It’s well known that neither candidate likely to be nominated by the major parties is particularly popular with the electorate at large. One major difference between them is that Trump actually has a base of people who are enthusiastic about his candidacy. Apart from some folks on Wall Street, there’s not a whole lot of people out there who are truly enthusiastic about Hillary. Of the two, only Hillary can’t count on a core of diehards, meaning she will have more difficulty that he in getting potential “hold your nose and vote” types to get out and hold their noses. The last thing she needs is widespread publicity about something that gives people yet another reason not to trust her.
I’ve said in the past that she’s pretty much invulnerable to scandal allegations, just as Trump is, but this one may be a horse of a different color:
Remember Harry Markopolos? That’s the tenacious financial expert that pounded on the door of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, providing it with detailed, written evidentiary support for the premise that Bernie Madoff, the respected former Chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, was running a massive Ponzi scheme. The SEC never confirmed the fraud before Madoff confessed as he ran out of money in December 2008 because it skipped the most basic of investigation techniques: it failed to verify if real stocks and bonds actually existed in Madoff’s client portfolios. They didn’t.
There’s a new Markopolos in town with that same brand of leave-no-stone-unturned tenacity and he has his sights set on the charity operations of Hillary and Bill Clinton, known as the Clinton Foundation and its myriad tentacles. Ortel’s actions come just as Hillary Clinton makes her final sprint for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States with Bill in tow as her economic czar. Like Markopolos, Charles Ortel does not mince words.
In a 9-page letter dated yesterday and posted to his blog, Ortel calls the Clintons’ charity the “largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted,” adding for good measure that the Clinton Foundation is part of an “international charity fraud network whose entire cumulative scale (counting inflows and outflows) approaches and may even exceed $100 billion, measured from 1997 forward.” Ortel lists 40 potential areas of fraud or wrongdoing that he plans to expose over the coming days.
The difference between this scandal and all the other Clinton scandals is that this one might be real, and it matters. Besides the article from which I’ve quoted, there’s more here including blatantly incomplete tax returns, etc.
Unlike the folks at Wall Street on Parade I take no joy from this, as Bernie is no longer in a position to win, and HIllary is not the sort of person to take one for the country and step aside, even if this were to cause real pain. One hope is that the Republicans will ignore it. They tend to go after the patently ridiculous scandals (Benghazi, anyone?), while ignoring the stuff that might have merit, most likely because their candidate is usually far more vulnerable on similar issues. But this year is different. Both the press and the electorate are giving Trump a free pass on financial skullduggery. After all, as Trump says, he’s a businessman, and that means if he exults in the chance to profit off of other people’s misery, it’s perfectly alright.
If Clinton loses (I’m not ready to say “when Clinton loses”) the Democratic Establishment will blame Bernie, but it will be the cumulative effect of stuff like this, along with the media’s ever more unanimous refusal to call out Trump for what he is, that will be the real cause.