The e-mails.

 

When she agreed to accept the Secretary of State job as consolation prize from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton pledged that she would separate the Department of State from the Clinton Foundation.  How well did she keep that pledge?  Law suits by the conservative Judicial Watch group and hacking of computers by Russian intelligence groups have cast some light on the question.[1]

In August 2016, the Associated Press reported that 154 non-governmental individuals had either spoken face-to-face or by phone with Hillary Clinton during the time she served as Secretary of State (2009-2013).  Of those 154 people, 85 had either made donations to or had promised to give money to the Clinton Foundation.[2]  For example, Bono requested an up-link to the International Space Station for a concert.  Initially, the Clinton campaign/foundation claimed that the “quid” rarely received a “pro quo.”  All the same, Clinton Foundation officials brought the concerns of the donors to the attention of the State Department.

Thus, in 2009, Bahrain sought State Department approval for the purchase of $630 million in American-made weapons.  This marked a 187 percent increase over purchases made in previous years.  Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Defense Forces, sought an interview with Secretary of State Clinton.  Doug Band, at the Clinton Foundation, e-mailed Huma Abedin to ask for the meeting.  The Crown Prince, he wrote, was a “good friend of ours” and had contributed $32 million to a Foundation program.  He got the meeting and Bahrain got the arms purchase approval.[3]  It has been argued that the Crown Prince would have received a meeting with Clinton as a matter of course, so no impropriety occurred.  If the Crown Prince would have received a meeting anyway, why did he contact Band about a meeting and why did Band contact Abedin?

Between 2001 and 2015, while his wife was Secretary of State and then the heir-presumptive to the Democratic presidential nomination, Bill Clinton earned $132 million in speaking and consulting fees.[4]  Did companies and institutions set that much value on his wisdom?  New York is not a community property state, so Hillary Clinton cannot be accused of having enriched herself.  Still, the optics are bad.

She did enrich herself with a series of post-State Department/pre-presidential campaign speeches to private groups.  These groups included Goldman, Sachs.  In one speech, she had told bankers that in politics, “you need both a public and a private position.”  Her private position was that “my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”  Later, locked in a surprising primary battle with democratic socialist challenger Bernie Sanders, Clinton refused to release the texts of these speeches.  So, in October 2016, the Russians did it for her.[5]  Her statements were pretty much in the mainstream when given, but conditions had changed by the time the texts were released.  Again, the optics were bad.

[1] See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_email_controversy

[2] “Clinton faces ethics questions over foundation,” The Week, 2 September 2016, p. 5.

[3] “Clinton Foundation: Was there a quid for the pro quo?”  The Week, 9 September 2016, p. 16.

[4] “Clinton Foundation: Was there a quid for the pro quo?”  The Week, 9 September 2016, p. 16.

[5] “Clinton: What the WikiLeaks emails reveal,” The Week, 28 October 2016, p. 8.

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One thought on “The e-mails.

  1. Pingback: The hacked election. | waroftheworldblog

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