Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave special treatment to the donors of the Clinton Foundation. They were granted personal meetings with Clinton when she was Secretary Of State. Bundles of cash were forked over, according to a stunning new investigation.
According to the New York Post , at least 85 of the 154 nongovernment fat cats who got access to Clinton donated to her family charity or promised to back its programs, either personally or through businesses or other groups, according to a review of State Department documents by The Associated Press.
Combined, the donors shelled out as much as $156 million, with at least 40 donating more than $100,000 each and 20 shelling out more than $1 million — more evidence that the family’s foundation doubled as a pay-for-play operation for those seeking access to Clinton, critics charge.
Donors granted time with Clinton included:
- A famed economist who asked for her help as the Bangladeshi government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran.
- A Wall Street big shot who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem.
- Estee Lauder executives who met with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.
Analysts said the revelations offer further proof that State under Clinton was rife with conflicts of interest because of its deep ties to the foundation.
“The real conflicts of interest and appearances of conflicts are legion. This is proof positive the foundation should be shut if Clinton is elected president,” Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist, told The Post.
Donald Trump’s campaign pounced on the revelations as further evidence of the Democratic nominee’s shoddy ethics.
“The fact Hillary Clinton’s official schedule was full of meetings with Clinton Foundation donors is further evidence of the pay-to-play politics at her State Department” said Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate.
Call logs show that Slim-Fast billionaire S. Daniel Abraham, a Clinton fund-raising bundler and foundation donor, was listed in Clinton’s date books for eight meetings with her at various times.
Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest micro-credit for poor business owners, met with Clinton three times and spoke with her by phone during a period when the Bangladeshi government was investigating his oversight of a nonprofit bank.
He ultimately was pressured to resign from the bank’s board.
Throughout the process, he pleaded for help in messages routed to Clinton, who ordered aides to find ways to assist him.
And after his meetings with Clinton, she warned the Bangladeshi government in a speech that “we do not want to see any action taken that would in any way undermine or interfere in the operations of the Grameen Bank,” though the warning went unheeded.
In another case, Clinton was host at a September 2009 breakfast meeting at the New York Stock Exchange that listed Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman — a mega foundation donor — as one of the attendees.
A day after the breakfast, according to Clinton e-mails, the State Department was working on a visa issue at Schwarzman’s request.
Blackstone donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and eight Blackstone executives also gave between $375,000 and $800,000. And
Blackstone’s charitable arm has pledged millions of dollars in commitments to three Clinton Global Initiative projects.
Blackstone officials did not make Schwarzman available for comment.
Clinton also met in June 2011 with Nancy Mahon of MAC AIDS, the charitable arm of MAC Cosmetics, which is owned by Estee Lauder.
The meeting occurred before an announcement about a State Department partnership to raise money to finance AIDS education and prevention.
The public-private partnership was formed to fight gender-based violence in South Africa, State said at the time.
The MAC AIDS fund donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Estee Lauder executive Fabrizio Freda also met with Clinton at the same Wall Street event attended by Schwarzman.
Later that month, Freda was on a list of attendees for a meeting between Clinton and a US-China trade group.
Estee Lauder has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the agency was not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation.
The 154 individuals who met or spoke to Clinton did not include federal employees or foreign government representatives.
The AP sought Clinton’s calendar and schedules three years ago, but the department stonewalled so the wire service had to sue in federal court to get access to those materials and other records.
In another disclosure, Fox News reported that a senior executive at the foundation left almost 150 telephone messages over two years for Cheryl Mills,
Clinton’s top aide at the State Department.
A review of Mills’ call logs shows at least 148 messages from Laura Graham, who was the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer, between 2010 and 2012.
No other individual or nonprofit appears in the logs with anything approaching that frequency or volume, according to the review of the documents, which were released to the conservative advocacy group Citizens United as part of a long-running lawsuit over a Freedom of Information Act request.