While everyone's been gearing up for President Trump's
inauguration, the Clinton Foundation made a major announcement
this week that went by with almost no notice: For all intents
and purposes, it's closing its doors.
In a tax filing, the Clinton Global Initiative said it's firing
22 staffers and closing its offices, a result of the gusher of
foreign money that kept the foundation afloat suddenly drying up
after Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidency.
It proves what we've said all along: The Clinton Foundation was
little more than an influence-peddling scheme to enrich the
Clintons, and had little if anything to do with "charity,"
either overseas or in the U.S. That sound you heard starting in
November was checkbooks being snapped shut in offices around the
world by people who had hoped their donations would buy access
to the next president of the United States.
And why not? There was a strong precedent for it in Hillary
Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. While serving as the
nation's top diplomat, the Clinton Foundation took money from at
least seven foreign governments — a clear breach of Clinton's
pledge on taking office that there would be total separation
between her duties and the foundation.
Is there a smoking gun? Well, of the 154 private interests who
either officially met or had scheduled phone talks with Hillary
Clinton while she was secretary of state, at least 85 were
donors to the Clinton Foundation or one of its programs.
In November, we asked the question: "Is The Clinton Foundation
Doomed?" The answer is yes.
All the way back in May, we outlined how the Clinton Foundation
had taken in $100 million from a collection of Gulf sheikhs and
billionaires, along with millions from private businesses, who
expected — and received — special access to the State
Department's top official, Hillary.
In his 2015 book "Clinton Cash," author Peter Schweizer showed
how during Hillary's years in government "the Clintons have
conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions (either
as private citizens or government officials) with foreign
governments, corporations and private financiers." He called the
sums going to the Clintons "staggering."
Using the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch in August
obtained emails (that had been hidden from investigators)
showing that Clinton's top State Department aide, Huma Abedin,
had given "special expedited access to the secretary of state"
for those who gave $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton
Foundation. Many of those were facilitated by a former executive
of the foundation, Doug Band, who headed Teneo, a shell company
that managed the Clintons' affairs.
As part of this elaborate arrangement, Abedin was given special
permission to work for the State Department, the Clinton
Foundation and Teneo — another very clear conflict of interest.
As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at the time, "These
new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by
selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors."
The seedy saga doesn't end there. Indeed, there are so many
facets to it, some may never be known. But there is still at
least one and possibly four active federal investigations into
the Clintons' supposed charity.
Americans aren't willing to forgive and forget. Earlier this
month, the IBD/TIPP Poll asked Americans whether they would like
President Obama to pardon Hillary for any crimes she may have
committed as secretary of state, including the illegal use of an
unsecured homebrew email server. Of those queried, 57% said no.
So if public sentiment is any guide, the Clintons' problems may
just be beginning.
Writing in the Washington Post in August of 2016, Charles
Krauthammer pretty much summed up the whole tawdry tale: "The
foundation is a massive family enterprise disguised as a
charity, an opaque and elaborate mechanism for sucking money
from the rich and the tyrannous to be channeled to Clinton
Inc.," he wrote. "Its purpose is to maintain the Clintons'
lifestyle (offices, travel accommodations, etc.), secure
profitable connections, produce favorable publicity and reliably
employ a vast entourage of retainers, ready to serve today and
at the coming Clinton Restoration."
Except, now there is no Clinton Restoration. So there's no
reason for any donors to give money to the foundation. It lays
bare the fiction of a massive "charitable organization," and
shows it for what it was: a scam to sell for cash the waning
influence of the Democrats' pre-eminent power couple. As far as
the charity landscape goes, the Clinton Global Initiative won't