Jack Abramoff thinks Hillary Clinton should be in prison.
The former super lobbyist, who spent nearly four years in prison himself for fraud and corruption, explained why on the latest episode of “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast, where he also discussed the 2016 presidential race, how to fix Washington corruption and the lessons he learned over his infamous career.
- On Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation (6:33)
- On what happens to GOP if Trump loses (16:36)
- How to fix Washington corruption (19:02)
- On trying to pay off his $44 million in restitution (39:28)
- Advice on how to respond to a major setback (42:00)
- On his influences and legacy (50:09)
Speaking of Hillary Clinton’s role in the Clinton Foundation, Abramoff said she “is the most corrupt person in the history of the United States to get this close to the presidency, including by leaps and bounds Warren Harding.”
“She’s been involved in activities that frankly I was put in prison for and that I was in prison with other people who did other things that she did,” he said.
Abramoff said Clinton was clearly “selling special access” with her and her husband’s charitable foundation.
“Her staff — Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin — were very involved in facilitating donors getting special access,” he said. “Forget about whether they got results, because that’s not really the metric. The metric is are you using your public service to do something for somebody in exchange for a quid pro quo and there seems to be very little doubt there is.”
Abramoff says even if all that some major donors to the Clinton Foundation received were meetings with then-Secretary of State Clinton, which evidence suggests occurred, “doing the meetings is getting something.”
“People who understand government and understand clients and understand access in this town understand that when you give money and you get a meeting, you’re getting the ask,” he exclaimed. “You may not get the result, or you may get the result by the way. In some cases apparently they did, but just getting the meeting, getting the access, getting use over government, public service employees by virtue of your contributions, that is special access. That may not be statutory bribery but that is certainly absolutely honest services fraud, without question.”
“Anybody who looks at that and says, ‘well that’s perfectly okay,’ is either lying because they’re trying to support Hillary, hypocritical or they just don’t understand what’s going on in Washington,” he went on.
Abramoff argued that “even if all of the money that she extracted and he extracted from these world leaders in exchange for the favors they did in the State Department went to altruistic purposes,” it “is still improper.”
“That was exactly what happened with me,” he explained. “I asked people to give money to foundations that were actually doing things for people. It was still considered to be inappropriate and improper.”
So what do the Clintons get out of their foundation?
“They get importance and they get control,” Abramoff argued.
For her part, Hillary Clinton has called allegations of impropriety surrounding the Clinton Foundation “absurd.” Bill Clinton has vociferously defended the foundation as well.
“We’re trying to do good things,” he said in August. “If there’s something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don’t know what it is. The people who gave the money knew exactly what they were doing. I have nothing to say about it except that I’m really proud. I’m proud of what they’ve done.”