Opinion | Morgan Liddick: The unexamined Russia connection to Hillary Clinton | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Morgan Liddick: The unexamined Russia connection to Hillary Clinton

Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County. His column appears in every Tuesday in the Summit Daily News.

It was a respectable amount of money: $2.3 million dollars. It came from one businessman and went to one politician, passing through two shell corporations along the way. It was clearly earmarked “pay for play.” Russian businessmen were peripherally involved. But this was not 2016 and the beneficiaries were neither Michael Cohen nor Donald Trump. The year was 2012, the donor was Ian Telfer and the recipient was ­— drum roll please — Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Telfer, for those with no interest in corruptions not involving Donald Trump, is a Canadian businessman with extensive mining interests involving uranium. In 2009, he donated one million dollars as he requested the US Embassy in Kazakhstan help him keep his uranium mine there. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. A year later, he donated $250,000 as Russian oligarchs sought majority control of his business. In 2011, he donated $500,000 and in 2012, $600,000 as the now Russian-controlled Uranium One company sought a substantial amount ­— between 10 and 20%, depending on whom one believes — of US uranium reserves. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State.

Neither the US Department of Justice nor the steely-eyed and incorruptible Robert Mueller took interest in this or any of the other questionable dealings involving the Clinton Foundation during the years in which Hillary was Secretary of State, although the foundation received hundreds of millions of dollars from major US and foreign corporations, including some with ties to Russian oligarchs and others with agendas not aligned with US national interests.

We know from a 13-page memo penned in 2011 by Clinton “fixer” Douglas Band that he, the company that he created with former Hillary fundraiser Declan Kelley and the Clintons themselves saw little distinction between donations to the foundation and the Clintons’ personal income. Evidently, that’s irrelevant.

I say none of this to excuse Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, from planning to use the president as a get-rich-quick scheme. If he did engage in pay-for-play — and we should bear in mind that the only assertions he did so far come from Stormy Daniels’ attorney who now faces legal questions himself — he deserves investigation. Maybe of the sort Hillary got.

That won’t happen, of course. He will be treated instead to the wrath of Robert Mueller’s prosecutorial team who at this point desperately need something, anything, to get to the President. I assume that the Attorney General of the state of New York, whomever that will eventually be, will also land on him for all possible charges down to jaywalking while owning a skunk.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer a country of equal justice for all. We are a country with equal justice for all save the Clintons who, as we all know, are more equal than others.

It should be simple: politicians should not take large sums of money from those whose businesses their decisions affect. And if they do, they should be prosecuted to the extent allowed by law. Everyone should be subject to the rule. But we’ve all seen they’re not.

No one should mishandle classified material. Everyone who works with it is constantly reminded of the regulations about this, so if anyone willfully does otherwise prosecution is in order no matter the violator’s last name. But we’ve all seen this isn’t the case.

Does anyone with a working brain really think that Bill Clinton spent 30 minutes on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport talking to Attorney General Lynch about “golf and grandkids” on the eve of his wife’s chat with the FBI about her email “matter”? No. But there are Trumps to fry, so pay no attention to that felony behind the curtain. This stuff makes equal justice in America a myth.

Part of the motivation of those who elected Donald Trump, and who continue to support him, are these double standards. They see the charmed circle of people close to the centers of power who think they’re entitled to rule, who will do anything to achieve power and wealth, and who are protected by their powerful friends when they are discovered. They know these people pretend to be their champions when the cameras are on, but talk about them as barely evolved pond scum when they think no one’s listening. They’ve known it for years, and they don’t like it. Nor do they like a justice system deferential to political elites; nor the idea of a permanent class of overlords. Donald Trump was their response and many see the unrelenting, unhinged and unreasoning attacks of the “establishment” on their outsider president as an attack on them personally.

Those doing the attacking might want to consider what happens when the berated and belittled decide they’ve had enough. At that point, Donald Trump might be the least of the Swamp’s worries.

Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.

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