Even liberals think there could be shady business going on over at the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation is a charity in name only, giving ten cents on the dollar of revenues they raise towards direct aid. The website Charity Navigator has put the Foundation on a watch-list of charities they’re warning potential donors to stay away from.For good reason, the Foundation is now subject to multiple FBI investigations involving potential corruption charges. Is Hillary ever not under Federal investigation?
Even the Huffington Post (which recently fired a writer for questioning Hillary’s health) ran a front-page story about the Foundation, headlined in all caps “JUST SHUT IT DOWN.” Following the HuffPo, the New York Times is the latest to call for the Foundation to cease (certain) operations.
The New York Times editorial board on Tuesday called for the Clintons to scale back the activities of the Clinton Foundation — starting now.Citing recent reports about possible overlap between foundation and State Department business, the board urged an immediate end to foreign and corporate donations — which are a large portion of the foundation’s funding — and said Bill and Chelsea Clinton should resign from it if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
Among those foreign donations are from nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.
“The new emails underscore that this effort [to keep foundation business separate from the State Department] was at best partly successful,” the Times editorial board wrote. “‘Pay-to-play’ charges by Donald Trump have not been proved. But the emails and previous reporting suggest Mr. Trump has reason to say that while Mrs. Clinton was secretary, it was hard to tell where the foundation ended and the State Department began.”The move is a significant one, given the Times editorial board carries significant heft on the American left and is hardly an anti-Clinton source.
The AP has defended a story revealing that more than half of the nongovernmental people Clinton met with during a portion of her tenure — the portion for which AP was able to obtain records — were Clinton Foundation donors. Clinton allies have accused the AP of cherry-picking facts and misrepresenting the data in its promotion of the story.But the AP story wasn’t the only one raising questions about whether State Department business and Clinton Foundation business might have overlapped more than Clinton had promised it would. Previously, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Judicial Watch showed a top foundation aide emailed the State Department about employment for another foundation aide. In another email, the same person, Doug Band, sought a contact for a Clinton Foundation donor in Lebanon.
The emails were sent to State Department aides, not Clinton herself.
No one sees a smoking gun yet, but even Democrats, it seems, have decided they can’t ignore the possibility of conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation. The New York Times’s editorial board is certainly the highest profile source to call for direct action to address potential conflicts, but it’s a significant one. And this is starting to look like a situation that the Clinton campaign will have to address in detail — before Nov. 8.
If pay-for-play is confirmed when it comes to her meetings with donors at the State Department, what does that mean for her relationships with her foreign donors? Would a President Hillary have the interests of America in mind, or those of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others? Let’s hope she’s not elected so we don’t have to find out.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]