Rep. Meadow’s Hearing on the Clinton Foundation Was a Disaster

Hillary Clinton haters were all a-flutter about the prospect of “explosive” information being revealed at Thursday’s hearing on the Clinton Foundation as the last hurrah from Rep. Mark Meadow’s (R-NC) chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee. The first blow to their expectations came when U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tasked by former Attorney General Sessions to investigate all of the anti-FBI conspiracy theories germinated by right wingers, announced that he would be a no-show.

However, Meadows proceeded with the hearing anyway after having lined up witnesses like Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, and two men who have been described as both “whistleblowers” and “bounty hunters.” Fitton performed as expected, given his organization’s ongoing attacks on everything related to the Clintons. The real anticipation was over the testimony of the bounty hunters who claim to have spent three years doing forensic financial analysis of the Clinton Foundation.

John Moynihan and Larry Doyle testified that the foundation had violated its tax status, co-mingled funds with personal use and engaged in pay-to-play while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But as even Alana Goodman of the Washington Examiner reported, the hearing eventually blew up over their refusal to turn over their 6,000 page written report to the committee.

A congressional hearing on the Clinton Foundation turned into a fiasco on Thursday after Republicans clashed with their own witnesses — two private investigators who refused to turn over documents that they claimed showed evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation.

John Moynihan and Larry Doyle, financial analysts who say they have uncovered evidence of pay-to-play and financial crimes at the Clinton Foundation, were invited to testify on their findings by the House Oversight Committee’s Republican Chairman Mark Meadows.

But tensions erupted between Meadows and the two witnesses after Moynihan and Doyle refused to turn over 6,000 pages of documents that they say back up their claims — documents that the pair has already given to the FBI and the IRS.

To understand what happened, you need some information about Moynihan and Doyle and what they hope to get out of their investigation. In his opening statement Moynihan said that no one was paying them for their work and that they were simply motivated by finding the truth. But its a little more complicated than that.

While I wouldn’t doubt that there is some dark money behind their efforts, the real payoff they’re hoping for stems from the fact that they filed their claims with the IRS. That’s because a whistleblower program “pays those who expose any form of tax underpayment. In cases that exceed $2 million, the Office pays 15-30% of unpaid taxes, fines, and interest collected.” According to Doyle’s testimony, they believe that the Clinton Foundation owes at minimum $400 million in taxes, which would net them between $60-120 million for their efforts. That provides both the motivation for their findings as well as their reason for not wanting to turn their evidence over to the committee—they want to protect their investment. After receiving a preliminary denial of their claims from the IRS, Moynihan indicated that if the department doesn’t rule in their favor, they will file a civil suit.

However, under questioning from Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), we learned that at least a portion of their report had been given to Republicans on the committee. Moynihan revealed that he hadn’t given it to them directly. Instead, Republicans had gotten the documents from reporter John Solomon. So in other words, while the “whistleblowers” refused to give their written findings to the committee, they had obviously been willing to share them with a reporter who has been spinning conspiracy theories about the Clinton Foundation for years. We know that is the case because Solomon wrote an article based on their documents a full week before the hearing.

For a little background on Moynihan and Doyle, the former is founder of JM and Associates, LLC—where the latter is listed as one of the associates. Of the remaining five associates, one name caught my eye: Larry Johnson, former C.I.A. analyst. If you’ve heard that name before, it is probably in connection to his blog, NoQuarterUSA, which is now defunct. On it, he obsessively promoted the hoax in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videotaped railing against “whitey.” Johnson went on to make claims that John Kerry had been a rapist while he was in Vietnam and, more recently, was behind the conspiracy theory about Britain’s GCHQ spying on Donald Trump. While guilt by association isn’t dispositive, if Johnson represents the kind of associates these whistleblowers partner with, it is a damning indictment of their integrity.

This was the last hurrah of congressional Republican attempts to tarnish the Clintons via their “investigations.” But the Meadow’s hearing was a disaster from beginning to end, which isn’t surprising given that the whole story about malfeasance at the Clinton Foundation has been nothing but information warfare propaganda from the beginning.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .