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There seems to be a borderline rabid obsession with reporting what politicians are “under investigation” by journalists these days. For weeks, speculation and palace intrigue pointed the finger at President Donald Trump. False stories were written declaring that James Comey would declare Trump was under investigation for potential Russia connections. Those stories had to be officially corrected.
However, there are many politicians still under investigation! As of Tuesday, June 27, 2017, here is the definitive list of politicians who are and are not under investigation:
NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION: President Donald Trump (According to his lawyer)
Even though many people thought the president was under investigation by the FBI in the wake of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, James Comey's testimony proved otherwise. Based on his sworn testimony, three times Comey personally told the president that he was not under investigation.
In the weeks proceeding that testimony, suspicion grew again that Robert Muller's special investigation was targeting Trump for investigation. This allegation has, to date, been entirely unfounded. Trump's personal lawyer in the case has effusively denied that Trump is personally under investigation multiple times on multiple platforms. The New York Times writes:
A member of President Trump’s legal team [Jay Sekulow] said on Sunday that the president was not under investigation by the special counsel looking into Russia’s election-year meddling... Mr. Sekulow repeatedly and forcefully denied that on Sunday, saying on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program that “the president has not been and is not under investigation,” and insisting that the administration had received no information from the special counsel’s office to think otherwise.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” program, he said flatly, “The president is not a subject or target of an investigation.”
Mr. Sekulow did acknowledge on “Fox News Sunday” that he “can’t read people’s minds,” but said there had been “no notification of an investigation” of the president by Mr. Mueller.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where the president would not be aware of it,” Mr. Sekulow said on CBS.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Hillary Clinton
Formal investigations into Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state have not ceased after her 2016 election loss to Donald Trump. Despite spending a majority of her campaign under FBI investigation, the probes into the inappropriate use of classified information and abuse of power have steadily grown. Firstly, the State Department is officially investigating Clinton and her staff's use of top-secret government documents during her tenure at the department. The results may strip Clinton and her associates of any security clearances they currently hold. According to Fox News:
Despite being under investigation, Clinton and her staffers still have security clearances to access sensitive government information.
The department’s investigation aims to determine whether Clinton and her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold and transmit classified and top-secret government documents. The department declined to say when its inquiry began, but it follows the conclusion of the FBI’s probe into the matter, which did not result in any actions being taken against Clinton or any of her aides.
Depending on the outcome of the current State Department inquiry, Clinton and her aides could have their access to sensitive government documents terminated.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, confirmed to Fox News the department’s formal inquiry.
Separately, Senator Grassley confirmed that Clinton is being investigated for misuse of official power as secretary of state. Clinton has been publicly accused of attempting to pull political favors for Clinton Foundation donors while serving as secretary. One instance involves threatening of Bangladeshi politicians to curry favor for a Clinton donor living in the country.
According to the senator's statement on the matter:
Sen. Chuck Grassley today asked the State Department for information on whether then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff sought help through official channels for a Bangladeshi businessman who also was a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation. The allegations of special treatment include reports of a threatened IRS audit of the Bangladeshi prime minister’s son, living in the United States, if he did not help quash a Bangladeshi government investigation of the businessman and Clinton organization donor, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Federal law strictly prohibits officials from profiting or leveraging their own financial interests while holding office. Grassley went on to say that “Clinton’s actions have raised reasonable suspicions that she violated these rules.”
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Loretta Lynch
Former Obama Attorney General is now under investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee for her actions in relation to the cover-up and manipulation of the Clinton email investigation. During his under-oath testimony before the Senate, Comey accused Lynch of regularly pressuring the investigation to look favorably for Clinton.
According to the Daily Wire:
Grassley, along with the committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, sent a letter to Lynch asking her to lay out exactly what she did during the Clinton probe. Former FBI Director James Comey testified this month that she tried to get the FBI to downplay that probe. “At one point, she directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” Comey said in his June 8 testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”
Comey said Lynch’s request “gave the impression the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our investigation with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity.”
Lynch has also been accused of telling major Democrat donors and leadership that she would not allow the Clinton investigation to “go too far.”
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife
Both Bernie and Jane Sanders are both under federal investigation in a swirling bank fraud case. The first couple of “The Resistance” is now lawyering up to defend themselves against federal prosecution. The basic details of the case involve Jane Sanders securing multi-million dollar loan by lying about donor levels for the now-defunct Burlington College, which she was then president of. Bernie gets ensnared in the scandal because of allegations that he used his political power to influence the bank to approve the loan.
According to Politico:
The records showed that Sanders had assured People’s United Bank and the state bonding agency that the college had $2.6 million in pledges to secure the loan. Internal college audits showed that only $676,000 in actual donations came in from 2010 to 2014. Sanders listed two people as having confirmed pledges for more money than they had offered; neither knew their pledges had been used to support the loan. A third donor had offered a $1 million bequest, to be paid upon her death. Instead, the college’s loan application counted it in funds to be paid out over the next few years.
GUILTY: Dem. congresswoman Corrine Brown
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In May of 2017, Former Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown was convicted on 18 counts of fraud and tax evasion for stealing funds from a fake scholarship service to fund her own lavish lifestyle. According to The Atlantic:
Former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown was found guilty Thursday of pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars that she raised for a fake charity alongside her former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons. Brown was a member of the House of Representatives for more than two decades, and one of the first African-Americans from Florida to be elected to Congress. She ran for reelection in 2016, but was defeated shortly after news surfaced that she had been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud, five counts of mail fraud, three counts of falsifying tax returns, and one count of conspiracy.
If given the maximin sentence Brown could owe millions of dollars in penalties and spend the rest of her life in prison.
So, there are the facts about what politicians are and are not under investigation and, potentially, spending the rest of their life in jail.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.