By Rene Sotolongo:
We’ve learned a lot about Hillary Clinton over the past year, and as the evidence against her continues to be revealed (and found), it is becoming clear that she will likely be charged with a crime. When convicted, she will more than likely face jail time.
The biggest reason why Clinton is likely to face prison? Simple. She took an all-or-nothing gamble on the presidency and lost. The house of cards she built is crumbling, and she now faces a reality where she no longer has any political protection.
With her political protection gone, it is my belief that the criminal charges (and conviction) will stem, not from the server/email scandal, but in fact from the albatross around her neck—The Clinton Foundation.
In short, based on all available information, including hacked emails, public record, and registered donations lists, the Clinton Foundation simply was never lawfully organized, nor has it ever lawfully operated since its very inception. It fails the IRS required “dual test” at every turn.
The Clinton Foundation is a textbook example in international charity fraud—a type of fraud of epic proportions.
Charles Ortel (a Wall Street analyst who uncovered financial discrepancies at General Electric before its stock crashed in 2008, and the man The Sunday Times of London described as “one of the finest analysts of financial statements on the planet”) stated:
An educated guess, based upon ongoing analysis of the public record begun in February 2015, is that the Clinton Foundation entities are part of a network [read: criminal enterprise] that has defrauded donors and created illegal private gains of approximately $100 billion in combined magnitude, and possibly more, since 23 October 1997. (emphasis added)
Fraud in any country is a crime. And if I were a betting man, I would say that I would not be surprised if Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t bring her up on RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) charges as well. Take into consideration that the elements of RICO demand the following:
1) The existence of an enterprise affecting interstate commerce (check)
2) That Defendants were employed by or associated with the enterprise; (check)
3) That the Defendants participated, directly or indirectly, in the conduct or affairs of the enterprise; (check)
The racketeering activities in question: mail, wire, bankruptcy, securities fraud, and possibly even obstruction of justice. Who knows what political favors were granted by Hillary when she was secretary of state.
Even the notoriously liberal New York Times ran a blistering investigative report revealing the Clinton Foundation as a non-profit rife with crony capitalists, conflicts of interest, and multi-million-dollar deficits despite raking in at least $492 million from 1997 to 2007.
THE IRS DUAL TEST FOR NON-PROFITS—CLINTON FOUNDATION FAILS
Also consider that the Clinton Foundation has never been approved or authorized to pursue tax-exempt purposes other than as a presidential archive and research facility based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Remember, the foundation moved to Wall Street in New York years ago.
Further compounding the issue is that none of its operations have ever been controlled by independent trustees, nor have its financial results ever been properly audited by independent accountants, as is standard practice by non-profits.
You also have to consider the following two tests, as required by the IRS:
- IRC 501(c)(3) requires an organization to be both “organized” and “operated” exclusively for one or more IRC 501(c)(3) purposes. If the organization fails either the organizational test or the operational test, it is not exempt. Reg. 1.501(c)(3)–1(a)(1).
- The organizational test concerns the organization’s articles of organization or comparable governing document. The operational test concerns the organization’s activities. A deficiency in an organization’s governing document cannot be cured by the organization’s actual operations. Likewise, an organization whose activities are not within the statute will not qualify for exemption by virtue of a well-written charter. Reg. 1.501(c)(3)–(b)(1)(iv)
The Clinton Foundation and each part of the Clinton Charity Network fails either the organizational test, the operational test, or both. The consequences for failing to meet either the organizational test or the operational test are severe. In normal circumstances, a charity would have its tax-exempt status revoked retroactively.
So that begs the question—why has it not? Oh, that’s right. Lois Lerner, the same director who targeted conservative non-profits, gave the Clinton Foundation a pass.
But it gets worse.
According to Drew Griffin, Pamela Brown, and Shimon Prokupecz on “Inside The Debate Over Probing The Clinton Foundation,” broadcast by CNN on 8/11/16, “Officials from the FBI and Department of Justice met several months ago, in early 2016, to discuss opening a public corruption case into the Clinton Foundation.”
In fact, three separate FBI field offices wanted to investigate. These three field offices were all in agreement that an investigation should be launched as a direct result of the FBI receiving notifications from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Here is why an investigation is/was warranted.
More than 40 percent of the top donors to the Clinton Foundation are based in foreign countries, according to an analysis by McClatchy. (Anita Kumar, “Clinton Foundation Limits Foreign Donations,” 4/15/15). But according to The Wall Street Journal, the Clinton Foundation swore off donations from foreign governments when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. (James Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus, “Clinton Charity Tapped Foreign Friends,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/19/15)
But of course Obama’s Department of Justice pushed back against opening an investigation. In fact, some within his administration also expressed concern that the request seemed more political than substantive, especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton’s presidential campaign.
So it’s clear from the record that Obama and his administration got personally involved and squashed the investigation. But now consider that Obama and his entire crony administration is on the way out and Hillary Clinton has no more political clout—or protection.
Now think about how those agents who were told to stand down must feel. Think vengeance is in the air? I believe so.
Just about two weeks ago, the FBI New York field office was given specific orders to continue its investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s possible corruption and money laundering.
What is even more interesting is that these orders only came AFTER Trump was elected. Which is what I predicted would happen in my previous article on why I said Trump was a genius.
In short, after the election, President-Elect Donald Trump indicated that prosecuting rival Hillary Clinton or her foundation would not be a priority. In an interview with the New York Times on November 21, he said, “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t.”
Which only makes sense. Understand that for most presidents (excluding Obama), it’s extraordinarily rare to interfere with an ongoing investigation. Halting an ongoing probe by the FBI, which is an independent law enforcement agency, can be fraught with many political risks for presidents and can expose them to charges of interfering or politicizing law enforcement activities. Which is why Trump said what he said.
But Trump does not mince words. He is blunt, direct, and very deliberate in what he says and when he chooses to say it, despite appearances to the contrary. Notice the use of the word “he” in his interview with the New York Times. Trump could just as easily have said “my administration.” Instead, he referred to himself.
Trump said nothing about the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation stopping its investigation or prosecution. He also never stated that Hillary was innocent.
As such, nothing Trump has said would even come close to stopping Jeff Sessions from investigating and prosecuting Hillary Clinton (assuming, of course, that Congress confirms Sessions to the position of attorney general). So as you can see, he clearly did not rule out a continuing probe of the foundation, saying, “We’ll have people that do things” on the foundation, which The Times wrote was “perhaps a reference to the FBI or Republicans who might continue to press for prosecutions in the email or foundation cases.”
Now we have reports that hackers have gained access to the foundation’s server and database with a promise that the information will be made public. Couple that with the criminal investigation by the FBI and her loss of political protection and you can see how the Clinton Foundation is the proverbial nail in the coffin for Hillary.
Rene C. Sotolongo is an OpsLens Contributor and a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer who served for over twenty years as an Information Systems official. Sotolongo also specialized in homeland security and counterterrorism.