Sen. Hillary Clinton greets Peter Paul at Hollywood gala (Courtesy Hillcap.org)
A five-minute videotape touted as “smoking gun evidence” of two felonies committed by Sen. Hillary Clinton, was filed in a California appeals court today in a civil fraud suit against the New York Democrat and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
As WND reported in April, the tape indicates Clinton – despite denials throughout six years of investigation – was directly involved with business mogul Peter Franklin Paul in producing a lavish Hollywood fundraiser in August 2000 that eventually cost Paul nearly $2 million.
Clinton’s participation in the planning of the event would make Paul’s substantial contributions a direct donation to her Senate campaign rather than her joint fundraising committee, violating federal statutes that limit “hard money” contributions to a candidate to $2,000 per person. Knowingly accepting or soliciting $25,000 or more in a calendar year is a felony carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.
A 40-second excerpt can be viewed here:
The tape was one of 90 Paul was ordered to turn over to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York in 2001 as part of the investigation in a related securities case against him. But it has never been used as evidence, despite its relevance to the key question of Sen. Clinton’s involvement in the Hollywood fundraiser.
Paul’s complaint charges President Clinton destroyed his entertainment company to get out of a $17 million deal in which Clinton promised to promote the firm in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife’s 2000 campaign. Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to foot the bill for the Hollywood event.
The tape was filed with the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles County as evidence in an appeal of an April 7, 2006, decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz granting Sen. Clinton her motion to be dismissed from the case based on the state’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects politicians from frivolous lawsuits during their election campaigns.
Paul’s attorneys have argued Sen. Clinton violated the federal code and, therefore, according to the law, would not be covered by the anti-SLAPP statute.
In his April 2006 ruling, Munoz scheduled a trial to begin March 27 this year, but it was delayed when in September he ruled the discovery process – which likely would require the former president and his wife to testify under oath – could not proceed until the anti-SLAPP appeal is resolved.
Paul’s lead attorney in the case, Colette Wilson of the U.S. Justice Foundation, said the motion to admit the evidence was required because the videotape was released in April after being held for nearly six years by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Wilson said the reply by Sen. Clinton’s legal team to her opening brief in the appeal “failed to address the substance” of allegations made by Paul.
With the release of the videotape, she said, “there can be no doubt of Hillary Clinton’s knowledge and involvement in obtaining and directing the largest illegal campaign contribution ever hidden by a Senate campaign.”
“It is truly ironic,” Wilson said, “that Hillary Clinton’s counsel, in a desperate effort to remove her as a defendant in this case, have subjected her illegal conduct to judicial review for the first time in her career, something she has avoided through numerous grand jury investigations directed at her misconduct since she entered the White House in 1992.”
Paul points out Sen. Clinton’s representatives declared to both the Federal Election Commission and to the grand jury in the probe of her former finance director, David Rosen, that she had no direct involvement in the fundraiser.
“This claim, which the judge in California and the commissioners in Washington accepted as true, was a flat out lie,” Paul said. “This videotape proves that Hillary Clinton was fully involved in this fundraiser. It also proves that she committed at least two clear felonies under the campaign finance laws. Worst of all, this evidence was withheld from both the court and the FEC for five years.”