Donald Trump has become “such a kind of dangerous presence on the American landscape that a lot of people have become afraid of doing their jobs and scrutinizing his opponent,” Glenn Greenwald told “Democracy Now!”
Democracy Now! Truthdig August 29, 2016
Greenwald made his observation as media outlets have launched into Donald Trump’s business and tax history and conducted investigations into the lives and past work of current and former Trump campaign officials Steve Bannon and Paul Manafort.
Giving a demonstration of the kind of scrutiny he wants his colleagues to practice, Greenwald asked why the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia and other tyrannical states in the Persian Gulf.
“Here you have Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton having this Clinton Foundation, with billions of dollars pouring into it from some of the world’s worst tyrannies, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and other Gulf states, other people who have all kinds of vested interests in the policies of the United States government. And at the same time, in many cases, both Bill and Hillary Clinton are being personally enriched by those same people, doing speeches, for many hundreds of thousands of dollars, in front of them, at the same time that she’s running the State Department, getting ready to run for president, and soon will be running the executive branch.
“And so, the primary defense of Democrats, which is, ‘Look, there is no proof of a quid pro quo. Yes, Hillary Clinton did things that benefited these donors, but you can’t prove that the reason she did them is because she got—the Clinton Foundation got this money or her husband got this money.’ This is an absurd standard. That has been the Republican argument for many years.
“Of course you can’t prove a quid pro quo, because you can’t get into the mind of somebody and show their motives. That was the argument of Antonin Scalia and John Roberts in Citizens United, and Anthony Kennedy. They said, ‘Look, you can’t prove that big money donations are corrupting. Maybe it creates an appearance of it, but you can’t prove it.’
“And so, the problem here is that the Clintons have essentially become the pioneers of eliminating all of these lines, of amassing massive wealth from around the world, and using that to boost their own political power, and then using that political power to boost the interests of the people who are enriching them in all kinds of ways. And of course questions need to be asked, and suspicions are necessarily raised, because this kind of behavior is inherently suspicious. And it needs a lot of media scrutiny and a lot of attention, and I’m glad it’s getting that.”
Hear Greenwald take apart a key defense of Clinton’s deal with Saudi Arabia below.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly
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