The BLOG: Politics

The enrichment of Bill and Hillary Clinton Part III

A Political Slush Fund called The Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation was founded in 2001 with the mission to “strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence” — whatever that means. Over the past decade, the Clinton Foundation has undoubtedly done some good work combating AIDS suffering, reducing obesity and promoting economic growth, but the problem is that Bill and Hillary Clinton have used the moral authority gained from these good works to feather their own nest, use their power to help their friends achieve their own objectives, and affect U.S. policy. As Peter Schweizer writes in his groundbreaking, “Clinton Cash” — a tour de force with 57 pages of footnotes, “the real problem is delineating where the Clinton political machine and moneymaking ventures end and where their charity begins.” An article in Fortune magazine described the Clinton Foundation as “a new turn in philanthropy, in which the lines between not-for-profits, politics, and business tend to blur.”

One of the most astonishing revelations in “Clinton Cash” is how the Clintons have skirted the U.S. law prohibiting foreign governments, corporations and individuals from giving money to U.S. political candidates to prevent foreign influence over our local and national political leaders. Those of us who have followed the Clintons for years remember how in the 1996 Presidential race, Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Campaign got in hot water when it was revealed that Taiwanese businessman “Charlie” Trie had given a six-figure amount to the Clinton Legal Defense Fund (which the Fund later returned when the scandal broke). There were also charges that agents of China had contributed money to the Democratic National Committee in an effort to influence American foreign policy. Well, the Clinton Foundation found a way to get around this law. According to the Washington Post, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. The Washington Post also reported that since the Clinton Foundation’s creation in 2001, nearly $2 billion has been donated to it, with foreign money making up more than one third of donations over $1 million.

American corporations that make contributions to politically connected non-profits overseas in the hope of gaining influence violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and are subject to U.S. government legal action and fines. But the Clintons saw no problem in their foundation accepting huge sums from foreigners who wanted to exert influence with the then-Secretary of State and potentially the next President of the United States. And let us not forget that these same players often paid high fees for speeches given by former President Bill Clinton, who has amassed the astonishing treasure chest of more than $105 million since 2001.

An example of the way Bill and Hillary Clinton raised money for the Clinton Foundation took place in 2009 involving the following players:  Russia, Boeing, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Russia following the famous “reset” of relations between the Obama administration and Russia. Clinton was encouraging Russian officials to sign a $3.7 billion airplane agreement with Boeing. It was an important deal for Boeing. Several months after Boeing won the contract, Boeing pledged $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The Washington Post called it “an indicator of a mutually beneficial relationship between one of the world’s major corporations and a potential future president.”

Here is another example of the sleazy, borderline-corrupt way that Bill and Hillary Clinton do business. According to “Clinton Cash,” Bill Clinton in 2010 became “honorary chancellor” of Laureate Education – one of the largest for-profit university systems in the world. Former President Clinton was paid handsomely for making speeches at many of their worldwide campuses. In many countries, Laureate’s business practices faced legal scrutiny and in some cases, criminal investigations. Yet in January 2013, shortly before Hillary stepped down as Secretary of State, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) — part of the World Bank whose largest owner is the U.S. government — made a $150 million equity investment in Laureate. This was the first time the IFC had ever done this. At the time, the head of the World Bank was Jim Kim, a Clinton Friend and cofounder of Partners in Health, a partner in the Clinton Foundation. So here we have the spectacle of a private corporation, which paid Bill Clinton as much as a $1 million a year, benefiting from a State Department decision, while his wife is Secretary of State. Moreover, Laureate was benefiting from a State Department act to the tune of tens of millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money. And finally, this conflict of interest was never even disclosed.

Several questions need to be asked: Where was the lapdog liberal media when all this was taking place? Why did the American public never learn of sweetheart deals like this until “Clinton Cash” was written? Do Americans really expect Bill and Hillary to change their stripes? How can we trust Hillary Clinton to seek the best for our country when the Clinton’s primary mission has always been self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment? Does America really want this couple back in the White House?

The enrichment of Bill and Hillary Clinton: Part I, Part II