Once again, a memorable line from the best ethics film of them all, “A Man For All Seasons,” came rushing back to me as I observed another example of professionals abandoning their ethical principles to assist the most demonstrably corrupt Presidential candidate in U.S. history, Hillary Clinton.
Not just her, however, to be fair. The Thornton Law Firm in Boston has used an illegal and unethical maneuver to circumvent election laws and give millions of dollars to the Democratic Party and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Harry Reid, President Obama and, of course, Hillary, among others. The scheme was revealed by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe.
The firm has just ten partners, but is one of the nation’s biggest political donors. A whistle-blower sent firm documents showing that firm members have been making large donations to Democrats, only to be reimbursed by the firm days or even hours later with bonuses matching the amounts donated exactly.
Federal law limits partnerships–law firms are almost all partnerships—to maximum donations of $2,700 per candidate. This was what is called a “straw donor” plot. “Straw donor reimbursement systems are something both the FEC and the Department of Justice take very seriously, and people have gone to jail for this,” Center for Responsive Politics editorial director Viveca Novak told CBS.
Naturally, the firm is denying wrongdoing for now, and says,
“We would like to make it clear that the Thornton law firm has complied with all applicable laws and regulations regarding campaign contributions. Ten years ago, it hired an outside law firm to review how it wanted to handle donations to politicians. It was given a legal opinion on how it should structure its program and then it hired an outside accountant to review and implement the program. It was a voluntary program which only involved equity partners and their own personal after-tax money to make donations.”
Right. I see a plea deal coming, as clear as the I can see the pained look of Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) in my mind.
This was cheating. A lot of Democrats apparently think cheating in elections is cool.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign, however, is giving back the firm’s donations. It’s not as cool when you get caught.