April 26, 2015

Anyone else waiting for these Sunday shows to spend an entire weekend focusing on these Super PACS and how much money pouring into them are from foreign donors? I'm not holding my breath. I think the last person anyone should be hearing lectures on corruption from is disgraced former House Speaker and resident troll under the bridge, Newt Gingrich, but here he is on my television this weekend accusing the Clintons of accepting bribes from foreign countries on ABC's This Week.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Speaker, I read that you thought these allegations are starting to reach some kind of critical mass around the Foundation that could even force her out of the race?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I mean, look, this isn't a political problem, this is a historic problem. "The Constitution of the United States" says you cannot take money from foreign governments without explicit permission of the Congress. They wrote that in there because they knew the danger of corrupting our system by foreign money is enormous.

You had a sitting secretary of State whose husband radically increased his speech fees, you have a whole series of dots on the wall now where people gave millions of dollars -- oh, by the way, they happen to get taken care of by the State Department.

Now, you raised a good standard, and, of course, having been on the Whitewater or on the Watergate committee, she knew exactly what to do. She eliminated 33,000 e-mails. Richard Nixon only erased 18 minutes.

So you're going to have a prima facie case that any jury would look at.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think a jury would look at the case based on...

GINGRICH: I think a jury would look at the totality of this case and say it is clearly against "The Constitution." It's clearly against U.S. law. I mean DOD and HHS both have rules that say you can't take more than $315.

BRAZILE: It's a global foundation and they release all of their donors, something that many of the...


BRAZILE: -- many of the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not all of them. Some of them (INAUDIBLE)...

BRAZILE: Well, they're...


BRAZILE: -- in the aggregate, they -- they didn't, but in the -- they -- but it was the...


BRAZILE: The funding was released...

GINGRICH: They skipped three years.

BRAZILE: The funding was...

They just now announced they skipped three years.

BRAZILE: Look, they are amending those documents. And there's no legal requirement to do so, but they are amending it...


GINGRICH: A foundation controlled by your husband is the same as money to you. It is clear in federal law...


GINGRICH: This would -- if it wasn't Hillary Clinton, this would clearly...


BRAZILE: The only reason why we're having this conversation is because they are transparent. They have released a list of their donors, something that we don't get from any of the Republicans super PACs or foundations.

I'd like to know what law specifically Gingrich thinks they've broken, but no one asked him to clarify that during this segment. And of course Gingrich got an assist from Bloomberg's Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who weren't willing to go as far as he did with accusing anyone of breaking the law, but still used this latest fishing expedition by Republicans as an excuse to prop up their BENGHAZI! email fishing expedition.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But we have no evidence of government action.

HALPERIN: Well, there were government actions taken. What we don't know -- and this goes to the -- to the deleted e-mails -- is what kind of communication did Hillary Clinton have on her private e-mail account regarding her husband's speeches and regarding the foundation activities that involved foreign donations.

If they hadn't been so careless at the foundation, if she hadn't deleted the e-mails, and if they put somebody out on the show today to answer the questions, I think a lot of this could be put to rest.

But none of those things are true.

JOHN HEILEMANN, BLOOMBERG NEWS: And that specific question that arises, which is did our -- e-mails that you -- that revolved around these issues, around your husband's foundation work, did those fall under the -- under the -- what you considered private e-mails, personal e-mails, and so therefore, were flushed down -- down the drain?

Or were they part of the public record?

That is the question that has not been addressed and she must answer that question, I think, because it goes to the core of whether...


HEILEMANN: -- there is at least the appearance of an obstruction of justice kind of activist on her part in getting rid of that e-mail server.

Obstruction of justice? Good God. That would imply that a crime was committed. Way to validate the wingnuts there Heilemann. And they weren't done yet.

GINGRICH: I think there's a very simple case here. "The Constitution" says you can't take this stuff. We have federal laws that say you can't take this stuff. If this was any person but Hillary Clinton, they'd be under indictment right now for a clearly straightforward problem.

They took money...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But (INAUDIBLE) kind of would have been allowed in the first place.


GINGRICH: My point is they took money from foreign governments while she was secretary of State. That is clearly illegal. This is not about politics. It's illegal. And it's dangerous to America to have foreign governments get in the habit of bribing people who happen to be the husband of the secretary of State or the next president of the United States.

HALPERIN: Here's why you know this is serious, because any Democrat, almost any Democrat who's not on the Clintons' payroll, will tell reporters and others privately that these are serious issues, not -- forget the politics, these are serious issues.

The -- the question for me right now is all these donors who gave and all the people who paid President Clinton to give speeches, what kind of communication did they have with people in the government?

That may not be a quid pro quo, but everybody knows that a lot of those nations work for people who wanted access to the Clintons.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The last word?

HEILEMANN: Well, I think we now -- we all now, I think, also have examples now of where the administration -- Barack Obama's administration knew that this was a potential problem. That's why they set up the agreement that they had with the -- with the family, with, you know, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton when he -- she took the job as secretary of State.

There are now several that we know of at this moment, several documented instances where whether or not it's illegal, where they broke their agreement with the administration. And when you think about the president having set a standard of being the most transparent and open administration in history, and what the Clintons have done here, clearly, is not the most transparent and open.

And I think they've had -- whether that was legal or not, they violated the spirit of Barack Obama's presidency.

As we've already discussed here, these allegations don't hold up, but it's not going to stop the media and those on the right from flinging as much poop against the wall as they can find and seeing what will stick.

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