A source familiar with the investigation told Fox News late Thursday the investigation is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI in Little Rock, Ark.
Fox News also has learned investigators are looking into whether the Clinton Foundation violated tax law. Accusers of “pay to play” have claimed the foundation promised favors in exchange for donations or pledges of cash or gifts.
But, there’s a possible problem with the investigation.
For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years from the completion of the offense. Hillary Clinton left office on February 1, 2013, giving the FBI just over three weeks to file any charges involving quid-pro-quo.
Crimes involving tax matters are different. First, the statute of limitations for many IRS code violations is six years and that by simply registering a legal complaint within the statutory timeframe, the limitation is extended by 9 months from the date of the complaint.
A special statute of limitations applicable to tax offenses is found in 26 U.S.C. § 6531. It provides in part that, if a “complaint is instituted” within the limitations period prescribed, i.e., either three years or six years, depending on the type of internal revenue offense, then “the time shall be extended until the date which is nine months after the date of the making of the complaint.”
The Hill on Thursday reported that law enforcement officials expect “additional activities” in coming weeks which could mean charges. Of course, it could also mean another ill-thought, poorly-executed, Comey-like refusal to indict memo and public announcement.
Clinton associates slammed the new investigation calling it little more than a political distraction.
“Let’s call this what it is: a sham,” Clinton Spokesman Nick Merrill said. “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a now long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently.”
Clinton Foundation Spokesman Craig Minassian defended the Clintons’ charitable organization.
“Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false. None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people,” Minassian said. “The Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process.”
Kris Hundley and Kendall Taggart dropped this great piece of investigative journalism that discredited Charity Watch, one of those “charity watchdog groups” Minassian mentions, and put the Clinton Foundation financials under a microscope.
In 2015, Charity Navigator refused to list the Clinton Foundation as a charity due to its “atypical business model” that “doesn’t meet our criteria” and put the organization on its watch list which warns charitable givers to avoid such groups. Charity Navigator then announced in 2016 that it was listing the foundation and giving it a four-star rating – a truly amazing and sudden turnaround.
The investigation is reportedly being carried out by the Little Rock, Arkansas FBI field office as the Clinton Foundation was started there.