- Kamala Harris’ Career As Prosecutor Questioned Over Key Relationships
- Kamala Harris Rose to Power With Help From Willie Brown
- Harris Only Major District Attorney To Not Prosecute Abusive Priests
In the latest episode, Peter Schweizer details how Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, mishandled her responsibilities as a prosecutor, rose to political prominence, and how those close to her benefitted the most from her actions.
Hi, I’m Peter Schweizer, and this is The Drill Down, where we drill down on cronyism and corruption in our federal government.
Kamala Harris is currently preparing to settle in to her presumptive role as the next Vice President of the United States. And when you look at her record as a prosecutor, it’s very troubling on a number of levels.
First of all, keep in mind that when she became a prosecutor in San Francisco, she was elected by beating an incumbent named Terence Hallinan. Now, Terence Hallinan was a thorn in the side of the very powerful mayor at the time, Willie Brown. Willie Brown, of course, had had a romantic affair with Kamala Harris. Kamala was in her late twenties, Willie Brown was sixty years old, actually older than her father… And, there was the slight problem that Willie Brown was also still married.[i]
But none of that got into the way. We’re not interested so much in the salacious part of their personal relationship, as the fact that this created a political alliance for Kamala Harris that would change California politics.
Kamala Harris was relatively unknown, she was an attorney. But with Willie Brown’s help, she would climb the rungs of power in San Francisco – in California – which led her to the point where she is today: the democratic nominee for the Vice Presidency of the United States.[ii]
But, what’s important in this election is that Willie Brown helped Kamala Harris beat Terence Hallinan as a prosecutor.[iii] Well, why are we interested in this? We’re interested in this simply because when Kamala Harris beat Terence Hallinan, she dropped a number of very important corruption cases that her predecessor was prosecuting, and those corruption cases just happened to involve Willie Brown’s friends.[iv]
Who benefitted from the decisions she made? The people that were putting money into her campaign, the people that donated to her campaign, and the people that helped to get her elected.
So, Kamala Harris wins in 2003 and early 2004, in this election. Her predecessor had taken a pretty aggressive position against sexual abuse of children – and that’s an important position to take, I think we’d all agree to that. During his tenure, what he had done was a couple of things: first of all, he had told the archdiocese to turn over records relating to complaints against priests going back fifty years. At a minimum, he wanted to release records that concerned these types of abuse, but he was also looking for opportunities to actually prosecute the perpetrators.[v]
Well, along comes Kamala Harris to take his place. What does she do? Those documents were put under seal by Kamala Harris, never to be seen by the public at all. It was a stunning reversal for somebody like Kamala Harris, who claimed that she felt that transparency and accountability in these kinds of sexual crimes was important. [vi]
The second thing that Kamala Harris did was equally stunning. At that is: during her eight-year tenure as the San Francisco District Attorney, she did not prosecute one single case of priest child abuse.[vii]
JOEY PISCITELLI: Her participation in going after clergy or predators of the Catholic Church or bishops who had enabled these people was less than zero. I would like her to produce one clergy abuser or one bishop that she’s even tried to prosecute.
Now, what kind of an outlier is that?
If you look at fifty of the largest cities in the United States, you find that all fifty of them prosecuted at least one case during this time period. The lone exception was Kamala Harris’ San Francisco.[viii]
When you look at the intersection of money and power as it relates to Kamala Harris, you find something very troubling. It’s not the traditional story of the legislator who’s trying to modify legislation to benefit their donors, or benefit their friends, or benefit their family. You’re talking about a prosecutor who’s determining who’s going to jail and who’s not for crimes that they may or may not have committed. And this is where it gets very troubling for Kamala Harris.
As the District Attorney of San Francisco, you find that Kamala Harris went very soft on Willie Brown’s friends, and her political supporters, and threw the book at people that had no political connection to her. The same thing happened when she became California Attorney General. Let me just give you two examples of what happened there.
In one particular case, there was a company called Herbalife. There were seven to eight hundred complaints against this firm filed with Kamala Harris’ office. That’s Fact #1. Fact #2: her San Diego office looked at these, and felt that they were very troubling and deserved further investigation. They actually wrote a memo to Kamala Harris saying “we need to investigate this, and we may even need to consider prosecuting this”.[ix] Fact #3: Kamala Harris not only didn’t prosecute Herbalife, she didn’t actually allow them to even be investigated. Fact #4, and this is perhaps the most important one: Kamala Harris’ husband’s law firm – one of their biggest clients… was Herbalife.[x]
That’s what you call selective enforcement, and that’s what you call a problem when power and money intersect.
Now that it looks like Kamala will be holding the second highest office in the free world, let’s be sure to continue: to follow the money.
This is Peter Schweizer. Thank you for joining me on The Drill Down. For more episodes, follow us on social media, or go to drilldowntv.com.