Maybe Russia Is More Entangled Here Than America Has Been Told

Investigators are asking a flood of uncomfortable questions about the FBI's knowledge of Russia, the Clintons, and their foundation

Even fans of former President Barack Obama have difficulty explaining one famous moment in 2012. The former president was heard on an open microphone assuring then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that “this is my last election. After the election, I’ll have more flexibility.”

With the benefit of hindsight, the time approaches when Americans can finally go back over troubling episodes in our nation’s recent past and unpack what may actually have happened, as opposed to what they were given as the official accounts.

To get to the truth, credible and comprehensive answers must be given to tough questions, such as: Why did the FBI leadership accelerate disposition of the Anna Chapman spy case, yet slow-walk the Uranium One and Clinton Foundation cases?

The Obama administration announced on June 27, 2010, the stunning roundup of a spy network that included the comely Anna Chapman along with nine other deep-cover spies, some of whom had been operating clandestinely inside the United States as Russian agents for decades.

Then, well before any thorough interrogations might have been finished, Anna and her cohorts were expelled to return to Russia July 9, 2010, just 13 days following their initial arrests.

Remember, the summer of 2010 was one of rapidly increasing political discontent as hundreds of Tea Party rallies came together across the country to protest Obama administration policies.

What secrets did the Russian spies keep from the public by beating a hasty retreat back home?

How much did the FBI know about the true extent of Russian espionage operations inside the United States, and elsewhere worldwide against American interests?

How involved was Peter Strzok in counterintelligence efforts against Russia?

And how compromised were America’s counterintelligence and law enforcement efforts during the eight years of the Obama presidency?

How much information about these matters were afforded then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a result of her role in the “Russia Reset”?

Related: Clinton Foundation Uses Unseen Transactions for Influence Peddling

However those specific questions are answered, it is clear that starting with its HIV/AIDS Initiative in March 2004, the Clinton Foundation held itself out to the public as authorized to solicit tax-exempt contributions for a raft of activities not connected to operating the presidential archive and research center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

By September 2005, the Clinton Foundation began holding closed meetings for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York City near the time of the U.N. World Summit. Thereafter, claims about accomplishments spurred by such meetings strain credulity.

Just in its first partial year of operation, CGI boasted: “Thirty-five current and 10 former heads of state attended CGI 2005, along with business and nonprofit leaders from 69 countries, resulting in over 300 commitments, valued at over $2.5 billion, to address global poverty, religious conflict and reconciliation, good governance, and climate change.”

During 2005, the entire Clinton Foundation (in theory, all “initiatives” combined) reported just $22 million in program service expenditures, a figure that is less than 1 percent of the $2.5 billion in supposed “commitments.”

Even if the amounts committed are ultimately verified, there is no evidence that the Clinton Foundation validly changed its governing documents to give directors and executives requisite power to host CGI events anywhere by September 2005, or to pass these gatherings off as true charitable works, meriting federal and state income tax deductions for donations.

Furthermore, the Clinton Foundation has never provided granular and independently audited reports explaining the true financial consequences of CGI commitments. There is a search feature on the Clinton Foundation website that does allow you to review many supposed commitments.

Related: The Key to Understand Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons

According to the link that explains the search feature: “From 2005 to 2016, members of the CGI community made more than 3,600 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 435 million people in more than 180 countries.” Count me dubious.

Try the link yourself. It should not take you long to find examples of nominally charitable “commitments” that seem to be disallowed “for-profit” projects or investment funds whose financial scale is gargantuan, compared to amounts declared during 2015 through 2016 for all Clinton Foundation “programs services.”

Unmonitored and opaque pools of cash sloshing around “charities,” and under the influence of ambitious political dynasties, deserve intense focus.

What happens when politicians mingle with international investors and dealmakers on the make? As far as the Clinton Foundation is concerned, we do not yet formally know, as no part of the Clinton Foundation has ever tendered a legally compliant audit of its finances for any period, from its formation in October 1997 through December 2016.

But we have learned that government authorities are actually investigating possible pay-for-play transactions that potentially were routed through Clinton Foundation “initiatives.”

Unmonitored and opaque pools of cash sloshing around “charities,” and under the influence of ambitious political dynasties, deserve intense focus, particularly now that the Trump administration is not beholden to Establishment wings of the Republican or Democratic parties.

Charles Ortel, a retired investment banker, concentrates on exposing complex frauds in his new career as an investigator, writer and commentator. Since August 2017, he has been hosting the “Sunday with Charles” podcast and covering the Clinton Foundation case in depth, using publicly available source materials.