his bosses.

But the question for Dems is: are they sure they can contain this?

Maybe the jittery voice is a tell.

MAJMike said...

These grifters will never go away. They plunder without guilt and know they'll get away with it because they're beloved of the DemCong.

Achilles said...

The problem isn't that "they" would lose Hillary as a useful tool or even this election. What worries them is that this is too blatant and too obvious and we will tar and feather the whole bunch of them. They don't want their serfs getting all uppity.

YoungHegelian said...

A Clintonista like Stephanopoulos doing the interview? No, that's not a conflict of interest. Why do you ask?

These press people are simply shameless. He should have "recused" himself from this interview for obvious reasons.

These are the same people who crucified Judith Miller for being the Bush administration's pocket with an awful lot less evidence of collusion.

Hagar said...

PBS's "Frontline": "Once Upon a Time in Arkansas."

Rinse and repeat.

YoungHegelian said...

....it's nothing that would warrant a criminal investigation.

Well, maybe, George. Maybe not.

But, it sure as hell indicates, by anyone's rational if not quite up to legal standard, that HRC has no business being the Democratic Party's candidate for President in 2016. Or ever.

rhhardin said...

She's a democrat.

Conflict with a law is jsut the same as lying for the cause, and perfectly justified as always.

Look at any lefty commenter.

SteveR said...

Like I said on an earlier thread--you aren't going to find an email. The defenders will say "there is no evidence". Of course not. It may not be a criminal charge you can prove in CSI fashion, but she's not going to court.

Corrupt

Skeptical Voter said...

As a political prostitute--and lifetime defender of the Clintons and their machine--Lanny Davis is pretty good. He can spew the most outrageous stuff and smile while he is doing it.

"Smoking gun" is useful if you're trying to prove a bribe.

But pattern of conduct and appearance is the more appropriate standard for conflict of interest violations.

But as always the loyal remoras like Davis and Stephanopoulus, who owe their continued existence and relevance (or at least their start in political life) to the Clinton sharks will always hang on and suck up.

chickelit said...

I agree with all the comments saying that Stephanopoulus has a conflict of interest here and should recuse himself. Perhaps he hopes that people will forget where he cut his teeth.

chickelit said...

It's certainly not up to Clinton shill like Stephanopoulus to decide whether something is worth investigating.

Again, why these errors and lapses in judgement?

Hagar said...

The panel discussion follwing on ABC"

Chuck said...

The howler of the day:

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- you used to work for President -- President Bush as a speechwriter. You're funded by the Koch brothers.

How do you respond to that?



Pretty much the same way you'd respond, George, if you were asked about having worked for the Clintons and your now living as a Manhattan liberal drawing a paycheck from ABC/Disney.

Mark said...

This whole "I ripped off the people who were bribing me and so I'm not guilty of anything" defense only works with the establishment boobs who always manage to take the simplest things and turn them in to one big CF.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Chuck:

I was watching too when he said that and I was hoping Schweitzer would have responded "jeez George that sure sounds like a description of you if you changed Bush to Clinton".

Carol said...

Schweitzer has been around for years, pumping out largely ignored Regnery books...nice to see him getting some play for a change.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm looking forward to the SWAT teams serving Search warrants on the foundation, the donors and the Clintons. I hope Chelsea's baby doesn't get her face burned off by a flash bang grenade.

Wait, what? You say she's a rich white Democrat and she has no reason to fear any of that?

caseym54 said...

The jittery voice is from a guy thinking "Who the Hell do we run, then?"

great Unknown said...

The destruction of the e-mails would mean automatic prosecution for anyone but a ranking Democrat. In and of itself, that would be sufficient to bring down any stock firm.

Also note that the wiping of the discs [sounds like some kind of springtime ritual] took place after the Gowdy committee had asked for them - which means destruction of evidence known to be significant in an investigation.

So yes, there is admitted criminal activity here.

Jay Vogt said...

Haven't read Mr. Schweitzer's book, but from what little I know, the Clinton Foundation's activities seem more analogous to an SEC conflict of interest violation rather than insider trading.

For the SEC the "appearance" of a COI is the violation. No quid pro quo required. The mere fact that it looks bad means that it is bad provided it is not actively disclosed.

BlackRock just paid $12MM because they failed to disclose what looked like a COI.

robother said...

I am amazed at how clueless the Clinton media acolytes are about basic legal tools available to prosecutors and plaintiffs pursuing white collar malfeasance.
Do they really imagine a corporate CEO could simply destroy all emails he deems "personal" just ahead of a civil or criminal anti-trust case, without consequence?
Do they think that the only way to make a bribery/corruption case against a public official is to get a "smoking gun" admission on tape or in writing?
If this is Lanny Davis' advice to the Clintons, he could end up in jail with them.

Bob R said...

Bob McDonald has to be sitting in jail thinking that he joined the wrong party. In fact, his problem is that he went too small scale. Tens of thousands vs. tens of millions. Clinton has no shame and the people who will vote for her have no souls.

rcocean said...

What is the point of pretending that George STEPHANOPOULOS is some sort of objective journalist when it comes to the Clinton's?

He used to be their press secretary for goodness sakes! Imagine Bill Moyers posing as a "journalist" and asking LBJ questions. Or Ron Ziegler asking Woodward questions about Watergate on Meet the Press.

madAsHell said...

Am I the only one thinking that there is a huge corruption scandal brewing with Hillary and Bill at the center?

This will be slowed rolled. The shit won't hit the fan until after January, 2017.

pm317 said...

They gave him big speaking moneys because he is one of the smartest. They gave his charity money. That book author was particularly bad. He talks about a pattern. But the pattern is just Clinton's life -- he is one smart guy who was the two term president of the free world and runs a pretty successful charitable foundation and people do pay big bucks for what he has to say.

SJ said...

@Hagar,

the transcript there is a combination of funny and sobering.

Funny, in that Newt Gingrich got a chance to dig his claws into somebody who is ignoring (or does not understand) relevant law.

Sobering, in that Mrs. Clinton should have been under the eye of a Federal Investigator before her first year in office was done.

khesanh0802 said...

You would think that this mess would be enough to encourage at least one other Dem to toss his/her hat in the ring. Pretty easy to argue that you are not as sleazy as the Clintons.

I don't think any of this is going to go away as some argue. You don't have to be a real techie to understand what Hillary did with her e-mails. Everyday, ordinary tech users have a basic understanding of what's public and what's private (anything?).

Talk about a pattern of behavior, Watergate files, whitewater files, Rose Law firm files, State department e-mails. I am sure there is more.

The $500,000 Russian speech hasn't really been explored yet. It's out there in the wings, waiting.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Maybe they can be charged with lying to investigators. Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart would appreciate that.

Todd Roberson said...

I think it would prove very useful to investigate and fully vet who exactly is paying $500k per speech to hear the warmed over Clinton drivel and platitudes. Who was in the audience". In what numbers? What was said?

Reason I say this is unless literally new vistas of human knowledge were opened up in these "speeches", I can't imagine anyone paying $500k to hear anything.

I realize, for instance, that Adam Sandler gets $1 million per horrible movie, but I imagine it take more than a few hours for him to make the movie. I also imagine that the producers of the movie figure there are enough idiots willing to pay $15 a head for senseless drivel to recover their investment and then some.

So, who are the "idiots" in the Clinton scenario? What's the revenue model?

Todd Roberson said...

Second comment.

There's an upside here. I notice the Clinton apologists are getting thin. We're down to the hyper nervous John Podesta and the bumbling idiot Lanny Davis. Not too terribly impressive figures.

Which means it won't be long until James Carville gets dusted off and trotted out. And there's no better entertainment than a foaming at the mouth, eyes rolled back in the head James Carville. I can hardly wait.

Paul said...

If you ever watch 'The First 48' or other such shows you will find circumstantial evidence convicts a hell of a lot of people.

I have no doubt there is enough evidence to convict Hillary. Question is, do they have the guts to indict her.

Todd Roberson said...

Third comment: them I promise I'm out.

(Finding this whole HRC thing just mesmerizing.)

One of the most fascinating types of characters to me are those folks that make their livings defending the indefensible. Think any press secretary of nearly any President. Or, more relevant to this thread, Lanny Davis.
It's just fascinating to me how guys like that can go on TV with the express purpose of obfuscating, avoiding the question, deflecting and blaming others. Maybe he thinks he can pull it off ... But he can't. He just looks stupid. Over and over and over again.

I guess he's well paid. But for christsakes that would get old.

Fabi said...

@Todd: Yes. Good, decent, normal people could no more defend this insanity than run over a bag of kittens; but, the cretins you mentioned aren't interested in humanity. At least not by nominal standards. The ends justify the means. Nothing else - nothing at all - matters. Very scary.

Etienne said...

I am not opposed to theater in politics; however, one has to realize, that wives pushing ones derriere out from ones dress, is not cause enough for any man to avail himself.

The law, and morality, is quite specific on this; in that a woman cannot be tried for sodomy. Only a man shall suffer it as a crime, as thou hast the evidence of this infamous orifice attached to ones instrument.

I believe there is theater, and there is depravity, and the later shalt apply to these people for as long as the flag is flown high above the republic.

Mark O said...

Ann, I think the timbre of Steph's voice was more of a titter.

Mark O said...

One more thing. When Bill was paid $500K for a speech, so was Hillary. She is a beneficial owner of that money and all the money in the "charity."

It is a fiction that Bill's money is separate.

CWJ said...

I suppose this is all well and good to discuss, but neither Clinton will be charged with anything, ever.

Jay Vogt said...

None of this really matters though as Ms. Clinton has probably already got a $1.5B war chest and she's a lock for about 280 electoral votes. And, her r2 is probably only about 10.

I figure she's got about one standard deviation to give.

Once written, twice... said...

Boring.

Though it is sorta fun for old times sake to watch in these back water web sights like Ann's Clinton haters working themselves in to a lather.

But really, these sort of attacks on the Clintons did not work two decades ago and there is even less chance they will work now.

People know you are just politically opposed to the Clintons and that is what is driving the "get the Clintons" machine.

Zach said...

The Clinton machine is getting old. Back in the day, they were well ahead of the game in political damage control. There was even a documentary (The War Room) about their 24 hour media response team.

But that was a long time ago -- 23 years! The young, obsessed people who would go out and argue incessantly are old and rich now -- one of them is Stephanopolous. The scandals have changed from tens of thousands of dollars to tens of millions, and the locations have changed from Arkansas (not a desirable location for ambitious reporters) to Washington (the place where every ambitious reporter wants to make his mark).

In the '90s, Jim Guy Tucker, a Clinton crony, was the governor of Arkansas. He could slow walk investigations (and did) and fall on his sword for the Clintons (and did). Obama is not a Clinton crony, and is widely suspected to be hoping for other candidates.

Last but not least, Hillary is not Bill. I don't think the band works with the new frontman.

bgates said...

unless literally new vistas of human knowledge were opened up in these "speeches", I can't imagine anyone paying $500k to hear anything.

The world has been searching for a way to monetize content for almost exactly the same time period in which the Clintons have been given over a hundred million dollars for speeches which are each given a single time in front of a room. Either they're leaving money on the table, or they're managing to dispense pearls of wisdom worth half a mil to a room but zero to anybody else - or nobody's really paying just to hear these grifters talk.

Howard said...

Hopefully Hitlery will crash and burn and Jim Webb will have a chance. I'm sure we can all agree she is a disgusting slimeball that will fuck shit up because she can't play the long game like Bent Willie.

Webb claims to be a Jacksonian Democrat. His status as a Marine Corps combat vet will likely make the repugs and chickenhawk 'baggers uncomfortable.

PackerBronco said...

Why George, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Hillary?

(with apologies to Robert Bolt)

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

I say it's no big deal. If Cock Bros. can pay Republicans off to get them to make their deals (through ALEC), then Hillary can get away with this. Just be unapologetic about it, the way Repugs are about their own payola. Say it's in the interests of a stable global order within which for America to operate. The same way Cock Bros. gets conservative parrots to say it's in capitalism's interest to have a corporatist political order with special breaks for the biggest companies.

Baronger said...

So if Hillary Clinton is elected, could she be the first President, that is impeached before she is even sworn in.

Alex said...

I say it's no big deal. If Cock Bros....

You just lost the argument by resorting to argumentum ad hominemad.

Have a nice day.

Lewis Wetzel said...

" . . . through ALEC . . ."
How DARE citizens petition the government! In R&B's world, the state will do what it chooses to do with no interference from the citizens!
It'll be a paradise.

rcommal said...

The pattern of benefit. The analogy akin to something like insider trading.

Laid bare. Wotta meta-for!

Heatshield said...

The Clinton's use a charitable trust as a front to take themselves from "flat broke" to among the top 1% of the 1%. And the useful idiot progressives fall all over themselves excusing it because they are Democrats. Pathetic.

rcommal said...

A Martha Stewart spends time in Alderson. A Hillary Clinton gets multiple bites at The Whitehouse apple. What a fascinating tale. Wherefore art thou a Shakespeare.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Sebastian:

Your foot is starting to shake, George. You better ask your next question.

Monty, once twice three shoot, et al: so it's official, you pretending to be better than your Alinskyite scapegoats/targets of projection is right off the table, eh? Racing straight to the bottom are you?

Good to know, we can be spared following you down and ideally just drop a satchel charge down the hole behind you.

Anonymous said...

George would have been salivating if this had been a Republican. He fought a tough fight, but he is a Clinton insider, so what would you expect??

Brando said...

What is the legal standard for determining whether something was a bribe? Let's look at an analogy: a citizen walks up to a police officer and gives him a lavish gift--let's say a hundred thousand dollars. Then, in the next year, the police officer sees the citizen speeding well over the speed limit, but decides not to give chase or try to arrest the citizen. Would we agree that the officer has been bribed? Granted, we don't know for sure that the officer would otherwise have pursued the citizen for speeding had there not been a gift, but do we have enough evidence of bribery because of the quid and the quo, and a presumption of the pro?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Is it true that the Clinton Crime Family Foundation uses up 85% of 'donations' for overhead and salary, etc., leaving only 15 cents of every dollar for its 'global' good works?

Brando said...

A growing number of Democrats--and I think this includes Obama and his team--must be concluding now that they are at a key crossroads. There is time, now, for Hillary to bow out and another candidate to emerge who has a decent--if not excellent--shot at holding the White House for the Democrats (due to electoral vote advantage, as well as the Democratic talking points that the economy is better now than in 2008, and the GOP tendency to self-destruct) and if they just let Hillary have the nomination they could not just lose but potentially do a Nixon to their party, as scandals and incompetence overwhelm the Democrats. There is a lot of downside to giving this to Hillary, and little upside.

The "first woman president" thing means a lot less today than it might have in 2008--to Democrats, there are many viable female candidates (most would prefer Warren) and Obama himself proved that breaking the "white, male" barrier is doable these days. Memories of the Clinton years--fond as they may have been for the economy--also remind liberals of being sold out on welfare reform, gay rights, the drug war, and pacifism. The smarter liberals also know that the economy had more to do with the peace and trade dividend and Internet boom than any Clinton magic, which can't be replicated now. So what value is there in bringing these shysters back?

It is when the Left finally abandons Hillary that this house of cards will tumble. Watch the Left during this one.

Quaestor said...

Is it true that the Clinton Crime Family Foundation uses up 85% of 'donations' for overhead and salary, etc., leaving only 15 cents of every dollar for its 'global' good works?

Yes, it's true.The Clinton Foundation is the the world's most efficient money laundry.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Bob McDonnell is in Jail and Hillary walks free.


oh wait - Bob McDonnell(R) is in jail and Hillary(D) walks free.

Hilary's crimes are 10X worse.

Will said...

Hillary got an up close and personal look at Nixon. She knew that it is essential to destroy the smoking gun evidence.

So yes, there is this pattern. And no, there will be no email because she deleted them all.

Spoliation of evidence says the "jury" (actual or in the court of public opinion) is allowed to infer that the destroyed emails were incriminating. In fact, think ho incriminating they must have been for her to take the heat of so blatantly flouting the behavior Standards she agreed to with Obama as a condition of her employment, picking through the pile to cherry-pick the good ones and just deleting the bad ones.

Those bad ones must have been really really really bad. So bad, that it would prevent her from being President or even open her to prosecution if they came to light.

So saying "there is no evidence" will not work for her. Spoliation will allow voters and authorities to assume the worst and that anything deleted was horrifyingly corrupt.

She is toast. As she should be.

We can do much much better, people.

Will said...

Let's not forget this "charity" only donates approximately 15% of the funds it raises to charity.

Mostly the CLinton Foundation exists to provide 5 star travel to Bill, Hillary and Chelsea, as well as lucrative salaries to the many Clinton apologists and political hatchet-men like Sydney Blumenthal.

This is not God's work people.

I'm Full of Soup said...

I wish I had Hillary's home address. I'd like to send her one of those orange prison jumpsuits.

grackle said...

I suppose this is all well and good to discuss, but neither Clinton will be charged with anything, ever.

Bingo! A brand new toaster for this player …

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Clinton Foundation: It's a Slush Fund.

MayBee said...

The Clintons are the anti-Adnan. The anti-Robert Durst.

Bill said...

Stephanopoulos does a decent job challenging the author's premise, except when he wrongly implies the author has to prove a crime to make his charges worth making.
On the uranium sale, many departments approved approved the transfer and the undersecretary of state says Mrs. Clinton had no involvement in the decision. That's compelling exculpatory evidence.
With those big paydays for her husband's speeches though, and the slushiness of her charity, she is not the most sympathetic of media victims.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Remember when the blue media circled the wagons on behalf of Bill when Monica-gate burst forth? Drudge broke the story because the blue media did not want any part of it. They were forced to admit the truth only after there was no way out of the box. Next time, the blue media will hunker down and just lie.

Stephanopolis exists to provide cover the dem-clinton machine.
He's just doing his job as official blue-media dirt boy.

Hints and allegations on the right trump a smoking gun on the left.

Brando said...

"Remember when the blue media circled the wagons on behalf of Bill when Monica-gate burst forth? Drudge broke the story because the blue media did not want any part of it. They were forced to admit the truth only after there was no way out of the box. Next time, the blue media will hunker down and just lie."

Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I see reason that won't happen this time around. First, back in the '90s the Clintons were the most prominent ally the Left had--they circled around them because otherwise the GOP would benefit. Here, they have Obama (who has his own reasons to dislike the Clintons) and Liz Warren, and a younger generation of Leftists who aren't enamored with a lot of the Clinton triangulation and warmongering. Second, media is different now--so much of it is democratized as in spread through social media, where it travels faster and is far less centralized. Killing a story now is much harder (and the legacy media wasn't helped by being scooped on John Edwards).

Sure, many will circle the wagons--they bought the Clinton kool-aid or made their Faustian bargain, thinking she might be the best weapon against the Right--but I think they'll have a much harder task than they did in the late '90s.

At least I hope--much as I have my differences with the Left, I'd prefer them having some self-respect and the ability to cut loose a tumor like this.

Matt Sablan said...

Lack of evidence was good enough to accuse Romney of not paying his taxes and McCain of an affair with a lobbyist.

So... yeah.

Michael The Magnificent said...

So Stephanopoulos (former Clinton press secretary) and Donna Shalala (former Clinton HHS secretary) go to bat for Hillary.

Was it mentioned that Donna Shalala is hip-deep in this, being the current CEO of the Clinton Foundation?

Leftists, why do you continue to support, vote, and elevate such dishonest, unethical, and immoral people to high office? Is the Kool-Aid really that refreshing?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Rhythm and Balls: The same way Cock Bros. gets conservative parrots to say it's in capitalism's interest to have a corporatist political order with special breaks for the biggest companies.

Except the Koch Bros are anti-corporate welfare and even turn down government programs that would benefit their bottom line on the principle of opposition to corporatism. Only the exact opposite of the Clintons in every way, including the way the Koch's manufacture goods people are willing to buy, instead of influence people are willing to sell.

Much different from running a non-charitable slush fund disguised as a do-good "foundation" isn't it, dummy?

Alex said...

R&B is the same communist scum that led to the Russian Civil Wars of the 1920s that led to millions of deaths.

He would rather tear down Koch Industries and have millions in destitution than have capitalism with inequality.

He is evil incarnate along with all of his fellow travelers.

Dan Hossley said...

Peter Schweitzer owned George S. in that interview.

Dan Hossley said...

George S. attacked Peter Schweitzer because he worked for Bush thereby implying he was a partisan hack.

Schweitzer should have pointed out the George S. worked for the Clinton's, thus making George S. a partisan hack.

Douglas B. Levene said...

If Mrs. Clinton were ever to be indicted for bribery, the jury would be instructed that they could infer guilt from her destruction of potential email evidence. She would not get a free pass on the "there's no evidence because I destroyed all the emails" line.

ken in tx said...

I didn't do it. Nobody saw me. You can't prove it. Now on stage three of the Bart Simpson defense.

Biff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Biff said...

The only good thing that would come out of an Elizabeth Warren Presidency: a Warren Department of Justice would gladly claim the Clintons' scalps as evidence of its commitment to go after the 1%.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Biff,

You just think that. I daresay the big fish would slip the net. Somehow.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I mean if you think Liz Warren is honest, maybe you should vote for her. Here, come kick this football, I'll hold it for you.