The Clinton bribery standard

Charles Krauthammer devotes his weekly column to “The Clinton bribery standard.” Charles is disgusted by the evidence of corruption that is revealed in the latest tranches of Clinton emails. He accurately states the defense advance by Hillary Clinton and her retainers: “There was no quid pro quo.”

Krauthammer comments: “What a long way we’ve come. This is the very last line of defense. Yes, it’s obvious that access and influence were sold. But no one has demonstrated definitively that the donors received something tangible of value — a pipeline, a permit, a waiver, a favorable regulatory ruling — in exchange.”

Only last year, however, Peter Schweizer published a whole book dedicated to the proposition that the lucrative quids earned many quos. The book is Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Peter knew that his book would subject him to the tender mercies of the Clinton machine and its mainstream media adjunct. Prior to publication, Peter therefore shared his research with prominent members of the media. They followed up with their own stories in the New York Times and elsewhere. (Peter has compiled news related to the book here.)

Peter’s evidence is circumstantial. Another Latin phrase covers it: post hoc ergo propter hoc. The circumstantial evidence is suggestive of quid pro quo, but not dispositive. (The post hoc phrase is used to articulate a logical fallacy.) As Charles writes: “It’s hard to believe the Clinton folks would be stupid enough to commit something so blatant to writing.”

Circumstantial evidence may or may not be enough to secure a bribery conviction supported by evidence proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case, but it nevertheless constitutes powerful evidence of corruption outside the courtroom. Schweizer presents a lot of it in the case of the Clintons. At the least it warrants mention and consideration in the context of the new evidence of Clinton corruption revealed in the past few days.

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