Opinion

The New York Times: No Longer Troubled by Clinton’s Big-Time Russian Connections

The Clinton campaign, stung by the resumption of the FBI email probe, has returned to Donald Trump’s taxes and his alleged Russian connections. They ask indignantly: Do voters not know that a former Trump campaign manager consulted for Ukraine’s ousted president and that another attended an ill-timed meeting in the Kremlin. Clinton supporters add to their list of grievances  against James Comey for his reticence to confirm that Russia is behind WikiLeaks. I guess Comey has become a Putin puppet along with Trump.

If we go back to April 24, 2015, a New York Times investigative report illustrates why the Clinton campaign should think twice about accusing the Trump campaign of cozying up to Russia. The Times’ “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal”  reveals in depth the ethically-challenged relationship among the Clintons, the Foundation’s top donor, Canadian mining magnate, Frank Guistra ( $31.3 million in donations), and Russia’s state-owned Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom).

Here are three key of many troubling excerpts from the Times report:

“Uranium One’s chairman [Guistra] used his family foundation to make four donations [to the Clinton Foundation] totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.”

“Shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

“The ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.’

The Times concludes: “The episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president ….even as his wife … presided over decisions (such as approval of the Russian purchase of Uranium One) with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.”

The Clinton practice of non-disclosure continues to the present day. The WikiLeaks Hillary Clinton archive yields “no results” for the search term “Guistra.” The Clinton Foundation’s biggest donor seems to have disappeared, like Hillary’s server and 33,000 personal emails.

By August 14, 2016, The Times had forgotten the super-deal that gave Russia ownership of twenty percent of US uranium and dominance in the world uranium market. Instead, it turned to small-fry deals between a Trump election official and the deposed pro-Russian President of Ukraine and with a fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash.

Again, the Clinton team should be careful. Working for corrupt foreign officials and businesses is big business for K Street firms, the most influential of which are the movers-and-shakers of the Democratic Party. The Podesta Group, with close ties to the Clinton and Obama administrations, lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, a suspected money launderer. Lobbying giant Ketchum has represented Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy behemoth.  Fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash, is represented by Democratic heavyweight lawyer Lanny Davis, who accuses Trump of “inviting Putin to commit espionage” and denies all wrongdoing by Hillary. Rep. John Conyers reads Kremlin propaganda into the Congressional Record, the obvious success of a Kremlin lobbyist.

The Clinton team should remember that people who live in glass houses should not throw the first stone. If the American public knew the unsavory clients of K-Street law and PR firms, they might pull out their pitchforks. If so, our political class would lose their plush lifestyle of life after politics. Be careful. A cooperative media cannot protect you forever.