Corruption: The Clinton Foundation's questionable money dealings
have raised eyebrows for years. Now, a letter circulating in
Congress alleges that the Clinton family's supposed do-gooder
foundation is in fact a "lawless, 'pay-to-play' enterprise that
has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years."
Those are pretty tough words for a former president and his
wife, who happens to be the leading candidate to be our next
president. But the congressional letter, which the Daily Caller
News Foundation got its hands on, was written by Republican Rep.
Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who plans on asking the FBI, IRS and
Federal Trade Commission to launch a "public corruption"
Is it warranted, or just politics? It sure looks like the
former. As Blackburn's letter says, there is a "pattern of
dealing that personally enriched the Clintons at the expense of
American foreign policy."
Blackburn cites the for-profit education business Laureate
Education, which paid Bill Clinton some $16.5 million to serve
part-time as "honorary chancellor" starting in 2010, a year
after Hillary became secretary of state. Laureate, for its part,
gave the Clinton Foundation some $1 million to $5 million.
Nothing illegal about that, per se.
However, the Daily Tennesseean reports that Blackburn's letter
also details how "the International Youth Fund, whose board
members include Laureate's founder, Douglas Baker, received more
than $55 million in grants from the U.S. Agency for
International Development while Hillary Clinton was secretary of
state." AID is a part of the State Department.
Then there's Uranium One. Hillary Clinton, the Daily Tennesseean
notes, "was one of several Obama administration officials who
approved the sale of uranium to the Russian-operated company,
whose chairman also has donated $2.35 million to the Clinton
Foundation." A number of other people involved in the deal also
gave money to the Clintons.
"The appearance of 'pay-to-play' transactions involving Laureate
and Uranium One also raises serious allegations of criminal
conduct requiring further examination," Blackburn's letter says.
That's not all of the questionable activities.
As we noted back in May, the Clinton Foundation took in some
$100 million in donations from a variety of Gulf sheikhs and
billionaires who no doubt expected to reap political benefits
from a future Hillary Clinton presidency, with Bill serving not
just as first gentleman in the White House but also possibly as
bagman. Among donors dumping bags of cash on the Clintons
include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab
Lost in the shuffle is Bill Clinton's special "business
partnership" from 2003 to 2008 with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
al-Maktoum, the strongman ruler of Dubai. That deal netted
Clinton some $15 million in "guaranteed payments," tax records
show. And then there's the $30 million delivered to the Clintons
by two Mideast foundations and four billionaire Saudis. For the
betterment of humankind, no doubt.
As national security analyst and writer Patrick Poole said in
May, "These regimes are buying access. ... There are massive
conflicts of interest. It's beyond comprehension."
It took Wall Street financial analyst and investment advisor
Charles Ortel -- whom the Sunday Times of London once described
as "one of the finest analysts of financial statements on the
planet" -- to untangle the mess in a series of ongoing reports.
Ortel alleges that contribution disclosures by the foundation
often don't fit with what donors' own records say -- big red
"This," Ortel summed up, "is a charity fraud."
As a reminder, this isn't just some political vendetta. As far
back as 2013, an alarmed New York Times warned that the
foundation had become "a sprawling concern, supervised by a
rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction
and threatened by conflicts of interest."
It turns out that's a gross understatement.
Testifying last week to Congress, FBI chief James Comey called
Hillary Clinton "extremely careless" about her use of a private
email server while secretary of state. But, curiously, he
refused additional comment "on the existence or nonexistence of
any other ongoing investigations." This needs to be disclosed.
Americans deserve to know whether the person they're likely to
put into the White House this November is merely a misunderstood
career public servant -- or a pocket-lining career criminal.