The Corner

Politics & Policy

Doubling Down on Double Standards

Mona Charen has a terrific column on the homepage today, asking why the media is demanding a “smoking gun” for Hillary Clinton when the same standards haven’t applied to other politicians like Bob McDonnell. Sometimes the array of dead bodies riddled with bullet holes warrants investigating possible crimes even more than a smoking gun.

Along the same lines, my colleague Mike Edney and I have an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal noting another double standard that the government is applying in looking the other way with respect to the Clinton Foundation.  If, instead of a Canadian company making donations to the sitting Secretary of State’s family foundation, a U.S. company had made donations to a charity associated with the Nigerian foreign secretary’s family, the Justice Department would come down on that U.S. company like a ton of bricks, alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. These investigations often result in millions of dollars in fines, firings of allegedly responsible employees, and even jail terms. Since that statute is modeled on domestic bribery laws, a consistent application of that standard would suggest an investigation is warranted here. And since the federal domestic bribery statute applies not only to the briber but the bribee, that investigation should look into the pattern of donations to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State from both the perspective of the companies involved and that of Hillary Clinton herself.

Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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