As the New Year approaches, more disclosures have come into the public eye regarding Hillary Clinton and her “activities” with Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, the Email Scandals and the 2016 Campaign for President. More disclosures are expected, almost all of which will put her in a continuing bad light.
With each revelation, the cries increase for investigation of the various Hillary activities and scandals. Many on the Right want to see her indicted and put in jail, while the Left proclaims that this is all a “witch hunt” conducted by Clinton haters and this is all “fake news”.
Viewing the reported “evidence”, Hillary has many legal problems that if pursued, could lead to be her being indicted and subject to trial. If convicted, she could be facing imprisonment.
Legal Liabilities of Hillary
There are several areas of concern for legal liability that faces Hillary. Some are stronger than others based upon current public information.
Email Scandal – As anyone who has ever had access to either confidential or classified documents while in government service knows, there are very strict rules for the handling, distribution, storage and transmission of those documents. Violations of the rules and statutes are criminal in nature and the offender could face both monetary fines and incarceration.
The known information about Hillary’s conduct with the emails and handling of classified information reflect without any doubt violations of Federal Law. She could be indicted and convicted for these practices.
Clinton Foundation – The Clinton Foundation activities pose a set of different issues for Hillary, Bill and others. The Foundation reflects a mixture of activities; charity work, profiteering, money laundering and political pay-to-play activities by both Hillary and Bill Clinton, depending upon whom you are listening.
People, corporations and nations would all request specific assistance from both Hillary and Bill. They would also make and “contributions” to the Clinton Foundation before or after (or both) as assistance occurred or to influence assistance being given.
Additionally, Bill would often speak at gatherings where he would receive excessive speaking fees. This was done by firms to further ingratiate them with Hillary to “grease the wheels” and get approval for their projects.
The Uranium One activities and the reported $145 million in Foundation donations is what appears to be a perfect example for consideration.
The problem for investigators is that the Clinton Foundation activities are so complicated that it may be difficult to separate the “good” from the “bad”. And what appears on the surface to be unlawful may actually be lawful. To understand this, one need only look at the former Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell and then the Senator Bob Menendez trial.
On Sep 5, 2014, Gov McDonnell was convicted of corruption in a bribery case. He appealed the verdict to SCOTUS which overturned the verdict, citing that McDonnell was “doing favors”. The case was never retried.
In October and November, Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was tried for bribery actions. Part of his defense was that he was doing “favors” for constituents, and citing the SCOTUS ruling with McDonnell as precedent. The trial ended with a hung jury and mistrial.
Prosecutors will face the same issues with Hillary Clinton. She will use the SCOTUS ruling as a primary defense. She and Bill were only doing “favors”.
Getting a conviction on Hillary under Clinton Foundation activities would be a long shot, based upon what we know at this time.
Campaign Violations – Coming to light now are Hillary and her Campaign’s violation of campaign finance and disclosure laws. These are related to the Trump Dossier and Fusion GPS.
The Hillary Campaign made payments of $12.4 million to Perkins Coie for “legal fees”. Perkins Coie paid GPS Fusion from those legal fees for “opposition research” on Donald Trump. GPS Fusion then ordered the Trump Dossier.
The problem for Hillary and the Campaign is not the Dossier, etc. It is that the Campaign failed to disclose the payments in Federal Election Commission filings. This would open up the Campaign and Hillary to legal action.
In the scheme of things, it would be difficult to gain a conviction of Hillary on these charges. Accountants, attorneys and election professionals are responsible for preparing and filing the documents. They would be primarily responsible for the improper filings. Only if there was actual evidence of Hillary directing that the specific payments be omitted could there be any hope of convicting her.
As to the Dossier itself, there was nothing unlawful in ordering the work. The only potential actions would be against those who prepared it using false and defamatory information. Most likely, this would be a civil action only.
Uranium One is the story of Vlad Putin trying to get access to US uranium deposits. Putin and Russia would use any available tactic to achieve their goals, including “bribery, extortion and money laundering” through the state controlled company Rosatom.
$145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation would come from those who wanted Uranium One to be sold to Rosatom including share holders of the Canadian company.
For many observers, the Hillary approval allowing the Uranium One deal to go forward reeks of quid-pro-quo for the donations to the Clinton Foundation. Cited allegations include treason, bribery, corruption and other major felonies.
The problem for prosecutors is proving the allegations. Nine agencies or groups in total approved the Uranium One transaction. It was not just Hillary. So treason, which has very specific elements to it is out as an allegation.
Bribery and the other allegations also become problematic with the SCOTUS ruling in the Gov McDonnell trial. Again, the Hillary defense would be “just doing favors” and the donations had nothing to do with her approval.
For prosecutors, they will have to spend considerable time and money investigating each issue, and then preparing a case.
Seating a Jury and Convicting Hillary
Assuming that Hillary is indicted for criminal wrong doing, could she be convicted at trial? That is the real question that needs to be asked.
The problem for convicting Hillary falls first with trying to find an impartial jury. How does one find an impartial jury with such a polarizing figure?
Hillary has pretty much 100% name recognition in the US. And few people do not have an opinion of her, good or bad. This makes seating a jury difficult at the very least.
Then you have the problem of pre-trial knowledge of potential jurors. Most will have heard the news regarding Hillary, especially since any trial would be in either New York or DC. Pre-formed opinions will be the standard. Jury seating becomes even more of a problem with the news exposure.
(And does anyone really want a person on the jury who has never heard of Hillary and her “problems? What type of “idiot” would that person be?)
If you can get past those issues, you still have the problem that there will be people on both sides of the spectrum who will want to be on the jury. Some will have as their “goal” getting her convicted and sent to prison while others will want her acquitted without regard for the evidence presented.
The simple fact is that seating an impartial jury will be an impossible task. Any trial will end in a hung jury and a mistrial.
In fact, we have just seen how difficult obtaining justice is in the Senator Robert Menendez trial. No verdict could be rendered. The jury was hopelessly split and the trial ended in a hung jury. The same will occur with Hillary.
What would be accomplished would be bringing into the light further transgressions of Hillary, but it would not make significant difference in the overall scheme of things.
Of course, arguments could be made that the investigation could find Huma or Cheryl Mills convicted, but that does nothing for making Hillary “pay” for her transgressions.
Considerations for deciding to take Hillary to Trial
In considering any legal action against Hillary, there are several concerns that must be factored into the decision to act.
- How likely is it that she could be convicted of a crime? Do the allegations with the best chance of offering conviction warrant the expense?
- Can a jury be seated that would not be biased in any way and offer a chance for either an acquittal or conviction? Can a hung jury be avoided?
- The political divide in the country is worsening every day. How much worse will the divide deepen by taking Hillary to trial? Can the country survive the deepened divide?
- Are the government and the country prepared for violence in the streets?
- The Media will side with the pro Hillary faction and against the Republicans, the DOJ and President Trump. How much worse will they make any situation?
- Going after Presidents and others after they have left office is a hallmark of banana republic countries. Prosecuting Hillary will lead to prosecution of every president or official after leaving office. Is the country prepared for the division that will cause?
- What will be the ramifications of a Hillary conviction? A Hillary acquittal?
Any attempt to prosecute Hillary for “unlawful acts” pose major issues for consideration. It is not just about investigating and then filing criminal charges. Instead, the ability to seat an impartial jury becomes of paramount importance. If an impartial jury cannot be seated, it makes everything else, including the investigations useless.
There is no way that Hillary will ever be convicted of any crimes, and that includes the easiest allegations, those related to her handling of classified information and the private server.
For the good of the country, it is better to just move on now to things that really matter instead of useless endeavors.