Has a Double Standard been applied to the Trump and Clinton Investigations?
A short introduction to our two debaters:
Elie Rosen holds a Master’s degree from Rutgers University in Computer Engineering. He currently works as an ASIC Design Engineer for a large defense contractor. Elie has been and is still a registered Democrat in Maryland. However, his party affiliation will most likely change come mid-terms due to the inability of the Democratic party to get its act together in uniting the country. Elie has been involved in politics since high school and has worked with many of the local democratic campaigns in White Plains, NY including the current Mayor Tom Roach, the past Mayor Adam Bradley, and Councilwoman Beth Smayda.
Markus works in the software industry as a Project Manager. He is progressive and support political leaders who are committed to solving problems that affect peoples' lives, fully understanding that the system our founders created has checks and balances, and requires compromise and flexibility to get anything done. He has no patience for those who can only attack from the sidelines while accomplishing nothing of value themselves.
He considers Trump becoming President to be an extremely dangerous thing for our nation and the world, and did whatever he could to prevent that from happening, including donating whatever I could afford, traveling to Pennsylvania on weekends to register voters, and to Florida during election week to canvas and "get out the vote" (GOTV). He considered it his patriotic duty, and has absolutely no regrets other than he and his peers were not successful in the end.
He loves his country and considers himself deeply patriotic. If the Democrats ever nominated anyone as unqualified and unfit to be President as Trump is, he would never vote for them, and he will never understand why more Republicans didn't feel the same way. Did they put party over country in the end, or were they just misled by a con artist - or both? They should look in the mirror and ask themselves that.
So far it has been over six months of media frenzy over the Russia collusion investigation. Yet no one has been able to produce any form of credible evidence to suggest that the Trump campaign even worked with or made any kind of dealings with Russia throughout the entire campaign that were meant to help the campaign in any way or influence voters. Meanwhile, there were two investigations relating to Hillary. The first being the use of an email which contained classified material. The second, which has not been discussed much in the public, is the use of the Clinton Foundation to fund “pay-to-play” schemes while she was Secretary of State and also in anticipation of her presidential win.
I would like for this debate to examine the differences between the investigations I’ve brought up and why we keep hearing for calls of impeachment over the Russia investigation including the new allegations of obstruction of justice. I would also like to examine why the various things that happened throughout the Clinton campaign (deleted email server, smashed devices, meeting on tarmac, etc..) are not considered obstruction.
Elie hit a lot of points in his opening remarks so I'll do this in a few posts and address them one at a time. Elie speaks about the "media frenzy" over the Russia collusion investigation. I won't argue that the media overhypes this type of story. They overhyped the Hillary email story beyond all reason in my opinion, while largely ignoring other stories, for example, the way the Trump foundation was used as a slush fund for tax evasion. Examples include the following: Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on ‘self-dealing,’ new filing to IRS shows and Did Donald Trump Use His Foundation to Avoid Paying Taxes?
Elie says nobody has produced evidence of collusion. Well, the way it works is the investigation takes place, and when it's concluded, we find out. The investigation is still in progress and will be for some time. It is clear to me that there's plenty of indications that lead to suspicion that we do know about right now. The definitive proof may or may not exist but there's certainly plenty to investigate, starting with the fact that numerous Trump allies have covered up their contacts with Russia - Flynn, Sessions, Kushner among them. If they did nothing wrong, why did they lie? I'm sure the FBI is also "curious" about that.
The biggest problem for Trump and his team right now is that Mueller is looking into possible financial crimes they've committed. There is plenty of huge, red, flashing lights here (Check out: Mueller is Coming for Trump
So now let's talk about Hillary. The FBI conducted a full investigation into that, including interviewing Hillary Clinton under oath. They stated that her testimony was truthful, based on all the other evidence they had gathered. They concluded that she had not committed any crime. I'm not sure what the double standard is here. If there are two investigations and one party is found not guilty is that automatically a double standard, even if the set of facts are entirely different? That makes no sense to me at all. Let's use a simple analogy - an employer gives two employees a performance review - one has some suggestions for improvement, the other is harsh and results in a termination. If the first employee did a fairly good job and the second was incompetent, was a double standard applied? I think not!
As far as the Clinton Foundation- it's inaccurate to say there was an investigation into that. There were some New York FBI agents - allies of Giuliani- who lobbied for such an investigation and Comey said no, because there's no credible evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. A bunch of distorted bullshit put forward by right wing media doesn't count as credible evidence.
Regarding the Clinton Foundation, here's a good summary: FBI agents pressed Justice unsuccessfully for probe of Clinton Foundation
Ok, last two points. Elie mentioned Bill Clinton going onto Loretta Lynch's plane. I'll be the first to say it was inappropriate and dumb as hell. I was quite ticked off at Bill especially for this. But - they were never alone, her husband and security for both of them was there - and nobody has ever claimed they discussed the Hillary situation in the least who has knowledge of the conversation. So you can't charge someone with obstruction of justice without the slightest evidence. Nothing there.
Regarding Hillary deleting her private emails from the server - totally legal:
And as far as destroying her phones once they were replaced - it's exactly what they were SUPPOSED to do!
After reviewing Markus’ opening points, I think the largest thing that comes to light is the matter of “scale” when comparing Clinton to Trump. For example, in the matter of calling Trump’s foundation slush fund incident from the articles I was able to gleam that it looks like we’re only talking about maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars which in the grand scheme of things and compared to the scale of Trump’s net worth, this hardly seems like it was done with any real criminal intention. Meanwhile, comments were made in the John Podesta Wikileaks that make it appear that the Clinton Foundation potentially paid up to $3 million for Chelsea’s wedding (I understand that Markus may not approve of all of my sources however I have just as much reason to disagree with sources such as The Washington Post, of which where John Podesta is currently employed).
Markus, trust me when I say I understand how an investigation is supposed to work. However, a lot of how things are supposed to work have seemed to gone completely out the window this past year. I understand that people associated with Trump have had communications with Russians but, I need to bring up “scale” again. See all of the alleged conversations that have been leaked really don’t come across as anything more than simple pleasantries. The media is focusing on conversations with Russians but they also conveniently ignore the hundreds of other conversations that are held with other diplomats. Meanwhile, you could fill a library with all of the dealing of the Clintons, John Podesta and his brother, and Huma Abedin of the many numerous ethically questionable deals that took place during the last administration . To answer the question of why did these people associated with the Trump campaign not disclose these contacts on their SF86, my honest theory is that the conversations held with these individuals were so brief and not expected to be an ongoing relationship that it technically would not be required to append it to the security form (From my experience in the defense industry).
To your point on Mueller examining Trumps possible financial crimes, I’d say not enough has been disclosed from real sources yet for me to believe that this is something legitimate yet. Even as of June 16, 2017, Rod Rosenstein put out a statement that not everything being leaked is necessarily true .
Now my favorite topic in the world is the crimes of the Clinton family so I’m really excited to be responding to these points. The FBI did conduct an investigation, but Hillary was not under oath http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286849-fbi-didnt-record-clinton-interview-no-sworn-oath
. The FBI stated that she was “grossly negligent” but she did not have “intent”. I find it quite hard to believe after Comey’s statements where he essentially said “Here’s every instance where she broke the law” and with someone such as Hillary who has held a security clearance for probably half of her life, who would also get yearly required refresher training that she even signed the form acknowledging that she was trained, would go in to get questioned and tell them she didn’t know what “(C)” meant. Geez! I hope Reality Winner tries to use the same defense https://qz.com/1007322/reality-winner-and-government-leaks-are-a-threat-to-us-democracy/. It’s absolutely amazing that just about all of the Hillary’s staff was given immunity but provided nothing in return for it. Even more so I watched on Reddit the day that Paul Combetta A.K.A /u/stonetear as he deleted every single one of his Reddit posts including questions referring to how to delete emails on an exchange server! http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/22/how-reddit-ruined-the-hillary-clinton-campaign/
I’d also like to mention Comey’s relationship with the Clintons which is why I feel that the entire Clinton investigation was handled so poorly. Even more so I’m greatly impressed that the FBI was able to search the 650k emails found on Anthony Wiener’s computer in only 8 DAYS and was able to find that Hillary was still only grossly negligent but had no intent. Keep in mind these are these are things where if I were to do even a fraction of these things I would be in jail for years! I also find it interesting that these emails were found in a folder called “Life Insurance,” Gee I wonder why.
The fact of the matter here Markus, is that there is a very obvious chain of criminality where the previous administration has used every trick in the book to protect the Clintons, where the “scale” of her crimes are far greater than the “scale” of this Russia investigation. It’s a clear double standard where Trump is being crucified by the media and liberals every day and while all he is trying to do is make America great again.
Elie - we are now in total agreement. There is absolutely a double standard being applied to Trump and Clinton, and it's very obvious to me that it's being applied by you. You're a Clinton hater who latches onto every snippet of distorted baloney from right wing propaganda sources and believes every word even though there's no evidence, while dismissing very credible evidence of wrongdoing by Trump et al with weak and borderline nonsensical justifications. I'll just pick a few examples. You justify the use of the Trump Foundation as a slush fund for tax evasion by saying it was only a couple of hundred thousand dollars involved vs. millions. I suggest you try cheating on your taxes and see if the IRS is cool with it based on it not being in the millions. You justify the coverup of Russian contacts by trump's team because you assert they were brief social encounters - which you have absolutely no way of knowing! My favorite is that the Clintons embezzled 3 million dollars from the Clinton Foundation to pay for Chelsea's wedding - an assertion that is, honestly, ridiculous. If anyone wants to know how right wing rags create their own reality, this is a perfect example. And with that, I'll call it a wrap. What you really want is a forum to vent against the Clintons as loudly as you can, and factual evidence for the claims is strictly optional. This is of no interest to me.
Markus – I’m sorry that you don’t agree with the sources I have provided but they do come from fact and real evidence. The Washington Post and others "Main Stream Media" (MSM) clearly have an agenda and refuse to publish the truth. Instead, they rely on misrepresenting the evidence and explaining away things as half-truths or lies only because their base will just out right accept their journalism as truth. I’m saddened that you are unwilling to continue this debate after being shown that your idol is not as squeaky clean as the media portrays. I’ll end with this:
• The Trump Foundation admitted in their tax returns that they didn’t do something by the books, clearly it was not used to avoid taxes and the issues surrounding it have been resolved.
• I think it would be of great interest for the larger general public to explore the John Podesta email leaks. It’s absolutely disgusting in the way the campaign would treat each other and the things they would do behind the scenes. Personally, I have examined almost half of them myself. Keep in mind the Clinton campaign has never denied anything included in the emails but instead would rather people focus on the hacking of an email account using an insecure password.
• Lastly, the entire Russia non sense was fabricated by the Clinton campaign as expressed in the book about her campaign “Shattered” by Jonathan Allan
I leave you with my favorite quote “Failure to accept the election results is a direct threat to our democracy. Peaceful transfer of power is a must" – said by the world’s greatest and sorest loser – Hillary Clinton.