Hillary Clinton greeted at August 2000 Hollywood gala and fund-raiser by Peter Paul and his wife Andrea (Courtesy Hillcap.org)
The full, five-minute videotape touted as “smoking gun evidence” of two felonies committed by Sen. Hillary Clinton has been released to WND.
As WND reported, the tape was submitted as evidence to a California appeals court yesterday in a civil fraud suit against the New York Democrat and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
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.
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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.
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.
In the tape, Clinton is heard via speakerphone thanking Paul, business partner Stan Lee and other colleagues for their efforts in putting together the fundraiser.
She also describes the role of longtime aide Kelly Craighead as assisting in day-to-day involvement in preparation for the event as her liaison with Paul and his producers.
Peter Paul and Sen. Hillary Clinton (Courtesy Hillcap.org)
Craighead, Clinton says, “talks all the time” with Paul, “so she’ll be the person to convey whatever I need.”
The aide’s hands-on role is significant, because the law also implicates a candidate if any of his or her agents are involved in coordinating expenditures with a donor.
In another portion of the tape, Clinton is heard discussing her direct solicitation of a large contribution from the entertainer Cher. Paul’s legal team, the U.S. Justice Foundation, argues the value of Cher’s performance alone vastly exceeded the FEC limits.
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.
Sen. Clinton has claimed through her spokesman Howard Wolfson that Paul gave no money to her campaign, and her supporters have denied she had any anything to do with coordinating the fund-raiser or soliciting contributions directly from donors.
Clinton’s campaign has counted the more than $800,000 of in-kind contributions it reported in a 2006 amended FEC report for the Hollywood Gala as indirect, or “soft money,” given to the New York Senate 2000 Committee, a state account that was run jointly by Clinton, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the New York State Democratic Party.
The Clintons’ longtime attorney David Kendall has not replied to WND’s request for comment on Paul’s videotape. Kendall previously has declined comment on the case, saying only to WND regarding the felony assertion, “Any such allegation is totally false and totally unsupported.”