Fact Check

Hillary Clinton to Be Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

A broken Huffington Post link circulated on social media suggested that Hillary Clinton would soon face an indictment, but the article was unvetted and did not list any credible sources.

Published May 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton will soon be indicted on racketeering charges.

On 29 May 2016, Facebook user Frank Huguenard published a Huffington Post link leading to an article titled "Hillary Clinton to be Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges" and an article bylined to him:


The claims caused a stir, then disappeared as quickly as they manifested. Clicking through to the link on 30 May 2016 led to an error message:

clinton indicted RICO

However, the text of the article remains accessible on forums, blogs, and archives. Huguenard's original piece reported that Clinton would be indicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (or RICO) Act, and maintained that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would recommend to Attorney General Loretta Lynch that Clinton be indicted on charges related to money laundering, among other things:

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States Federal Law passed in 1970 that was designed to provide a tool for law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime. RICO allows prosecution and punishment for alleged racketeering activity that has been executed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Activity considered to be racketeering may include bribery, counterfeiting, money laundering, embezzlement, illegal gambling, kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other nefarious business practices.

James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.

Initially, Comey had indicated that the investigation into Hillary’s home brewed email server was to be concluded by October of 2015. However, as more and more evidence in the case has come to light, this initial date kept being pushed back as the criminal investigation has expanded well beyond violating State Department regulations to include questions about espionage, perjury and influence peddling.

There were no citations for these claims.  There was also no information about how the article's author learned of the supposedly impending indictment:

Here’s what we do know. Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible. Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer). When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and Datto, Inc. The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.

A conviction under RICO comes when the Department of Justice proves that the defendant has engaged in two or more examples of racketeering and that the defendant maintained an interest in, participated in or invested in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce. There is ample evidence already in the public record that the Clinton Foundation qualifies as a criminal enterprise and there’s no doubt that the FBI is privy to significantly more evidence than has already been made public.

Under RICO, the sections most relevant in this case will be section 1503 (obstruction of justice), section 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations) and section 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement). As in the case with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Break-in, it’s the cover-up of a crime that will be the Clintons’ downfall. Furthermore, under provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201, the Clinton Foundation can be held accountable for improprieties relating to bribery. The FBI will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that through the Clinton Foundation, international entities were able to commit bribery in exchange for help in securing business deals, such as the uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan.

It is a Federal Crime to negligently handle classified information under United States Code (USC) 18 section 1924. It is a Federal Class A Felony under USC 18 section 798. Hillary certified under oath to a federal judge that she had handed over to the state department all of her emails, which she clearly did not. In spite of her repeated statements to the effect that everything that she did with her home brewed email server as Secretary of State was above-board and approved by the State Department, the Inspector General Report vehemently refutes this claim. Hillary refused to be interview by the Inspector General’s office in their investigation, claiming that her upcoming FBI interview took precedent but it seems more likely that Hillary is more concerned about committing perjury or admitting to anything that can be used against her in a court of law.

Huguenaud concluded (again, with little to no supporting evidence) that Hillary Clinton was guilty of exposing classified documents to foreign governments and conspiring to circumvent Freedom of Information Act requests by avoiding the use of State Department servers:

Some of the documents were so highly classified the the investigators on the case weren’t even able to examine the material themselves until they got their own clearances raised to the highest levels.

While there is an excellent [case] to be made the Hillary committed treasonous actions, the strongest case the FBI has is charging both Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as the Clinton Foundation of Racketeering. There’s no wonder why it’s taken this long for the FBI to bring forward a recommendation. The rabbit hole is so deep on this one that it has taking dozens of investigators to determine the full extent of the crimes that have been committed. Perhaps the most interesting question here is whether or not the FBI’s investigation will be able to directly link The Clinton Foundation with The Hillary Victory Fund. If this happens, the DNC itself may be in jeopardy of accusations of either being an accomplice or of being complicit in racketeering.

After the article vanished, rumors swirled that Huffington Post retracted it under pressure from the Clintons, the Democratic National Committee, or other entities with a possible interest in suppressing the information it contained. However, the archived version of the article contained the following caveat:

This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Huguenaud published the item himself as a contributor to Huffington Post, where a disclaimer warned that information published through that platform is not vetted or official.

In July 2016, the FBI recommended that no charges be brought against Clinton in connection with her use of a private e-mail server.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.