[…] If the Clinton Foundation had done all of these things, Hillary (and perhaps Bill and Chelsea too) might well be headed to prison, the place Donald Trump and his supporters insist she belongs.
But it’s the Trump Foundation, not the Clinton Foundation, which reportedly bought a portrait of its namesake, settled legal claims for him, donated money to a rightwing advocacy group and whose purpose is somewhat opaque.
I know about the Trump Foundation’s ersatz charity mostly from the work of one dogged investigative reporter from the Washington Post, David Fahrenthold, who bothered to contact more than 300 charities to see whether they’d received donations from the Trump Foundation. His reporting unfolded as so many other journalists were writing their 50th stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails. It is only in the past week that the Post’s reporting on the Trump Foundation has gained traction. The issue should come up in the first presidential debate Monday, as those “damn emails”, as Sanders called the over-covered controversy over Clinton’s private email server, surely will. (The Trump campaign, by the way, has claimed that the report is “peppered with inaccuracies and omissions”.)
There is a clear disparity in the attention focused on Clinton’s supposed ethics problems compared with Trump’s. There has been some excellent reporting on everything from Trump University to his business practices, especially the tax breaks he received on real estate deals uncovered by the New York Times. But these revelations seem to roll off Trump’s back, while in the Clintons’ case they create indelible stains.