It’s not every day the words Quid Pro Quo get tossed around in politics, and probably for a good reason. The phrase refers to a favor or expectation of a favor you do in exchange for getting something in return. It’s the type of high-rolling wheeling-and-dealing Senator Frank Underwood uses in House Of Cards, for example. And also, it’s something the Hillary Clinton camp has become very familiar with.
According to accusations, the State Department made a deal with the FBI to downgrade the classification of the emails the Clinton campaign leaked publicly. In exchange, the State Department was to help the FBI get a stronger foothold in Iraq and other countries.
Politico explains that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy was accused of trying to make a classified email Clinton leaked unclassified. This would make it so the crime was not technically illegal. The Department of State is denying these claims, however.
Clinton’s opponent Donald Trump has brought up several times the fact that Hillary has faced no consequences for using a public server for state department business. As Time mentions, FBI Director James Comey felt that Clinton’s actions were in violation of the law, but did not warrant criminal charges.
The FBI has not reversed its decision even after WikiLeaks revealed thousands of emails from Hillary’s campaign chair John Podesta. It’s not clear yet which organization offered the exchange of favors to which. Clinton’s political opponents have been all over the email scandal, and some even called her out for evading punishment for the leaked messages. Nobody has been a more vocal opponent of Clinton than Trump, who tweeted out some of the misdeeds the Clinton campaign has been accused of.
The Don has also accused his political opponent of being in the pockets of the big banks, corporate interests, and lobbyists she says she will fight if elected. Democrats, meanwhile, have been calling to elect Hillary president and fight for a Democratic Congress to help her accomplish her political goals. To no great surprise, Hillary’s campaign is focusing on the lewd comments Trump was caught making about women on tape.
Once Upon A Deal
CBS News quoted an anonymous FBI employee who said he felt “pressured” to change one of Clinton’s emails from classified to non-classified as part of a deal between the two agencies. In exchange, the State department offered to allow the FBI to place more agents in countries where they were once forbidden. Trump did not just stop at attacking Clinton over the backroom deal, however.
The Donald claimed that the entire system was “rigged” and accused Hillary of conspiring with the Department of Justice. He also fired at the media for keeping the Clinton/FBI deal out of the press. Meanwhile, the offensive comments Trump has made about women have been televised nearly non-stop.
Trump has been claiming for several weeks now that the media is “pushing” Hillary as their candidate for President. Will her trade-off with the FBI hurt her as much as Trump’s comments have hurt him? Maybe, maybe not.
A RealClearPolitics poll has Clinton ahead of Trump by a 7-point spread, using data from other polls such as the L.A. Times and NBC. The media has covered Clinton’s deal to some extent but has not crucified her in the same way they did Trump.
But Wait, There’s More…
According to Fox News, the FBI denied the State Department’s offer despite repeated attempts by Kennedy to “influence” the Bureau of Investigation’s decision in Clinton’s favor. Republicans are now calling for Patrick Kennedy to resign in light of the accusations against him.
Reuters explained that the email Kennedy wanted declassified contained information on the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Both Clinton and President Obama had been accused of having prior knowledge that the Benghazi attack was about to occur, yet doing nothing to stop it.
So, who exactly is Kennedy? According to the Washington Post, Patrick has worked for six different Secretaries of State in senior management positions and is not related to President Kennedy’s family.
Kennedy also served as a U.S. Senator (Democratic) for the 1st Congressional District in Rhode Island from 1994-2011. The former senator claimed he was not trying to influence the FBI’s decision RE: Clinton’s emails, only to better understand the emails’ content.
The State Department has said it knows nothing about the entire controversy. However, some are accusing the Obama administration of trying to cover for Hillary and the State Department because Clinton is the Democrats’ major contender in the 2016 election.
[Featured Image by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]