How did a Clinton donor, a Chicago securities trader, end up on the intelligence board?

A major donor to the Clinton Foundation was tapped by the secretary of state's office for a seat on the sensitive International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), which advised Hillary Clinton on subjects like the use of nuclear weapons and other crucial arms control issues.

The problem is that Rajiv K. Fernando is a securities trader from Chicago, making him singularly unqualified for such a sensitive position.

ABC News:

Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department’s professional staff.

The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to “protect the name” of the Secretary, “stall” the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.

Copies of dozens of internal emails were provided to ABC News by the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act after more the two years of litigation with the government.

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

“We had no idea who he was,” one board member told ABC News.

Fernando’s lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel.

“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.

As it turns out, Fernando was added to the list as an afterthought:

“The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him,” wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. “Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence.”

The Clinton team treated one of the most sensitive boards in government as just another way to reward a big donor – like a glorified ambassadorship.

They must have learned from President Obama, who sent up several unqualified and incompetent ambassadors to the Hill for confirmation.

The issues dealt with by the ISAB are critical to the national interest.  It appears that Hillary Clinton cares less about our national security than feeding the ego of a major bundler.

A major donor to the Clinton Foundation was tapped by the secretary of state's office for a seat on the sensitive International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), which advised Hillary Clinton on subjects like the use of nuclear weapons and other crucial arms control issues.

The problem is that Rajiv K. Fernando is a securities trader from Chicago, making him singularly unqualified for such a sensitive position.

ABC News:

Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department’s professional staff.

The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to “protect the name” of the Secretary, “stall” the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.

Copies of dozens of internal emails were provided to ABC News by the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act after more the two years of litigation with the government.

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

“We had no idea who he was,” one board member told ABC News.

Fernando’s lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel.

“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.

As it turns out, Fernando was added to the list as an afterthought:

“The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him,” wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. “Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence.”

The Clinton team treated one of the most sensitive boards in government as just another way to reward a big donor – like a glorified ambassadorship.

They must have learned from President Obama, who sent up several unqualified and incompetent ambassadors to the Hill for confirmation.

The issues dealt with by the ISAB are critical to the national interest.  It appears that Hillary Clinton cares less about our national security than feeding the ego of a major bundler.