By Dan Backer
For decades, Hillary Clinton has been a self-serving, corrupt politician desperate for power above all else. And she was never held accountable from a legal standpoint — not for Benghazi, not for her flouting laws on government secrecy and transparency, and not for any of the Clinton scandals from the 1990s.
For what appears to be the first time in history, Clinton has been held responsible. The Federal Election Commission recently fined Hillary for America, Clinton’s 2016 campaign committee, and the Democratic National Committee over the now-infamous Steele dossier. Levying a total of $113,000 in fines, the FEC determined that Clinton and her co-conspirators used their law firm, Perkins Coie, to secretly fund research by British national Christopher Steele, who generated and disseminated the salacious and discredited dossier.
In the process, the Clinton machine failed to report publicly the true recipient and purpose of more than $1 million, which was spent on the scheme. Democrats illegally used Perkins Coie as a ”cut out” to hide their dirty tricks — a blatant violation of federal campaign finance laws. For context, in 2015, political operatives Jesse Benton, Dimitrios Kesari, and John Tate were criminally convicted for a similar scheme that involved only a fraction of the total dollar amount.
According to the FEC, Hillary for America and the DNC “misreported the purpose of certain disbursements,” ducking transparency rules for political gain.
It should also be noted that the dossier’s allegations came straight from, of all places, the Kremlin. Stemming from current and former Russian government officials, the lies contained in the dossier were designed to sway the 2016 election, all the more ironic given the nothing-burger of a “Russian collusion” story that soon followed former President Donald Trump’s victory. Democrats peddled the collusion narrative for years, only to be exposed as the ones leveraging the Russian government in a desperate bid to win the White House.
Despite her best efforts, Clinton failed without a shred of compunction about the permanent damage done to our nation’s faith in democracy. Fortunately, the FEC proved the fight to hold our corrupt elites accountable is a worthy one. At a time when most people don’t trust the federal government, it is often up to individuals to force action when officials fail to act.
A loss for Clinton corruption, the FEC’s recent ruling is inherently a win for the “little man.” Clinton and other Democrats were ultimately liable because of a 2018 FEC complaint filed by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, where I serve as counsel. Operating on a shoestring budget, Coolidge Reagan is anything but a household name, but we spent months investigating the Clintons and hammering down on the violations that came back to haunt them.
In this case, let’s hope the FEC’s action is only the beginning and not the end. Let’s hope that, next time, it doesn’t take years for the FEC to act. And let’s hope the next Clinton thinks twice before abusing power.
Dan Backer is a veteran political campaign counsel who serves as of-counsel for Chalmers & Adams, a political law and litigation firm.