They have little shame, and even less regard for the law.
Among the incriminating emails from Jon Podesta’s account revealed by WikiLeaks, the most damning may be their desperate attempt to use both scare-mongering and blatently illegal tactics to fill their campaign coffersn.
Top aides plotted to “scare our people into giving bigger sums,” an investigative report by Michael Isikoff reveals, using whatever means necessary.
Even more incredible, when faced with the dilemma of taking cash from registered foreign corporate agents, one senior campaign advised “Take the money!!”
Here are four of the most revealing details from the latest leak:
Back in May 2015, Clinton was scared. She saw a newspaper article describing how election officials might be cracking down on “election abuse” and “billionaire donors.” It reported that Jeb Bush’s campaign was “skirting” the law by “raising millions.” Clinton forwarded the email to Podesta, who said they could put the article to good use:
“Use this to scare our people into giving bigger sums,” he writes. And, bring in some big guns. “We may need to get WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] into the mix sooner. We should also ask BHO [President Obama] to do more in light of this, although they are kind of prissy about how they approach this.”
And in April 2015, the question was: Should the campaign take money from “bundlers” who collect campaign contributons in million-dollar amounts and were also registered agents for foreign governments. Barack Obama banned the practice, but the Clinton campaign disregarded it. But there was a dilemma: what about money from foreign interests (despite a ban by the Foreign Agent Registration Act).
The final word in this email thread came from Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri (a veteran of the Obama White House.) On April 17, 2015, under the subject “Re: Foreign registered agents,” she wrote campaign manager Robby Mook: “Take the money!!”
Clinton was planning on a trip to Morocco for a gala with the “Clinton Global Initiative,” which was being paid for by a sketchy Moroccan phosphate firm. Her advisors wondered if she should simply not go, but Hillary wanted to: There was a promise of $12 million for Clinton’s non profit on the line.
Abedin added: “It will break a lot of china to back out now when we had so many opportunities to do it in the past few months. She created this mess and she knows it.”
In the end, Hillary Clinton did back out of the May trip to Morocco after officially declaring her candidacy on April 12. Bill Clinton went instead. But the Abedin emails shed new light on the role that Clinton herself played in arranging foreign funding for the Clinton Foundation.
Back in 2015, even as Clinton was taking heat over her private email server, she refused to budge. And it looked like Joe Biden would get into the race, further complicating things.
“Biden will get in,” John Podesta predicted to longtime Clinton adviser Neera Tanden. “We are still way more likely than not to win nomination. We’ve taken on a lot of water that won’t be easy to pump out of the boat. Most of that has to do with terrible decisions made pre-campaign, but a lot has to do with her instincts. She’s nervous so prepping more and performing better. Got to do something to pump up excitement but not certain how to do that.”
Tanden wrote back, offering some reassurance. “You know I’m not a sycophant to you by any means. But the thing that makes me most confident she will prevail is that you are there. Almost no one knows better [than] me that her instincts can be terrible. She does have to give time to allow new things to take hold.”
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