The Patriot Post® · The U.S. Department of Clinton Foundation

Political favors are nothing new, so the allegation that Hillary Clinton greased the skids for a number of shady characters and hangers-on while she was running the State Department should not be surprising. (She is a Clinton, after all.) So when we learned that Judicial Watch uncovered more emails that provide hard evidence Hillary was engaged in buying and selling political favors as secretary of state — messages somehow missed when she insisted all of her private server emails were accounted for — well, it’s par for the course.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says the emails reveal “the State Department and the Clinton Foundation worked hand in hand in terms of policy and donor effort.” And Obama’s Justice Department is happy to look the other way. Three FBI field offices sought an investigation earlier this year, but were rebuffed because of a preliminary finding last year. Then again, other reports are that there are multiple ongoing investigations…

Of course, Americans already find Hillary to be untrustworthy, so the additional charge that the DOJ blocked a probe into the workings of the Clinton Foundation isn’t going to improve or worsen the perception of “Crooked Hillary.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper knows this. “This [email release] does feed into the narrative out there that the Clintons in general don’t think that the rules apply to them, and can’t understand why anybody would ever question their ethics or their integrity,” said Tapper. “This is exactly what the Obama transition team in 2008 wanted to avoid. They wanted a clear delineation between the foundation and the State Department.”

In fact, these emails prove an ongoing “pay-to-play” pattern at the Clinton Foundation State Department. The most recently revealed group of emails came from Hillary’s longtime associate Huma Abedin, and they showed that those who had access to the Clinton Foundation were quick to ask for assistance in a number of areas: securing employment for an associate of Clinton Foundation official Doug Band as someone who is “important to take care of,” as well as for a friend of Lana Moresky, who is described as a “major Clinton fundraiser”; arranging meetings between a high-dollar Nigerian donor named Gilbert Chagoury and former ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman to advance Chagoury’s business interests; or helping to shape our policy with China to benefit the Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley, thanks to its Asian Chairman Stephen Roach, another major donor. While Hillary couldn’t come up with a proper “reset” button for the Russians, it appears she did have time to set up those connected with the Clinton Foundation — and keep her husband busy in a very lucrative manner.

Naturally, those with the most vested interest in a Hillary presidency shrugged this off as a “move on, nothing to see here” moment. Clinton surrogate and onetime Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm told CNN, “I wasn’t in the State Department at the time. But I do know that she has abided by the ethics agreement she signed at the beginning, which was not to take any action on the part of the State Department that mixed [Clinton] Foundation business.”

Actually, it’s pretty clear that Hillary broke her pledge (i.e., she lied). But not to worry; State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau says, “I’d note that former Secretary Clinton’s ethics agreement did not preclude other State Department officials from having contact with Clinton Foundation staff.” Translation: Clinton’s pledge didn’t apply to her staff.

Not only was Hillary still involved with the Clinton Foundation, but, while acting as secretary of state, Clinton offered favors to big money foundation donors, effectively making the State Department an extension of her foundation.

More troubling, though, is what may have been revealed by the 30,000 emails Hillary deleted before they could be turned over for the various ongoing probes into her activities. That’s right — this smoking gun was either one she and her staff missed in their mass deletions, or it’s one they didn’t mind being found. (There’s also the possibility that the Russians or Chinese, or other shadowy groups that contribute to the WikiLeaks site, possess some of Clinton’s email.) Those in the know aren’t talking, perhaps mindful of the oddly numerous premature deaths among those in line to spill the beans on Hillary.

The fact that Clinton is the odds-on favorite to be our next president despite her history of lies, subterfuge and secrecy with a dose of incompetence is just as damning an indictment on our culture and her incredibly weak opponent as any criminal charges she’s so far avoided. Who can be blamed for wanting an electoral mulligan this time around?