Dennis Hastert has had no small amount of trouble since it came out that he evaded banks’ reporting requirements on transactions over $10,000, and that he was using the money to keep a former student quiet about sexual misconduct. Because Hastert is a Republican, of course, the right has been swift in jumping to his defense.
According to Right Wing Watch, Sandy Rios, of the American Family Association, wondered if this was some sort of political payback. Obviously, nefarious forces are out to get Hastert because he’s a former Republican Speaker of the House:
I have to ask if this political payback, you know? You have to ask that. And I think about of all the Republican leaders who are not doing anything right now, and I wonder sometimes, you know, people keep book on people here. People keep long records.[…]
You know, you just wonder, if this is about justice, or if this is about ruining the man. And I find myself wondering, why do we not know who’s blackmailing him? Why are we not seeing that name? Because isn’t that kind of evil? Isn’t that against the law?
Federal law enforcement has decided not to pursue an extortion case against the person Hastert had contact with, according to CNN. There are other questions surrounding the indictment, but Rios is focusing on making this a political witch hunt.
Rios made a point of wondering why the Clintons aren’t under investigation for all the alleged misconduct at the Clinton Foundation. That’s what the entirety of the FBI ought to be working on, to her mind. According to Slate, the Clinton Foundation misreported some donations from foreign governments, and are working to remedy that.
Slate reports that a Republican activist, Peter Schweizer, “uncovered” a pattern with those donations, though. He alleges that the State Department made decisions that were favorable to those governments after the Clinton Foundation received their donations. In other words, there’s supposedly a pattern that looks like bribery, or trading favors.
However, Schweizer has a history of spreading misinformation. According to Media Matters, Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash, contains more than 20 errors, distortions, and outright lies. One could say that Schweizer is not the most credible of sources.
Therefore, it’s entirely likely that the FBI likewise doesn’t consider him credible enough to listen to. It’s also possible that they did some quiet looking and found nothing concrete, and so remained quiet about it. The calls for investigations into the Clinton Foundation are all coming from the right. Contrast that to the evidence the FBI has against Hastert, and you have the reason why they went after him, but not the Clintons.
Of course, the right is going to decry any investigation into a Republican as some kind of witch-hunt. The main problem is, though, that they rarely have a leg to stand on with that. Sandy Rios certainly doesn’t, but then again, Sandy Rios is not the most sane person on the fringe of the right.
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