Former FBI Director James Comey couldn’t find anything wrong in a long laundry list of egregious activities by Hillary Clinton, stretching the boundaries of believability by claiming she didn’t have intent. It wasn’t the first time Mr. Comey could find no fault in the Clintons’ sketchy past.
It’s reasonable to say the Clintons have a prosecutor they can count on in James Comey.
The Case of the Fugitive Swindlers
Federal prosecutor Mary Jo White was appointed to investigate the pardon of Marc Rich and Pincus Green by Bill Clinton who said the pardons “were in the best interest of justice“. White was replaced by then-Republican James Comey.
He took over the case when he was appointed U.S. attorney or the Southern District of New York.
The investigation was to determine if Bill Clinton pardoned two fugitive criminals Marc Rich and Pincus Green in exchange for $450,000 Rich’s ex-wife Denise Rich donated to the Clinton Foundation, along with other donations including $100,000 to Hillary’s senatorial campaign. This was at the same time Hillary Clinton was running for senator from New York.
It looked like quid pro quo to many. Then, as now, no one seriously thought the Clintons would ever be called to task and they weren’t.
A July 2002 memo to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller says investigators were exploring “potential federal violations of bribery, obstruction of justice, money laundering, conspiracy and campaign finance law offenses.”
“The investigation has revealed a tactful, secret, lobby campaign [redacted] and other people with unique influence with President Clinton and his administration,” the memo says.
While Comey was an attorney in Manhattan he was the one who had originally and successfully prosecuted Marc Rich, a wealthy international financier, for tax evasion. There were other charges against Rich as well.
Comey wrote a memo in 2008 saying that he was “stunned” when Clinton pardoned the two. Most were stunned. Rich and Green were guilty, unrepentant and paid no price whatsoever for their crimes but they were politically well-placed.
Comey left the investigation in 2003 when he was named deputy attorney general after having launched an endless investigation with no conclusion. There were interviews, witnesses and grand juries but it ended in the case being closed after Comey took off for D.C. There was no explanation of why and how. To some, it appeared that he let the case fold.
The Case of the New Square Four
Then there was the case of the infamous New Square Four who bilked the government out of tens of millions of dollars. Then-president Bill Clinton reduced the sentences of the four Hasidic Jews from New Square in Rockland County where Hillary campaigned in their village and later won it overwhelmingly – unbelievably overwhelmingly.
We mean it was unbelievable.
Hillary had actively and visibly campaigned in the Hasidic Village. She won with out-of-the-ordinary numbers, beating her opponent Rick Lazio 1400 to 12. She didn’t receive anywhere near that number in other nearby Orthodox villages.
Senator-elect Hillary attended a White House event December 22, 2000 with the village leader, Grand Rabbi David Twersky, and the president, in which Twersky urged clemency for the criminals. She had met with the community the previous August, 2000.
It was similar to the tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch. Deals are worked out quietly, subtly over discussions of golf and grandchildren with winks and nods.
No one would ever think those four deserved clemency, something else was up.
A New York Times piece at the time found that the Rockland County Democratic Party records had been seized and there was testimony by politicians and community members before a grand jury. The crime was believed to be bribery or voter fraud.
After 15 months, Comey closed the investigation of Clinton’s clemency quid pro quo: ”The investigation was closed because we thoroughly investigated and determined it wasn’t appropriate to bring charges against anybody in the case,” Mr. Comey said at a news conference on an unrelated case. ”I can’t really go into it because it was an investigation that didn’t result in charges. That may be a frustrating answer, but that’s the one I’m compelled to give.”
Bill Clinton awarded 176 last minute pardons and many of the recipients, including Rich, had donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign and also to Clinton’s presidential library. However Comey found no criminal wrongdoing.