Emails show Secretary of State Clinton doing favors for Clinton Foundation donors
Emails released yesterday from Judicial Watch reveal several instances where Hillary Clinton and her aides were asked for favors from Clinton Foundation donors. Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a FOIA request.
Although appearing to have relevance to her work as Secretary of State, Clinton failed to turn the documents over to the State Department, even as she claimed all "work-related" emails had been turned in.
One email from Douglas Band, former aide to President Clinton and CEO of Teneo Holdings with close ties to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton staffers to intervene and find a job for an unnamed associate. Huma Abedin worked for Band at the same time she was still pulling down a State Department salary.
“Important to take care of” the person, Douglas Band told Clinton aides Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Nora Toiv in an April 22, 2009, email with the subject line “A favor…”. The name of the aide is redacted.
“We have all had him on our radar,” Abedin responded. “Personnel has been sending him options.”
The exchange, which was obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and released on Tuesday, adds to the murky connections between Clinton’s role leading the State Department, her family foundation and a consulting firm for which Abedin worked part-time.
Band previously served as an aide to former President Bill Clinton and has performed multiple duties for the Clinton Foundation. He is also a founding partner and president of Teneo Holdings, the consulting firm.
The firm, and Abedin’s ability to work simultaneously for it and the State Department, have drawn ire from some conservative corners, where critics have railed about conflicts of interest and warned that officials outside of the government had undue influence on U.S. diplomacy.
Huma Abedin appeared to be the go-to staffer when Clinton mixed official business with Clinton Foundation business.
A number of the email exchanges released Tuesday included Huma Abedin, who was a top adviser to Mrs. Clinton at the State Department and later worked at the Clinton Foundation.
In April 2009, Douglas J. Band, who led the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, emailed Ms. Abedin and Cheryl D. Mills, another top adviser to Mrs. Clinton, for help with a donor.
Mr. Band wrote that he needed to connect Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire who was one of the foundation’s top donors, with someone at the State Department to talk about his interests in Lebanon.
“It’s jeff feltman,” Ms. Abedin answered, referring to Jeffrey Feltman, who was the American ambassador to Lebanon at the time. “I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to jeff.”
Mr. Band asked her to call Mr. Chagoury immediately if possible. “This is very important,” he wrote.
I doubt whether the office of secretary of state had ever seen such sordid, grubby dealings.
As with all things Clinton, the question of legality is murky. It's not quite pay for play, but it suggests that Clinton wasn't against mixing official business with Clinton Foundation affairs. In other words, in typical Clinton fashion, there is stink but no bodies.
Just think of the opportunities for graft if Hillary wins the presidency.