Sunday, April 17, 2016

Will Hillary's Campaign Survive The Mossack Fonseca Panama Papers Scandal?


The very first time I heard about the Mossack Fonseca scandal in Panama, my immediate reaction was, that there with this many elite criminals there are bound to be plenty of Clinton connections. A few days later, we did a post about the contrast between her support for the Panama "free" trade deal which led to the scandal and Bernie's prescient and well documented opposition based on the money laundering Panama is so infamous for. Then came the revelations about the involvement of the crooked lobbying firm closest to the Clintons, the Podesta Group, the head of which, John Podesta, is her campaign chairman. I didn't find them persuasive enough to post.

And then, yesterday, the McClatchy papers ran with an article that speaks of multiple Clinton connections to the scandal. Let's hope this all comes out now and she's either exonerated from any wrong-doing or from another excruciatingly bad example of her much vaunted "judgement" or that it's bad enough to drive her out of politics before the Republicans use it to beat her in a general election and ruin the Democratic Party. So far, I'm not seeing the smoking gun that will get her to withdraw from the race, not that that will stop the Republicans. Just wait 'til Morning Joe starts in on this tomorrow! And, eventually, someone in bound to tell Trump. Hill and Bill, McClatchy asserts "have multiple connections with people who have used the besieged law firm Mossack Fonseca to establish offshore entities."
Among them are Gabrielle Fialkoff, finance director for Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for the U.S. Senate; Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate who has traveled the globe with Bill Clinton; the Chagoury family, which pledged $1 billion in projects to the Clinton Global Initiative; and Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, who was at the center of a Democratic fund-raising scandal when Bill Clinton was president. Also using the Panamanian law firm was the company founded by the late billionaire investor Marc Rich, an international fugitive when Bill Clinton pardoned him in the final hours of his presidency.

...The Clintons themselves do not appear to be in Mossack Fonseca’s database, nor does it appear that their daughter, Chelsea, or her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, who co-founded a hedge fund, are listed. But Bill and Hillary Clinton’s connections to people who have used offshores is fuel for her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.

Clinton has struggled throughout her campaign to show that she can relate to working Americans, while Sanders has cast her as a wealthy out-of-touch Washington insider who has accepted hefty paychecks for speeches and received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from those tied to big businesses. Her connection to the Panama Papers, even if indirect, could magnify that perception.

...Sanders said Clinton’s support of a free-trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama-- one that he claims has allowed the wealthy to avoid paying taxes-- should disqualify her from being the Democratic nominee for president.

“I don’t think you are qualified if you supported the Panama free trade agreement, something I very strongly opposed, which has made it easier for wealthy people and corporations all over the world to avoid paying taxes owed to their countries,” Sanders said recently... “I wish I had been proven wrong about this, but it has now come to light that the extent of Panama’s tax avoidance scams is even worse than I had feared,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

The 5 most corrupt in Congress-- ever

Yes, she's even worse than horrifying sleaze-bags Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan when it comes to the clearest source of corruption anywhere in government, the lobbyists, who just happen to be the mainstay of her campaign and her career. Oh, and speaking of Paul Ryan...

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