Behind the veil of charitable work, the Clinton Foundation blurs the lines between donations and off-the-record political favors, with Bill and Hillary auctioning off access to power and favors.
As more emails are released from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, new revelations continue to surface, debunking claims that the Clinton Foundation and State Department remained independent of one another.
On August 22, Judicial Watch received 725 pages of documents per a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, including more overt pay-to-play examples between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton’s State Department. In one exchange, Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band asks Clinton aide Huma Abedin to set up a meeting for the Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain—a prominent Clinton Foundation donor who donated $32 million to the Clinton Global Initiative—after he was unable to set up a meeting directly with the State Department. Shortly after the correspondence, the meeting was scheduled.
On a separate occasion, Band asked Abedin and the State Department to intervene on behalf Casey Wasserman, who donated between five and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. The request was to help expedite a Wolverhampton FC soccer player’s effort to obtain a U.S. visa.
Slimfast tycoon S. Daniel Abraham, another five to $10 million Clinton Foundation donor, was able to secure a meeting with Hillary Clinton immediately upon request. Abedin also helped U2 star Bono, a Clinton Global Initiative donor, set up a link between his concerts and the International Space Station in 2009.
On August 9, a batch of 44 emails released to Judicial Watch in response to a FOIA request revealed a Clinton Foundation executive connecting a billionaire Clinton Foundation donor with the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon because they had business interests in the country. One of Clinton’s top aides at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, was also exposed in the emails to have conducted job interviews with candidates for the Clinton Foundation.
The Clinton Foundation has accepted large contributions from foreign dictatorships and corporations which have never shown any other interest in supporting the charitable causes the foundation cites as its focus. As a means to obscure its list of donors, the foundation has created branches of initiatives, such as the Clinton Global Initiative and a Canadian affiliate, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. These subsidiaries failed to disclose over 1,000 foreign donations, violating Hillary Clinton’s promise to the White House Administration to annually disclose contributors to the Clinton Foundation. Despite this promise, Hillary Clinton appointed a Clinton Foundation donor to an intelligence board upon his request, when he had no qualifications for the position. She followed instructions from one of her prominent donors, billionaire George Soros, to intervene in Albanian politics.
When Clinton was secretary of state, donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation correlated to large increases in weapons exports from the U.S. to the countries which donated. With Clinton’s help, Clinton Foundation donor Claudio Osorio won a $10 million loan in 2010 from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation meant to be used to build houses in Haiti. Corrupt Venezuelan banker Gonzalo Tirado hired Jonathan Mantz, a Clinton fundraiser, and made a donation to the Clinton Foundation in order to avoid being extradited to Venezuela.
Before accepting her position in the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton signed a promise to keep the Clinton Foundation separate from her work at the State Department, and to exercise transparency so no conflicts of interest were present. This promise was violated on a regular basis, suggesting Clinton never had any intention of keeping it. While the Clinton campaign recently promised to phase out donations from foreign and corporate entities if she is elected, a deeper look into the Clinton Foundation’s dealings while she served as Secretary of State is relevant to voters today.