Despite serious legal and ethical questions being raised about the Clinton Foundation having high-level access to Hillary Clinton’s State Department while accepting large foreign donations, a CNN report on Thursday revealed that the Obama Justice Department squashed an FBI investigation into the matter. So far, the broadcast networks have censored any mention of the growing scandal.
According to CNN’s source: “Officials from the FBI and Department of Justice met several months ago to discuss opening a public corruption case into the Clinton Foundation...At the time, three field offices were in agreement an investigation should be launched after the FBI received notification from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation...”
Even with the major scoop, the CNN report repeated Justice Department spin excusing the inaction:
FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure. The Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book "Clinton Cash," but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case.
As a result, DOJ officials pushed back against opening a case during the meeting earlier this year. Some also expressed concern the request seemed more political than substantive, especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton's presidential campaign.
<<< Please consider helping NewsBusters financially with your tax-deductible contribution today >>>
<<< Thank you for your support! >>>
The NBC, ABC, and CBS evening newscasts all ignored the news Thursday night. In sharp contrast, Fox News’s Special Report led with the stunning development as anchor Bret Baier declared: “What you don’t know apparently is just fine with the Obama Justice Department when it comes to the Clinton Foundation. It is refusing to look into a story we reported Wednesday on Fox about e-mails suggesting an inappropriate relation between the Clinton charitable foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton was in charge.”
Friday’s network morning shows also skipped the story. However, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning did mention controversy swirling around top Clinton State Department aide Cheryl Mills doing work for the Clinton Foundation on the side.
On Today, during a report focused on Donald Trump’s controversies, correspondent Hallie Jackson offered a scant 20 seconds on the Clinton Foundation:
Trump's team taking aim at a new report showing a top aide to Hillary Clinton traveled to New York for business with the Clinton Foundation while working at the State Department, raising questions about “blurred lines.” Clinton’s campaign now calling suggestions of a conflict of interest absurd, saying the aide volunteered her time.
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Chip Reid offered 42 seconds:
CHIP REID: Trump didn't stop dredging up Clinton's past.
DONALD TRUMP: Pay for play. Pay for play. It's illegal.
REID: Pointing to allegations that favors for the Clinton foundation were done by Clinton's aides during her time at the State Department. The newest claiming that Cheryl mills, Clinton's top aide at the State Department, was involved with recruiting at the Clinton Foundation for top-level board members, while working for the Secretary of State. The Clinton staff didn't deny it, saying only, quote, “the idea that this poses a conflict of interest is absurd.” According to the State Department, any involvement by Mills with interviews at the Clinton foundation would not appear to violate any laws.
ABC’s Good Morning America completely ignored the story.
Again, CNN offered a full report on the Mills incident.