04:13 GMT18 January 2021
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    Retired Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn has come under attack by the US left-leaning mainstream media over receiving money for a speech at RT's 2015 conference. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel asked why Hillary Clinton's numerous paid speeches and alleged charity fraud are not getting the same amount of ink in US press.

    Retired US Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was the first national security advisor appointed by President Donald Trump, has once again come under fierce criticism from Democrats.

    This time they accused Flynn of receiving more than $45,386 from Russia's broadcaster RT for a speech delivered at a conference in Moscow back in December 2015.

    Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News presented a leaked paycheck that indicated that Flynn was contracted through Leading Authorities, America's bureau for keynote speakers, to deliver his speech at the RT conference.

    While there is nothing new about the fact that American politicians are used to deliver paid speeches, the leak has again sparked a firestorm of criticism in the US mainstream media against Flynn and President Trump.

    Congressional Democrats argues that Flynn violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution since he received payment from the government-funded Russian broadcaster.

    Michael Flynn, ex-director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (2012-2014) at the RT conference Information, messages, politics: the shape-shifting powers of today's world.
    © Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy
    Michael Flynn, ex-director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (2012-2014) at the RT conference "Information, messages, politics: the shape-shifting powers of today's world."

    Flynn appears to "violate Pentagon rules that subject retired military officers to the 'emoluments clause' in the US Constitution, prohibiting them from accepting any 'consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria or salary' from a foreign government," Isikoff elaborated.

    However, the US mainstream media obsession with the Flynn case raises questions.

    "I think that mainstream press, particularly in the United States, leans heavily leftward, heavily in favor of the Democratic party which is still really in shock over the elections in November," Charles Ortel, an investigative journalist and Wall Street analyst told Radio Sputnik.

    "[US media] applied double-standard to their reporting which is beyond stupid," he stressed.

    Ortel highlighted that Flynn is a Democrat who has done a great service to his country.

    His only mistake, according to the analyst, is in not disclosing fully the nature of his business arrangements to the Trump campaign.

    While pointing the finger of blame at Flynn for delivering paid speeches in Russia, the US mainstream media remain silent about huge sums of money the Clinton family — former President Bill Clinton and ex-Secretary State and twice Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — received from foreign governments.

    "Let's think a little bit here about how much money the Clinton family… from governments around the world in speaking fees," he stressed.

    At first glance it seems that Flynn's $45,000 for one appearance is huge.

    "But what about Hillary Clinton's making $225,000 a speech, speech after speech after speech — $20 million over the course of eighteen months just after she was Secretary of State and just before she ran for president. Why isn't that the subject of intense focus? And the money Bill Clinton took and the money that Chelsea Clinton, in smaller amount, is now taking — why isn't that getting the same amount of ink?" he asked rhetorically.

    The answer is that the mainstream media has become part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution, the Wall Street analyst believes.

    "The media stars… are not doing the work, they are not going and looking at the hard facts… The mainstream media has let itself down. It is very much part of this celebrity culture and they've lost their inquiring minds," Ortel noted.   

    While Democrats are fretting and fuming over Flynn's allegedly violating the Emoluments Clause, the truth of the matter is that they continue to target the Trump administration through their recent media campaign.

    According to Ortel, Democrats "are going to throw everything they can" at the Trump administration to upset the President's efforts to "drain the swamp."

    But how likely is it that Hillary Clinton will be prosecuted under the same clause?

    Ortel says that when it comes to Hillary Clinton it would take a lot of effort to prove the "pay-for-play" allegations and the emoluments clause violation.

    "What is easier to prove is [the Clintons'] charity fraud," he pointed out, highlighting that charity fraud is a special area in US law.

    "The penalties under the US state and federal law for charity fraud, particularly involving disaster relief, are incredibly stiff," he explained.

    Ortel, who exposed General Electric's fraud before its stock crashed in 2008, is investigating the Clinton Foundation's alleged frauds committed in the US and across the world.

    "There have been reports in our press that there have been multiple investigations underway [into the Clintons' charity alleged fraud] led by FBI officers, that there is an IRS investigation… and there are rumors of investigations in Canada, in Australia," he said.

    "There should be an investigation in France; France is the biggest donor, believe it or not, to the Clinton Foundation," he said, adding that Norway, Ireland and many other donors have long funded the charity.

    If the fraud is proven, all of them would be very much upset, Ortel noted, because they will face major penalties for having given money to the charity that wasn't properly organized and operated. 

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