Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson (also definitely a Republican) have some connective tissue when it comes to their views on who they hope becomes the next US president. Each may be focused in slightly different directions, but their six degrees of separation when it comes to their vision for America going forward makes them political bedfellows nonetheless.
Adelson has outright come out in support of Donald Trump, donating a reputed $100 million via a super PAC to the fellow billionaire’s campaign efforts. While Chaffetz’ support may be slightly more reluctant, his unbridled hatred for Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton has pushed him to back the former casino mogul.
“. . . [it’s a] no-brainer for me,” said Chaffetz back in May, even before Trump’s nomination was sealed up. “Hillary Clinton as president is a very scary scenario, so I think the country will see it the same way. [Trump] wasn’t my first choice, but my No. 1 goal is to not allow Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States.”
House of Guards
To that end, Chaffetz has no intention of letting Clinton’s ongoing email debacle fade away.
During the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s hearing this week, Chaffetz asked FBI legislative liaison Jason Herring if the FBI will turn over all documents to the committee relating to the agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. When Herring said he could not make that commitment, Chaffetz issued a subpoena right then and there.
“I’m going to issue a subpoena, and I’m going to do it right now,” Chaffetz, who chairs the committee, said. “I’ve signed this subpoena . . . we would like the full file. You can accept service on behalf of the FBI?”
“Certainly,” Herring answered.
“You are hereby served,” Chaffetz declared.
Once known in the gaming community simply as billionaire casino bigwig Adelson’s congressional RAWA puppet, Chaffetz has quickly become enemy #1 of the FBI. The Oversight’s meeting this week, titled “Classifications and Redactions in FBI’s Investigative File,” was for federal agencies to explain why their reports to Congress came with substantial redactions and omissions of evidence.
The Utah congressman introduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), the anti-online gambling bill, back in February of 2015. The measure has largely failed to gain any traction in either branch of Congress, but it’s unlikely Adelson will let it die, having vowed to “spend whatever it takes” to see it pass.
The Truth, and Everything But the Truth
Chaffetz believes Clinton might have put America at risk by hosting classified information on unsecured email servers.
Ironically, one of RAWA’s main arguments is that the internet cannot be properly secured or regulated, and therefore online casinos cannot adequately protect against underage gambling, money laundering, and other illegal activities.
In July, Chaffetz’ Oversight Committee grilled FBI Director James Comey, as well as US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, on how the FBI came to the conclusion that they would forego recommending criminal charges against the Democratic candidate.
Chaffetz described himself at that time as a “kid in a candy store” while interrogating Comey. He asked why Clinton, who testified under oath that she didn’t send or receive classified information on her private server, wasn’t charged when the FBI admitted it found evidence to the contrary.
Comey deflected by explaining that the FBI found no intent on Clinton’s part to provide false statements. Chaffetz responded, “It’s reasonable to think that the secretary of state would get classified information every moment! She’s not the head of fish and wildlife!”
Lynch appeared before the committee the following week, but provided little further insight.
“The lack of clarity you give to this body is pretty stunning,” Chaffetz told the US Attorney General.
Not Letting Up
One of the things Chaffetz and fellow anti-online gambling proponent Adelson share is a determination to dig in and not let go.
Worth an estimated $30 billion and now 83-years-old, Adelson is showing no signs of slowing down. The Las Vegas Sands founder continues to pressure Chaffetz in the House, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) in the Senate, to push through RAWA.
Adelson is busier than your typical senior citizen. His company opened its $2.5 billion Parisian resort in Macau on Tuesday, and he’s also actively working to bring professional football to Las Vegas. But while he believes it’s time for the NFL to embrace sports betting, he isn’t nearly as enthusiastic about the prospect of daily fantasy sports (DFS) online.
“I think [DFS] exploits poor people,” Adelson told Yahoo Finance recently. “I can make money in an honest way, as a form of entertainment. But why do I need it, the fantasy sports? I think it’s immoral.”