Lock Them Up

Grind for December 14th, 2018
FIRST SIP:
“God does not play dice.” – Albert Einstein



Overreaction

The Headline

Google CEO testifies before Congress

The Grind

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told lawmakers that Russian-linked accounts spent $4,700 in advertising during the 2016 elections.

In questioning Pichai, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) described these findings as part of “Russian agents’ campaign to interfere in the election.”

Nadler noted that YouTube “identified and shut down” numerous accounts containing “thousands of videos associated with the Russian misinformation campaign” and asked Pichai if Google had determined to what extent it was exploited by Russian actors two years ago.

“Two main ad accounts linked to Russia advertised on Google for about $4,700,” answered Pichai, describing this figure as “limited activity.”

Google also detected “limited activity” from Russian- and Iran-linked accounts during this year’s midterm elections.

When asked what steps Google would be taking to prevent future interference, Pichai assured Nadler that Google was “investing a lot of effort and oversight,” including cooperation with law enforcement and with other technology companies.

The Details

Democrats are using Pichai’s testimony to bolster their claims about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, but if you’re familiar with the advertising industry, you know that $4,700 isn’t even a blip on the weekly reports.

Google’s investigation also uncovered an additional $53,000 in political ad spending from Russian Internet addresses, but it is unclear whether any were connected to the Russian government.

The ads included a documentary about Trump’s efforts to build a golf course in Scotland and advertisements both supporting and opposing former President Barack Obama.

The Kicker

Earlier this week, Rep. Nadler accused Trump of “impeachable offenses” and has promised that next year’s Congress would be taking a closer look into the president’s business dealings and his alleged collusion with Russia.

“We have to get to the bottom of this, find out what all the facts are, we and the special counsel, and then make decisions,” said Nadler.

Nadler has been nominated to lead the House Judiciary Committee when his party takes control of the chamber in January.



Caught Red-Handed

The Headline

Former Clinton Foundation CFO: ‘I know where all the bodies are buried’

The Grind

New information about the Clinton Foundation suggests Bill and Hillary could owe millions in unpaid taxes and penalties – with the two largest issues seeming to be Bill’s failure to separate business spending from personal spending and the use of tax-exempt assets for personal and political use.

The information comes from former Clinton Foundation CFO Andrew Kessel, who told investigators from MDA Analytics LLC he knew where all the bodies were buried.

“There is no controlling Bill Clinton. He does whatever he wants and runs up incredible expenses with foundation funds,” reads a memo attached to the Kessel interview. “Bill Clinton mixes and matches his personal business with that of the foundation. Many people within the foundation have tried to caution him about this but he does not listen, and there really is no talking to him.”

Kessel later denied saying anything negative about Bill or the charity and said he was under the impression he had been speaking with an old friend (not with investigators).

The Details

In addition to Kessel’s comments, MDA Analytics has also obtained more than 6,000 pages of similar evidence from a second whistleblower.

The organization says it’s possible the Clinton family owes millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and fines.

Lawyers with MDA Analytics have reached out to federal prosecutors, the IRS, and the FBI to investigate questions about “legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business, and ‘quid pro quo’ promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was Sec. of State.”

These accusations are nothing new for the Clinton Foundation, which is widely believed by conservatives to be a corrupt, play-to-play political organization disguised as a charity.

“There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” wrote MDA Analytics. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties.”

The Kicker

Later this month, a GOP Congressional subcommittee plans to review the work of US attorney John Huber – who was selected last year to investigate “all things Clinton.”

Last week, a prosecutor working with Huber asked MDA Analytics for copies of its evidence against the Clinton Foundation.




GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
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