Posted by Curt on 5 November, 2016 at 11:26 am. 5 comments already!


Ed Morrissey:

The Clinton Foundation confirmed that it took a million-dollar donation from the Qatar government while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, violating an agreement with the White House. Foundation officials confirmed what a Wikileaks release revealed a few weeks earlier, but claimed the seven-figure gift didn’t amount to a substantial enough sum to trigger a State Department review, Reuters reports. No one is yet talking about whether it got the Qatar government its requested face time with former president Bill Clinton, however:

The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors. …

Clinton Foundation officials last month declined to confirm the Qatar donation. In response to additional questions, a foundation spokesman, Brian Cookstra, this week said that it accepted the $1 million gift from Qatar, but this did not amount to a “material increase” in the Gulf country’s support for the charity. Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.

That would constitute a quid pro quo, but not (directly) involving public office. Bill Clinton at that time was a private citizen, who can sell his own time in any legal manner he sees fit. That might trigger some interest at the IRS in relation to their tax-exempt status, but it’s not a criminal issue unless Qatar used the donation to buy access to Hillary Clinton. The implication, however, is that the Qatar government wanted access to Bill in order to indirectly influence Hillary. After all, even as rich as the Qatar emirs are, they’re not going to blow a million bucks just to get a photo with Bill Clinton.

That, of course, is why the White House demanded reviews by the State Department ethics office in the first place. The fact that the Clinton Foundation never asked for a review makes this case very curious indeed. Any large new donation from a government with requests for access to the spouse of the Secretary of State should have prompted suspicions about potential motives. In this case, though, neither the Foundation nor Hillary herself appears to have wanted the State Department to ask questions. That’s not an “oversight,” it’s evasiveness.

It’s not the only thing curious about this story, either.

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