By Masooma Haq and Jan Jekielek
The lead investigator for the House Intelligence Committee’s 2018 probe into the FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump–Russia collusion, Kash Patel, said the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign is paying a penalty to Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an admittance of guilt. Clinton and DNC are doing so to bury the narrative and prevent more media coverage of these illegal activities, said Patel.
“I think the public sees what that is. It’s their way of burying the narrative, because if they contested what happens, more media coverage, more people start looking into these things,” Patel said.
“So the Hillary Clinton campaign is not contesting it, they’re paying the fine. It’s basically admitting that they did this and they’re out is: ‘we just don’t want a protracted legal deal, as if the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC ever shied away from taking something or someone to court,” Patel added.
Clinton’s campaign and the DNC agreed to pay a combined $113,000 to the FEC, according to documents made public on March 30, after the commission found probable cause that the entities violated federal law by describing payments that ultimately went to the Fusion GPS research group as going toward legal services and consulting.
“It shows them how wrong they were to violate the law and spend political campaign dollars on hit job, opposition research pieces for then-candidate Trump, all of which, [to] remind the audience, was then used intentionally by the FBI—even though they knew it was false—to go to a federal secret court and surveil a presidential candidate and later a president of the United States.”
The FEC, which is responsible for overseeing federal elections, including the presidential election, found that the Hillary Clinton campaign broke FEC rules about how donations can be used.
“What we knew when we ran the Russiagate investigation, Chairman Nunes and I, we exposed that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for the Steele dossier, an opposition research hit job. We had proven that some years ago,” said Patel.
“What the Coolidge Reagan Foundation did … based on our investigation, said ‘wait a second FEC, you as a political campaign cannot spend political dollars launching opposition research, false or otherwise,’” said Patel.
Dan Backer, an attorney who lodged the complaint with the election commission against the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told The Epoch Times that it’s the first time Clinton “has actually been held accountable for misconduct,” calling the fines “a great step for accountability.”
“So they fined them, that’s the FEC’s job. And the Hillary Clinton campaign could have said: ‘We disagree with your finding. We’re going to go to court.’ What did the Hillary Clinton campaign do? … They agreed to the finding of probable cause by the FEC, which means they’re basically agreeing that it happened. … Like we’ve always said, ‘follow the money.’”
Patel said while the FEC fine is an important step toward holding the Clinton campaign and other key players involved in the Russia disinformation campaign accountable, the true victory, he hopes, will be indictments made by U.S. special counsel John Durham.
In October 2020, Durham was appointed by the Dept. of Justice as special counsel to investigate the FBI’s handling of Russiagate. His recent filings revealed that internet traffic at Trump Tower and the White House was accessed to fabricate ties between Trump and Russia.
The filing, which was submitted late on Feb. 11 in connection with the indictment of Michael Sussmann, a former attorney to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, reveals that Rodney Joffe, a tech executive who was working with Sussmann, had exploited access to domain name system (DNS) internet traffic pertaining to the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP) as well as Trump Tower and Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building.
“This FEC fine is another step towards accountability. But [for] me as a former federal prosecutor, maybe I’m biased, but the ultimate step of accountability which the American public is waiting for,comes in the form of indictments, especially to those people who violated their oath of office,” Patel said.
The Epoch Times reached out to the Clinton campaign for comment.
Zachary Stieber, Jeff Carlson, and Hans Mahncke contributed to this report.
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