In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the Biden Administration's role in rising inflation, some…
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Image of the Day: Good News - As Inflation Accelerates Elsewhere, Internet Service Costs Actually Decline

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the Biden Administration's role in rising inflation, some of its under-discussed negative consequences and its shockingly tone-deaf responses and rationalizations.  In an increasingly rare bit of positive news from NCTA, The Internet & Television Association, however, internet service provider costs are actually declining:

 

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="704"] Good News: Internet Service Costs Decline[/caption]

 …[more]

October 22, 2021 • 12:36 PM

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Spoliation of Evidence Standard and Hillary's "No Smoking Gun" Alibi Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 28 2015
At a minimum, the sheer number and value of payments to the Clinton Foundation by benefactors with official business before Hillary's State Department suggest a conflict of interest, even if not outright corruption.

"There's no smoking gun!" 

That's an alibi on which Clinton apologists desperately rely amid the deepening scandal over questionable payments to her family's "charitable" foundation, as well as the conspicuously unavailable emails from her inglorious tenure as Secretary of State. 

Of course, they employed that same alibi back in 1998 until a little blue dress intervened. 

Nevertheless, aside from the tawdry spectacle of Clintonian history repeating itself, this particular rationalization makes for an all-too-convenient excuse.  After all, the most likely source of any "smoking gun" evidence - Hillary's governmental emails - remained within her private control.  Accordingly, it's possible that the reason no such evidence has yet been discovered is because Hillary herself metaphorically buried it. 

That alibi, however, carries less persuasive logic than Clinton and her defenders assume. 

Specifically, applying the well-established legal evidentiary concept of "spoliation of evidence" to this matter actually allows a logical inference against her.  As a Yale Law School graduate herself, it's a concept with which she's surely familiar. 

The evidentiary rule itself is fairly straightforward.  When parties to a controversy destroy relevant evidence (whether intentionally, recklessly or negligently), or when they fail to produce evidence or witnesses presumably within their control, the law actually permits an inference to be drawn that the missing or destroyed evidence would have been unfavorable to the spoliating parties. 

In other words, rather than exonerating someone due to absence of evidence, we rightfully presume that the destroyed or withheld evidence was damning to the party controlling it. 

The logic of that rule is obvious.  Absent paying some cost for the disappearance of evidence under suspicious circumstances, parties would be incentivized to either destroy or fail to properly preserve adverse evidence within their control.  Not only would that be unfair to opposing parties, it would undermine our system of justice in a fundamental way.  The spoliation rule also serves to offset the natural imbalance created when one party maintains superior access to pivotal evidence on a particular question. 

Accordingly, as applied to Hillary and Bill Clinton, the absence of a "smoking gun" may thus be more damning than exculpatory. 

Throughout Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State, her family's foundation received enormous sums from foreign nations and organizations with controversial business before the State Department.  Additionally, Bill received speaking fees that became even more generous after Hillary took that position.  Many of those nations and organizations, it should be noted, maintain notorious records in terms of respect for human rights, including women's rights. 

At a minimum, the sheer number and value of payments to the Clinton Foundation by benefactors with official business before Hillary's State Department suggest a conflict of interest, even if not outright corruption.  Keep in mind that the appearance of conflict of interest is used by people like Hillary Clinton to justify free speech restrictions in the form of campaign finance "reform."  Yet few political figures suffer apparent conflicts of interest, or command higher campaign donations, than she. 

And this week, the Clinton controversy took an even more interesting turn.  As summarized by The Hill, it turns out that a connection exists between the Clinton Foundation and soccer's global governing body at the center of criminal corruption accusations:   

"Soccer's governing body, embroiled this week in an international corruption investigation, has contributed money to the Clinton Foundation, records show.  The Federacion Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is listed on the foundation's website as giving between $50,001 and $100,000.  It did not specify when FIFA donated, nor the exact amount.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges on Wednesday against nine FIFA officials.  It unsealed a 47-count indictment against the officials and five other corporate executives for claims of money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud.  The agency additionally said Swiss law enforcement officials were probing FIFA for its allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar.  The Clinton Foundation also lists the 'Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee' as a former donor.  Qatar's committee for hosting a World Cup reportedly gave between $250,000 and $500,000 through 2014, the foundation's website said." 

So was Clinton's term as Secretary of State tainted by corruption, or at the very least inexcusable conflicts of interest?  That question remains unanswered. 

But far from clearing her name because "no smoking gun" has yet surfaced, the conspicuous unavailability of evidence central to this issue actually allows an inference to be drawn against her.  That may not stop her defenders from continuing to offer that alibi, but Americans should contextualize it accordingly. 

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In which century were the first mandatory vaccination laws enacted in the United States?
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—Michael Goodwin, New York Post Columnist
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post Columnist
 
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Do you support or oppose any expansion beyond current regulations of bank reporting account holder financial transactions to the IRS, regardless of threshold amount?