Hillary Clinton really ought to have stayed in the woods – because it may be the only place she finds herself out of scandal.In addition to the investigation into her private email server during the 2016 presidential election (from which she somehow emerged unscathed), there was also an FBI probe into the activities of the Clinton Foundation. While officially the Clinton family’s charitable arm, it’s been long accused of acting as nothing more than a slush fund for the Clintons. Given how little of the Foundation’s funds actually go to charity, that wouldn’t be all that surprising.
In 2013 the Foundation spent only 10 percent of its budget on charitable grants. For comparison, an equal 10 percent of the budget went towards travel, 33 percent on salaries/benefits, and 47 percent on all other expenses (rent, supplies, IT).We haven’t heard much about the status of that probe, and there are no news articles giving us an update on the status of the probe since November of last year. Perhaps Comey killed it to further shield Hillary.
Regardless, we just got confirmation of wrongdoing in the Clinton Foundation.
As the Daily Wire just reported,Among the thousands of emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman John Podesta and published by Wikileaks, one stated that officials from the government of Qatar gave the Clinton Foundation $1 million to celebrate Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday, funds which the foundation did not report to the State Department.
That would seemingly violate an ethics agreement Hillary Clinton signed when she became Secretary of State in 2009, in which she promised the foundation would notify the State Department’s ethics official if a new foreign government wanted to donate or “increase materially” its contributions.
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011; in April 2012 Amitabh Desai, the Clinton Foundation’s foreign policy director, sent an email acknowledging the Qataris wanted to meet Bill Clinton “for five minutes” in New York City.Clinton Foundation spokesman Brian Cookstra told Reuters that the $1 million gift was not a “material increase” in Qatar’s contributions. But Qatar had given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation in total, meaning the $1 million gift represented between a 20 percent to 100 percent increase.
That sounds pretty “material.” But here’s the real kicker. Apparently Clinton just “forgot” to notify the State Department.
The State Department told Reuters it had no record of the Qatar donation.In 2016, the Foundation admitted that the Clinton Health Access Initiative had not published a list of its donors since 2010, although Hillary Clinton had promised she would offer an annual list.
Of course, this is a mistake Hillary won’t make again, and not because she’s learned her lesson, but because donations to the Clinton Foundation have “mysteriously” dried up at the same time as Hillary’s political future did.