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Monday, March 9, 2015

Hillary, Menendez, and Bibi: A Coincidence?

Last week was a very strange one for coincidences. On Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a powerful speech disputing the efficacy of the direction of the Presidents Iran negotiations. On Wednesday, the headlines were taken over by the Hillary Clinton email scandal, something the White House knew about for seven months. On Friday the DOJ announced it would be bringing charges against Senator Bob Menendez based on a three-year old scandal, Menendez just happened to be one of the biggest congressional critics of Obama's Iran negotiation.

The Hillary Clinton email scandal was broken by the New York Times,  which coincidentally is the recipient of many White House leaks, most recently leaks about Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.  

According to POLITICO  that the White House Knew about Hillary's emails seven months ago, what a convenient coincidence for the President that the NY Times just happened to break the story to take the Netanyahu speech out of the headlines.
The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.Sources familiar with the discussions say key people in the Obama administration and on Clinton’s staff were aware that the revelation could be explosive for the all-but-announced candidate for president. But those involved deferred to Clinton’s aides, and they decided not to respond.
(...)According to the sources, the problem came to light in August as the State Department prepared to respond to a request from the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. State Department officials noticed that some of the 15,000 pages of documents included a personal email address for Clinton, and State and White House officials conferred on how to handle the revelation, which they expected the committee to notice. But they felt that Clinton’s personal staff should take the lead, since she was no longer in government, and Clinton aides decided to wait and see.
 Friday came the unexpected charges against Bob Menendez just days after he appeared at the AIPAC convention and said:
"When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone—not Israel's political enemies and not by my political friends when I believe they're wrong

(...) As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as I have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interest of Israel, the region, and the national security interests of the United States—Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon. It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch."
Friday's announcement by the DOJ was not that they were bringing charges against the NJ Senator, but that they were about to bring charges against him in a case that many believe will be very difficult to prove:

If federal prosecutors pursue corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, they will face a difficult — but not impossible — task in making their case.

Members of Congress accused of trading their official actions for personal gifts or campaign donations, as prosecutors are suggesting Menendez (D-N.J.) may have done, can rely on several legal defenses to stave off a conviction, experts say.

A federal official said Friday that charges are expected to be filed against Menendez, whose relationship with donor Salomon Melgen has been under scrutiny for more than two years.

(...)“Everyone knows he and his family, and me and my family, have been real friends for more than two decades,” Menendez said in a statement. “We celebrate holidays together, have been there for family weddings and funerals, and have given each other birthday, holiday, and wedding presents — just as friends do.”
It's very interesting that both of these stories broke the same week as the Netanyahu speech.  Was it coincidence? Or was it an Obama attempt to get Netanyahu's speech out of the news and to send a message to any Democrats who dared to oppose him.  You decide. As for me, I am not a big believer in coincidences. 

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