The Clintons, The Italian, The Burkle And The Starlet

The Clinton Mafia cannot be too pleased by today's piece in the Wall Street Journal, which follows the money from Bill Clinton to his aide Doug Band to Raffaello Follieri, who is a Vatican hanger-on and the man-squire to Anne Hathaway. In fact, we think we hear knees breaking down at Liberty Street right now.

At the very least, all this explains why there was a chair reserved for Ron Burkle at the "Devil Wears Prada" premiere.

Introduced to the Clintons through Band, pretty Follieri seems to have somehow convinced them he could deliver Catholic votes in 2008, based on his long-standing connections to the Vatic—whoops. No. Oh, okay, maybe it was family's upstanding business reputation in Italy—never mind, we don't know how he pulled it off either.

President Clinton got suckered to the tune of $100 million, though, which he and his galpal Ron Burkle invested in Follieri's scheme to redevelop Catholic properties so the Church could take care of some minor financial issues. All in the hopes that next year, all those compensated Catholic voters would turn out in droves for Hillary.

Unfortunately, Follieri decided to spend the cash on $40,000-a-month penthouses for himself and Hathaway. (When smart women make stupid choices!) There's lots to see here, including Mexican jet-skiing jaunts and a $400,000 'finder's fee' for Band to thank him for bringing Follieri to the Clintons' attention.

Doug Band, such a little social butterfly! He also introduced Clinton to pervy billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, got credit for saving Epstein from an embarrassing Vanity Fair piece earlier this year, threw his weight around for Hillary at GQ, and is smacking restaurants around for the team as well. His reach doesn't seem to extend to the Journal.

No wonder, considering his pal Burkle gets along so well with owner Rupert Murdoch. Guess he picked the wrong billionaire.

How Bill Clinton's Aide Facilitated a Messy Deal [WSJ]