By VennerRoad, 5th Mar 2017
Should theTrump Administration pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton? How can it not?
In June last year, an unemployed woman who had been sanctioned by the Benefits Agency walked into a food store in Kidderminster and stole a packet of Mars bars valued at less than a pound. When she appeared before the magistrates in August she was fined £73, in total she was ordered to pay over £300, a stupid punishment for someone who has no or very little money.
A clergyman in Scotland heard of the case and set out to raise £500 for her. He raised nearly £14,000 in four days.
More recently it was reported that a woman who had found a £20 note on a shop floor and pocketed it instead of handing it in had received a slightly less Draconian sanction. The accompanying police investigation had taken up considerable time including scrutinising CCTV footage.
In the first instance, neither poverty nor hunger is an excuse for dishonesty, although it is surely strong mitigation. The woman concerned — who will not be named here — was in her early thirties, so if she was reasonably attractive she had another alternative. A third alternative was to beg. Most decent women would rather go hungry than prostitute themselves, and most people — men as well as women — are averse to begging, although when the phrase fund-raising is substituted, it sounds less disreputable.
The other case is too stupid to comment on, certainly if this young woman had found the money in the street it would be difficult to criticise her for keeping it. This case may be slightly unusual but the first is not. Every day in courtrooms worldwide, men and women who have similar hard luck stories receive what is for them severe punishments for relatively trivial crimes. By the same token, others receive what are trifling punishments for offences of dishonesty several orders of magnitude greater. Okay, occasionally an example will be made of a really big fish, like Bernie Madoff, but for the most part, major fraudsters serve relatively little prison time, so little that they regard this as a worthwhile occupational hazard.
Which brings us to the Clinton Foundation. Charles Ortel has been investigating the activities of this outfit for the past two years, and he is far from the only one. There are ongoing criminal investigations — plural — into the Foundation and its personnel, and indeed there was speculation that before he left office Barack Obama would pardon Hillary Clinton. That pardon did not come about, and his successor has said he wants to draw a line under it and move on, but although President Trump should not intervene in these investigations, he should not stifle them as Loretta Lynch clearly did.
Leaving aside her blatant lies about her e-mails when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has a major case to answer, as do others associated with the Clinton Foundation; the sums of money involved are staggering. Had she won the Presidency as expected we would have seen the graft continue, or rather we would not have seen it, because Loretta Lynch or whoever succeeded her would have continued to suppress the truth. Clinton Foundation donors include the Government of Norway, whose annual donation dropped from $20 million to $4.2 million after the Election; Saudi Arabia — always controversial; and Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra whose mining company was enriched by a massive uranium deal. This is what Donald Trump called pay to play; the sums involved would buy a lot of Mars bars. It would be a grave injustice if in this case as the saying goes the law were to prosecute a woman who stole a goose from off the common while letting loose the woman who together with her husband and powerful vested interests stole the common from the goose.
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