As the FBI reopens its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, you have to realize this is the third time this election that Hillary Clinton has been under an FBI investigation. Twice from her emails – and another from a lesser-reported investigation into the Clinton Foundation.According to a Wall Street Journal report, FBI agents originally attempted to pressure the Justice Department unsuccessfully for a probe of the Foundation among allegations that it gave special access and favors to donors.
Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have a number of emails pertaining to the Clinton Foundation, and it’s talked about as if it’s an illegitimate organization. As The Hill reported: Last week, WikiLeaks dropped a 2011 memo by top Bill Clinton aide Doug Band that lays bare Team Clinton’s sordid financial dealings when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
Band describes how the Clinton Foundation served as a conduit for what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.” — the former president’s for-profit arm. Other documents show State Department involvement.
At center is Band and his consulting firm Teneo. Band served as gatekeeper to all things Bill Clinton. Those wanting a former president as golf partner ponied up. Requests for Foundation dough followed. Next came Clinton Inc. — the steady stream of speeches, books, and honorary titles that enriched Bill Clinton. Teneo managed it all. Huge corporations and others seeking Clinton’s orbit lined up. Teneo’s clients included major U.S. corporations Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical, which donated huge sums. Foreign firms like UBS donated and greased Clinton Inc.For-profit Laureate International Universities went further, buying Clinton “advice” and rights to his prestige for $3.5 million annually. In all, Band states Teneo’s management yielded the former president $50 million — including a $2 million upfront slice of Band’s firm — with another $66 million queued. Band also facilitated political activity including securing campaign donors and managing Clinton’s political schedule.
Before daughter Chelsea Clinton intervened and ordered a compliance review, no one separated charity from profit-making time. Blurred lines were most blatant at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) — the annual confab where the world’s elite fete the former president and discuss world events.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 30, 2016
— Charlie Hoffmann (@choffmann10) October 28, 2016
From an IRS standpoint, red flags should abound. Charities must detail how they separate nonprofit from for-profit business. Those benefiting private interests or inure “insider” private gain lose their tax-deductible status because Treasury is cheated.
One IRS concern is, “Establishing exclusive business dealings with a particular for-profit business.” Band was clearly jeopardizing the Foundation’s status. Clinton eventually resigned as Teneo’s honorary chairman and kept only $100,000.< More disturbing was the unseemly mix of Band and Teneo clients with the State Department during Ms. Clinton’s tenure.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 21, 2016
I tried to reach out to the Clinton Foundation for comment, but my emails to them kept getting deleted.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]