UPDATE: It looks like Hillary's foreign donations headaches are just beginning. Via the New York Times, oh my:
The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return. “We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes...“Clinton Cash” is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book…[Schweitzer] writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons.
A new thread emerged over the weekend pertaining to the controversy over the Clinton Foundation's ongoing acceptance of foreign donations throughout Hillary's time at State and during her presidential run. We already know that the organization took large sums of money from foreign governments that were lobbying the US government, and that many of those contributions were not vetted by the Obama administration. Allegations of quid pro quos have surfaced, as have accusations of hypocrisy on women's rights. And now there's this, via Newsweek:
Enemies of Hillary Clinton waiting to discredit her bid for the White House are likely to seize on news that one of the biggest benefactors to the Clinton Foundation has been trading with Iran and may be in breach of US sanctions imposed on the country. Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, 54, has courted the Clintons for at least nine years – in the United States, the Alps and Ukraine. Earlier this year, he was confirmed as the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation...Newsweek has seen declarations and documents from Ukraine that show a series of shipments from Interpipe to Iran in 2011 and 2012, including railway parts and products commonly used in the oil and gas sectors...Among a number of high-value invoices for products related to rail or oil and gas, one shipment for $1.8m (1.7m) in May 2012 was for “seamless hot-worked steel pipes for pipelines” and destined for a city near the Caspian Sea. Both the rail and oil and gas sectors are sanctioned by the US, which specifically prohibits any single invoice to the Iranian petrochemical industry worth more than $1m. However, US sanctions laws are complex and, in certain areas, ill-defined. Interpipe may qualify for penalties due to the mere presence on American soil of North American Interpipe Inc, its United States subsidiary. The US authorities can also penalise non-American companies with no base in the US at all which it judges to be working counter to its foreign policy…"
Note well how this report leads with a "Republicans pounce" narrative. Literally the very first sentence in the story speculates about how Clinton's "enemies" would "seize upon" the news that the article hadn't even reported yet:
In any case, one wonders how this revelation will impact the debate over the Clinton Foundation's questionable policies. It should certainly raise questions about Hilary's judgment and ethics. One also wonders if the Secretary of State exchanged any "personal" emails with Victor Pinchuk. We may never know, of course, given her lawyers' unsupervised deletion of tens of thousands of emails from Clinton's private, under-secured server, the very existence of which was highly improper. The server has since been wiped clean, according to Congressional investigators, whose 2012 inquiries on the matter were ignored by Clinton. Given the update above, reporters and voters must wonder how many relevant emails pertaining to the Clintons' lucrative favor bank were permanently destroyed. Back on the political front, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd told Hugh Hewitt that Team Hillary "swung and missed" on her presidential launch:
He's referring to Clinton's continued refusal to take questions from reporters -- as a declared presidential candidate! -- as well as her ludicrously micromanaged "spontaneous" meetings with "average" voters:
All normal Iowans need to do to meet Hillary is be hand-selected, get bussed in, & surrender their personal effects. https://t.co/AxFVkDOWvn— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 17, 2015
Nothing conveys down-home authenticity like having your staff pick reliable liberal activists in advance, truck them around to undisclosed locations, then confiscate their personal devices prior to The Audience commencing. I'll leave you with this:
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) says she's still planning for primary debates, in expectation of a challenge to presidential contender Hillary Clinton. “I expect the voters who believe we should have a Democratic primary will get their wish,” Wasserman Schultz told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” during a video interview from Manchester, N.H. Party officials were thus mapping out a “series of sanctioned debates that we expect our presidential candidates to participate in,” she added.
The DNC appears to be complicating Hillary's rumored plan to skip primary debates, at least for the moment. Also, at what point does Clinton start to loom flawed enough that real Democratic opposition springs to life? Is it too late? Stay tuned.