Clintons with Peter Paul and his wife Andrea (Courtesy Hillcap.org)
The top donor to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission asking the agency to re-open an investigation into illegal contributions and to probe alleged continuing violations of the law by the Democratic presidential candidate.
The complaint by business mogul Peter Franklin Paul also asserts the Clinton campaign’s 2005 conciliation agreement with the FEC – in which a finance aide was fined $35,000 – effectively let Clinton and other top aides off the hook.
Paul says that unless the FEC sets aside the agreement and rescinds immunity granted the senator, the agency itself will “have aided and abetted in the commission” of a felony.
As WND reported, Clinton is seeking dismissal from a $17 million fraud case filed by Paul in which her husband already is a defendant. Paul is appealing Sen. Clinton’s removal to the California Supreme Court, but whether or not she is a defendant, she will be required to testify as a material witness in a trial this year.
In May 2005, Sen. Clinton’s former finance director, David Rosen, was acquitted for filing false campaign reports that later were charged by the FEC to treasurer Andrew Grossman, who accepted responsibility in the conciliation agreement. Paul points out the Rosen trial established his contention that he personally gave more than $1.2 million to Clinton’s campaign for a lavish Hollywood fundraiser in August 2000 and that his contributions intentionally were hidden from the public and the FEC.
In January 2006, responding to a complaint from Paul, the FEC issued a $35,000 fine to Clinton’s joint fundraising committee for failing to accurately report contributions from Paul.
But Paul contends Clinton has continued to file false reports – a total of four – in an attempt to distance herself from him after a Washington Post story days after the fundraiser reported his past felony convictions. Clinton then returned a check for $2,000, insisting it was the only money she had taken from Paul.
Paul’s new complaint says the Dec. 13, 2005, “conciliation agreement – while giving the appearance of discharging the Commission’s duties – in reality gave the Commission’s blessing to what can only be described as a repetition of the very crimes for which David Rosen was prosecuted, namely, depriving the public of its right to know that that Peter Paul personally gave over $1.2 million to Senator Clinton’s campaign.”
Paul’s complaint cites the closing argument by U.S. Attorney Daniel Schwager in the Rosen trial: “The case is about the public’s right to know who is paying how much to their elected officials.”
“Most disturbing,” the complaint says, “was the intentional refusal by the Commission to review, assess, or further investigate clear evidence of illegal actions taken by Senator Clinton (directly and through agents, including the President), while at the same time purporting to forever exonerate Senator Clinton, her 2000 Senate campaign, and their agents of any possible wrongdoing” in connection with Paul’s contributions.
Paul contends Sen. Clinton’s participation in soliciting performers and planning the Hollywood event would make his more than $1.2 million in contributions a direct donation to her Senate campaign rather than to a 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 points out Sen. Clinton’s legal team and a judge have made a point over the past six years of insisting that she had no knowledge of the preparations for the Hollywood event, including at the Rosen trial. Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz declared the senator had “no stake in this trial as a party or a principal” and was “not in the loop in any direct way, and that’s something the jury will be told.”
But since the conciliation agreement, Paul has recovered from U.S. attorneys a videotape he made of a July 2000 phone call he claims shows Clinton taking an active role in the production of the fundraiser.
Meanwhile, Paul – who claims former President Clinton destroyed his entertainment company to get out of a $17 million agreement – is petitioning the California Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court ruling upholding a decision to remove Sen. Clinton from the case.
The California Supreme Court, in 2004, already upheld a lower-court decision to deny the Clintons’ motion to dismiss the case. Bill Clinton, according to the complaint, promised to promote Paul’s company, Stan Lee Media, in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife’s 2000 Senate campaign. Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to produce, pay for and then join them in lying about footing the bill for the Hollywood gala and fundraiser.
A decision by the state high court is expected later this month.