More than half Clinton non-government visitors were Foundation donors

Even the Associated Press was agog at this.

More than half the non-government visitors during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state were donors to the Clinton Foundation seeking favors of one sort or another.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton's help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm's corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

"Fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton"?  Are they kidding?  This is pure and simple pay for play.  You don't need to create any conspiracy theories.  You don't need to look for dots to connect.  It's as plain as day to anyone not totally in the tank for Clinton.

The list did not include 16 meetings with representatives of foreign governments who donated $150 million to the Foundation.  That's perhaps even more significant, given Clinton's power to shape policy based not on U.S. interests, but on how much a government gave to the Foundation.

The Clinton defense is pathetic:

Clinton's campaign said the AP analysis was flawed because it did not include in its calculations meetings with foreign diplomats or U.S. government officials, and the meetings AP examined covered only the first half of Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

"It is outrageous to misrepresent Secretary Clinton's basis for meeting with these individuals," spokesman Brian Fallon said. He called it "a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation."

The AP distorted nothing.  They simply reported who met with Clinton and why.  And yes, it is indeed "outrageous" that a U.S. secretary of state would engage in this sort of corruption while holding office.

If the FBI is going to investigate the Clinton Foundation, it is going to have to unravel all these networks that funneled donors into the secretary of state's office.  It will take time, so don't expect any results until long after the election.

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