Watchdog Names Hillary ‘Worst Ethics Violator’ Of 2015
A government watchdog group has released a list of eight politicians it considers Washington, D.C.’s worst ethics violators, but Hillary Clinton is in a “league of her own.”
The group, The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), has filed four requests with various federal agencies to investigate apparent conflicts-of-interest involving Clinton, the Democratic party’s presidential front-runner.
“During her time as Secretary of State, overwhelming evidence shows, primarily through the State Department’s release of her emails, that she abused her official position,” FACT’s report reads.
The group, which is non-partisan but receives funding from conservative groups, recently filed a complaint with the Office of Governmental Ethics asking it to investigate Clinton over a possible conflict-of-interest involving her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky.
As The Daily Caller first reported earlier this month, the latest batch of Clinton’s State Department emails includes a May 25, 2012 message to Mezvinsky from one of his former Goldman Sachs colleagues, Harry Siklas. Siklas wrote to Mezvinsky that he wanted to meet with Clinton to discuss a company he and Goldman Sachs had invested in called Neptune Minerals. (RELATED: Hillary Sought To Help Millionaire Son-In-Law’s Friend With Business Meeting)
Goldman Sachs has donated heavily to Clinton’s campaign and to her family foundation. Clinton appeared open to setting up a meeting. She asked one of her aides to follow up on the inquiry.
FACT has asked other federal agencies to investigate the Clinton campaign’s dealings. The watchdog sent a letter to the IRS asking it to investigate a $350,000 payment that the Clinton Foundation made to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign for an email list of potential donors.
The watchdog has also asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Clinton’s campaign illegally obtained an email list of 4 million names from the pro-Clinton super PAC, Ready for Hillary. FACT asserts that the list swap should be considered an in-kind donation — which would constitute illegal coordination between the campaign and PAC.
FACT has also asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to look into an April 21 meeting in which Clinton campaign aides attended a weekly meeting of Senate Democrats. FACT asserts that the meeting violates rules against using Senate space for political campaign activity and fundraising.
Seven other politicians — four Democrats and three Republicans — made FACT’s list. The Democratic violators include Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, and Joe Sestak, a failed Senate candidate from Pennsylvania.
Republicans who made the list are New Hampshire Rep. Frank Guinta, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, and North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger.
“Elected officials are sent to Washington to follow and uphold the law and so they need to be held to the highest standard of ethics. Even the appearance of impropriety can quickly erode public trust, and Mrs. Clinton is in a league of her own,” said Matthew Whitaker, FACT’s executive director, in a statement.
“We will continue to vigorously hold the lantern over unethical behavior so that we have a government that serves the public’s interest, not the self-interests of leaders who think they are beyond reproach.”