Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dems Want To Investigate Trump, But Clinton Has the Real Unseemly Russia Connections - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

New report highlights Clinton’s “pay for play” role in the transfer of sensitive American technology to the Russian military.

“Russia, if you're listening I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” That comment, made in jest last week by GOP candidate Donald Trump has raised the ire of some congressional Democrats who are seeking to have Trump investigated for possible violations of federal cyber and espionage laws.

Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware (D-DE) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have asked former Trump rival Ted Cruz (R-TX), to investigate Trump's comment to determine if laws were broken. Cruz chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight subpanel, the body tasked with investigating such claims.

Trump’s comment came against the backdrop of Hillary Clinton’s gross mishandling of classified data while secretary of state through the use of an unsecured, home-brewed bathroom server. Despite her efforts to delete the emails, some of which constituted government property, the FBI was able to retrieve all but 30,000 of them. 

Given the reckless manner in which she mishandled classified data, it is very possible, indeed probable, that the irretrievable emails are currently in possession of an unknown third party. If, as Clinton alleges, the emails were all of a personal nature, the United States should not be overly concerned.  However, thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, we are now cognizant of the fact that many of the emails sent and received were of a classified nature and some were so top secret, FBI agents needed special clearance to view them.

Neither Coons nor Whitehouse seem bothered by Clinton’s careless disregard for government property and gross mishandling of classified information – information that placed lives at risk. But an off-the-cuff humorous comment, clearly made in jest, has them convulsing.

The Coons/Whitehouse spectacle demonstrates with utmost clarity the extreme partisanship of some congressional Democrats and assorted Clinton lackeys. It also demonstrates that among this sad group, hypocrisy knows no bounds.

During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton approved a deal that placed 20 percent of America’s uranium production capacity in the hands of Russia. Clinton’s approval was necessary given the strategic nature of the acquisition. It was later revealed that entities with vested interests in seeing the deal go through donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, before the deal was finalized, Bill Clinton was invited to come to Moscow to give an address for which he was handsomely remunerated with a cool $500,000. 

The stealth contributions made by these Russia-connected entities to the Clinton Foundation were never publicly disclosed despite an agreement that Clinton struck with Obama to publicly identify all donors. The foul deal, involving transference of strategic assets to a hostile entity and stealth donations from entities tied to Russian interests bear all the hallmarks of “pay for play.” In fact, they reek from it.

But it gets worse, much worse. Not only did Clinton hand over America’s strategic assets to Russia, she significantly enhanced Russia’s cyber and military capabilities as well and did so in what appears to be another convoluted “pay for play” scheme involving monies flowing from Russia to the Clinton Foundation. This according to a new report by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer and the Government Accountability Institute he heads.

While serving as secretary of state, Clinton oversaw a program meant to “reset” relations with Moscow and improve ties. The program centered around the Russian city of Skolkovo near Moscow with the stated aim of “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the American and Russian people.”

The program transformed Skolkovo into a technology hub, a Silicon Valley of sorts. Sensitive American technology was transferred to the Russians, substantially enhancing their military and cyber capabilities. The US Army and the FBI concluded that Russia had exploited the program for military applications.

Of course, anyone with a scintilla of foresight could have anticipated such an unfortunate and dangerous outcome. In Putin’s Russia, everything has military or security dimensions. Indeed, in 2014, the FBI warned American technology companies doing business in Skolkovo that the Skolkovo project “may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation's sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application.”

Russia’s access to sensitive American technologies represents but half the problem. There is a far more sinister side to this story.  Schweizer notes that Russian and American companies and individuals involved in the Skolkovo fiasco “had major financial ties to the Clintons.” He further notes that during the Russian reset period, those entities provided the Clintons with “tens of millions of dollars” in the form of “contributions to the Clinton Foundation, paid for speeches by Bill Clinton, or investments in small start-up companies with deep Clinton ties.”

While partisan Democrats like Coons, Whitehouse and their allies in the mainstream media focus on Trump’s minor gaffes, Clinton continues to emerge relatively unscathed by scandal after scandal involving egregious national security breaches and corruption. Ignominy of this magnitude would have derailed any other candidacy but Clinton chugs happily along, safe in the knowledge that the dishonest media will do everything to bury this story, just like they did with the Benghazi debacle.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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