Both the Democratic and Republican parties have over the past few decades been all too willing to pay lip service to Abraham Lincoln’s ideal of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” while they fatten their own wallets and those belonging to their most loyal special-interest groups. This arrangement has led to the development of what some call the administrative state, a monstrous government behemoth that has slowly engulfed Washington, turning it into an international epicenter of corruption, a sort of paradise for self-serving politicians and entrenched bureaucrats.
Perhaps no scandal over the last 50 years better encapsulates the corrupt heart of the administrative state than the Clintons’ dealings with Russia.
In 2010, a Russian nuclear energy agency, Rosatum, sought to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One, which owned rights to huge amounts of U.S. uranium reserves. Federal law required approval of the sale by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS has nine member seats, one of which is controlled by the U.S. secretary of state — Hillary Clinton at the time. If even one member of CFIUS recommends suspension of a pending foreign investment, the president must consider whether to stop the transaction.
Not long after the Russian agency announced it intended to purchase Uranium One, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin gave former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single one-hour speech in Moscow. Even more troubling, Uranium One investors, including a former chairman, donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation (which has been accused of being a medium through which Hillary Clinton engaged in pay-to-play arrangements while serving as secretary of state) before, during and after CFIUS reviewed and eventually approved the Uranium One deal.
The Clintons deny they acted unethically or outside the bounds of the law, as of course one would expect them to do. However, the question isn’t whether the Clintons are guilty of corruption and abusing their power; it’s whether there’s enough evidence to warrant a complete and nonpartisan investigation. On that question, it seems incomprehensible a reasonable person would disagree that there is, at the very least, a lot of smoke surrounding the Uranium One sale.
We now know the Clinton campaign worked tirelessly behind the scenes during the 2016 campaign to “kill” at least one story linking the Clintons to the Kremlin. It would be utterly irresponsible to ignore these accusations and, in so doing, tell the nation’s highest officials that shady dealings with dangerous foreign powers won’t even be investigated.
An essential component of a successful republic is trust between the people and their representatives. If anything has been made clear over the last two years, it’s that Americans have virtually no faith in Washington to solve their problems, or even to stop adding to them. Both parties’ establishments have failed to do much besides enrich themselves and increase the power and scope of government. The people have been clamoring for radical changes.
Those much-needed alterations are virtually impossible to achieve without a massive power shift that takes leverage away from the administrative state and puts power back in the hands of the people. That can’t happen if the so-called public servants now acting as a ruling class over the rest of the nation can continue putting their own interests before those of the American families who produce the goods and services the nation consumes.
The bigger government becomes, the more important it is for individuals and businesses to stay in its good graces, for which they’re forced to pay politicians, either legally or under the table. That gives both the government and the people large incentives to increase the size of government further, inviting more corruption.
A complete investigation of the Clintons and their ties to Russian interests — whether they are guilty of wrongdoing or not — would be a shot across the bow of government corruption and abuse by bureaucratic elites. Conversely, doing nothing would all but ensure the current corrupt system continues to increase the size of government, further the erosion of the public’s trust, and lead to even more irrational and destructive behavior by government and those seeking its favors.
Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is executive editor and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute. S.T. Karnick (Skarnick@heartland.org) is publications director and a research fellow at Heartland. They wrote this for InsideSources.com.