Or, why politicians in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
By now, we’re all familiar with the “Russia collusion conspiracy”, debunked by a two-year long investigation, that President Donald Trump conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. A few things have come to light recently that expose the reality behind other national political figures and their foreign contacts.
After all, we can’t pretend we’re alone in the world and that our presidential elections have no impact on the rest of the world. Practically every country on earth wants to influence us in one direction or another. We give nearly $7 billion in foreign aid every year, and that doesn’t include military spending. It also doesn’t hurt to have influential friends in Washington, DC.
So it should come as no surprise that major US political figures have questionable foreign contacts and associations.
According to indictments unsealed by the U.S. Justice Department, Pras Michel, a musician and film producer, allegedly conspired with a Malaysian businessman named Jho Low to illegally funnel $865,000 to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign without disclosing it came from a foreign source.
A total of $5.9 million in foreign money was bundled to avoid US campaign finance laws during the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer were among top recipients. Their hypocrisy is astounding when it comes to decrying foreign influence in U.S. elections, considering how much money they’ve taken from foreign sources.
According to a recent disclosure by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko, in 2016 Ukrainian law enforcement allegedly leaked then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s finances to unknown persons at the U.S. Embassy in order to help Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Manafort was later convicted of lying to federal prosecutors about money he made in Ukraine.
Back in January 2017, Politico published their own investigation into Ukrainian efforts to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump.
“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.”Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern, Jan. 11, 2017
Hillary wasn’t alone in working with the Ukrainians. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, worked on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings. Joe Biden is on tape admitting he leveraged foreign aid to pressure Ukraine into firing their top prosecutor, who had been investigating Burisma. The two things weren’t necessarily related, but can you imagine the outcry if this was Trump and his son, rather than Biden?
When politicians start hurling accusations about foreign ties, it can get ugly pretty quickly. That’s because the United States is an influential country on the world stage, and everyone wants our ear. And that’s why it was a good thing when President Trump signed an executive order in 2017 banning administration officials from lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government—an undoubtedly unpopular move in Washington, DC.