The Clinton Foundation gets back into business

The Ukraine war is at the front of the news, and all of a sudden, to take the headline words of James Freeman's Wall Street Journal column, it's springtime for the Clintons.

Something is going on.  Something stinks here.  Something's raining.

According to The Hill:

The Clinton Foundation is reconvening its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to address "steep" challenges it after previously ended in 2016, former President Clinton said in a statement on Friday.

The need for "cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent than it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the cover off of longstanding inequities and vulnerabilities across our global community. The existential threat of climate change grows every day," Clinton wrote. 

"Democracy is under assault around the world, most glaringly in Ukraine where Russia has launched an unjustified and unprovoked invasion that has put millions of lives in grave danger. The number of displaced people and refugees worldwide is higher than it has ever been — more than one in 95 of all people alive on the planet today has been forced to flee their home — and rising," he continued.

The initiative is slated to run from Sept. 19 to 21 in New York City.

Freeman himself looks upon this with the skepticism it merits, citing a Bloomberg report by Jennifer Epstein:

Since the start of the pandemic the Federal Reserve has created nearly $5 trillion. As all that cash continues to slosh around the financial system, there's no reason to think that some of it won't end up in Clinton hands, especially given the clan's documented zest for fundraising. But for America will this new Clinton effort result in a loss of prestige worldwide? Ms. Epstein reports:

The Clinton Global Initiative hosted annual meetings from 2005 to 2016, with the final meeting held less than two months before Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, the foundation faced scrutiny over whether its efforts to raise millions of dollars from governments and major companies benefited from her White House bid and her role as secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Overall fundraising for the Clinton Foundation, which also includes the Clinton Development Initiative and the presidential center in Little Rock, Arkansas, has dropped since Hillary Clinton's loss to Trump. It reported US$16.3 million in contributions in 2020, down from its 2016 peak of US$62.9 million, according to tax filings[.] ... 

In Friday's letter, Clinton, 75, said its model of "cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent than it is now."

The reality is, the Clinton Foundation and its Clinton Global Initiative, a Davos-style conference operation for the super-rich, have never been much more than an unpunished pay-to-play political operation, a flimflam racket, and a disguised vehicle for bribery.

Foundation donations went up when Hillary had access or something else to sell as a presidential candidate and secretary of state.  Foundation donations went down when she fell out of power.  The correlation was as obvious as the sunrise and the daylight.

Issues & Insights had an excellent take last year on that quid pro quo arrangement for how this game was played:

When Hillary took the job of secretary of state under President Barack Obama, she promised that the foundation wouldn't accept foreign donations. It took in money from at least seven foreign governments.

Documents showed that 85 of the 154 private interests who met with Clinton at the State Department had donated money to the foundation.

Emails unearthed by Judicial Watch showed that Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin — who worked for both the State Department and the foundation — gave "special expedited access to the secretary of state" for those who gave $25,000 to $10 million.

Peter Schweizer's book "Clinton Cash" exposed other unsavory entanglements between the foundation, government policy, and the Clintons' pocketbooks.

As the late great columnist Charles Krauthammer put it, the foundation was "a massive family enterprise disguised as a charity" that was intended to help restore the Clintons to power.

They also have an excellent timeline chart.

So now we're supposed to believe that the tears and flapdoodle statement of Bill Clinton, as he fires up the old political vehicle for Clinton power and Clinton rule, is really just him getting all glurgy about assorted problems in the world.  A big glitzy celebrity-studded conference should take care of it, right, Bill?

In reality, something is up.

Some observers on Twitter note that it may well mean that Hillary Clinton is planning to run for office again, which is a distinct possibility.  Big campaigns take big money, and the Clinton Foundation donations have been way down.

Second, the Clintons, like Vladimir Putin, who has his own priorities, knows that the time to strike is now, what with feeble Joe Biden in the White House.  Just as Putin knows that Biden will colossally fail to stop any invasion of Ukraine, but might not be so lucky if President Trump gets back into power, so the Clintons know that the lawmen will look the other way as their money-for-influence operation kicks back into gear so long as Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office.

Third, Ukraine is an issue now. Where'd the Clintons get the biggest chunk of their cash in the past? Yep, Ukraine.  Ukraine's oligarchs have been the number-one donor to the Clinton Foundation in the past.  There are likely to be many, many oligarchs and other well heeled people with money looking for someone, anyone, to donate to to advance their battered country's national interests.  What better, then, than to pay the Clintons for their charity work or glitzy gala or whatever and watch the Clintons use their political pull to sway doddery Joe into Ukraine's column?  Colombia did it this way around 2011, when it needed to get its free trade pact with the States passed after years of seeing its pleas on the logic and merits of it fall on deaf Democrat ears.  That news came out in 2015 with the publication of Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash.  The Colombians have denied it, but it's hard to think they didn't finally learn how Democrats operate and what it takes to get a clearly meritorious case that shouldn't have a price tag on it at all through legislation.  In the case of Ukraine, and perhaps Taiwan, they already know. 

It's all understandable from those allies' and business interests' point of view, but it's not what the American voters voted for, nor should it be the standard for American governance.  What's more, it opens the gates to all sorts of gamy players buying their way to foreign policy favors.  In a recent search of Clinton speech fees, I found that Clinton took a lot of speech cash from Xinjiang interests.  That's right: Mr. Tears for Humanity stuffed his pockets full of the cash of slave labor masters imprisoning whole classes of people in Xinjiang, China.  The whole thing should be a crime.  Yet the Clintons just keep skating.

It may still be another reason that hasn't come to light yet.  You never know with the Clintons, except that it's undoubtedly a dirty business that reeks of bribery.  One thing that should be going on now is watching just who's donating to them and checking it against just what it is they expect to get.

Image: Screen shot from video posted by Clinton Global Initiative via shareable YouTube.

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