In small town America, politics has never been a great way to get rich, but it has been a great way to avoid poverty. Get yourself elected mayor and you get to hand out jobs and contracts to people who will make sure you are kept in a lifestyle you feel you deserve. That could me cash under the table or maybe gifts like merchandise or jewelry. The mayor signs off on your government contract and you give him a Cadillac and a Rolex for his birthday.
This sort of corruption is harder today because it’s hard to hide large amounts of cash. Even cash leaves a paper trail. Mayor Jones has to figure out how to explain that deposit in his checking account to the tax man. Similarly, that cash came from somewhere and that has to be explained. People are going to notice that the mayor is living well beyond his means. If the people noticing are in law enforcement, then the mayor has trouble.
The way around this is to use cutouts. The mayor has power so he trades that for cash, in the form of investment opportunities, business deals and jobs for friends and family. The rich guy hires the mayor’s kid into a high paying no-show job and the mayor signs off on the government contract for the rich guy. Alternatively, the mayor gets in on a business deal that pays off handsomely. He then does a good turn for the guy who hooked him up in the deal.
To make this look clean the mayor will rely on a trusted friend to work the deals so the mayor is not seen in the same room as any of the players. That way, he just looks like a blind investor. Even if the deal itself turns sour and the authorities start snooping around, the mayor can show he has clean hands and maybe even claim to be a victim. This is an age old way to monetize political power without taking bags of cash.
This pattern is familiar to public integrity investigators. Whenever they start looking at a public official, they immediately start looking at the target’s finances. The same is true of espionage. Even spies driven by ideology charge a fee for their work and that money has to show up somewhere. Since almost all government corruption is about money, the best way to figure it all out is focus on the money. Figure out the the money and the rest usually comes into focus.
That’s what has always struck me about the Clinton e-mail scandal. These are grubby, vulgar people. That’s clear by the types of scandals we see with them. In Arkansas, Bill was raping women and Hillary was running real estate scams. His corruption was all about sex and her corruption was about money. Politics for them has always been small time, even when they were in the big time. Sex and money is why they got in the game.
In Washington,the two big scandals were sex and money. Bill was raping interns again and Hillary was selling national secrets for campaign cash. People forget about the Chinese money, the satellite deal and missile technology scandal. They even had that sap Al Gore out shaking down Buddhist monks for cash. On their way out the door they tried stealing the White House furniture.
This e-mail scandal looks a lot like an influence peddling scandal. Hillary had something valuable, which was access to national security information. In order to monetize it, she needed some way to hide the money and someway to conceal the theft of intelligence. The former was handled by the “charity” they created and the phony-baloney speeches Bill was giving to foreign entities. No one wanted to hear that old hillbilly speak, but they wanted access so they gave generously to the foundation.
The hard part of it was how to pilfer and disseminate the intelligence without getting jammed up on espionage and treason charges. That’s where this bathroom server comes in. Eventually, government people would be sending sensitive information to this system. Letting multiple people have access to her e-mail means the chain of custody for this information is now broken. Sloppy handling becomes a way to camouflage what was happening.
Loyal soldiers like Sid Blumenthal and Huma Abedin were probably the cutouts in these schemes. Maybe they knew, maybe they just throught they were getting to play cloak and dagger for the boss. They would pass on intel to those people hiring Bill for speeches. Alternatively, Blumenthal appears to have been selling himself as a connected guy to foreign interests. He could grease the wheels for their business in front of the Department of State.
When you take a step back and look at how the Clinton Crime Family has done business over the decades, this looks just like another money caper. Instead of selling favorable government rulings on business deals, they were selling access in exchange for contributions to this phony charity. The Clintons get to live like royalty, without having to worry about the tax man wondering where they got the cash. This is why RICO laws were created.