By RICHARD W. PAINTER, AUG. 31, 2016
“When I was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, I asked many prospective administration officials if they would sell stock in companies, give up stock options, step down from nonprofit boards or make other painful choices to enter public service. Some balked. I told them that someone more important than I was, perhaps the president or the White House chief of staff, would ask them, “Do you want this job or don’t you?”
I know about the difficult questions, and entanglements, that crop up in public service. I believe that Hillary Clinton has asked and successfully answered those questions as they pertain to the Clinton Foundation. There is little if any evidence that federal ethics laws were broken by Mrs. Clinton or anyone working for her at the State Department in their dealings with the foundation. Unfortunately, the foundation is still fuel for Mrs. Clinton’s persistent critics.These critics have yet to point to any provision of the federal statutes or ethics regulations that was violated by Secretary Clinton or her staff in their dealings with the foundation and its principals, agents and donors. Was there favoritism? Probably, yes. But laws were not broken. If favoritism by political appointees toward outside persons and organizations were illegal, the United States government would be quite different than it is today.”
Mr. Painter writes he will support Hillary Clinton, and that she has done nothing wrong at the foundation, but that the Clintons should all stop working there for the rest of their lives. This is a terrible idea, and after a profound analysis. The world will be a better place if the Clintons all work at their foundation after Hillary’s presidency ends. The Clinton Foundation is doing great works around the world.
Here is a great comment I endorse.
“If only there were such concern about A Thousand Points of Light, which President George H.W. Bush ran while he was President, or the American Red Cross, run by Elizabeth Dole while Bob Dole was the nominee, or any of the other charitable foundations doing great work by major political figures. But there wasn’t, because this isn’t about favoritism, or access, or anything other than The Clinton Rules, which say “anything done by a Clinton is bad.”
As for the “it’s really okay but the optics are terrible” argument shoved down our throat daily by the media I ask, who but you is creating those terrible optics, breathlessly reporting insinuation in the headline and lede, and occasionally noting, in the seventh paragraph or page 9, “but they did nothing illegal or different than anybody else, and they saved 10 million lives in the process?” “