Just 12 days away from the November 8 election the Clinton Foundation takes center stage
There are just 12 days before election day and Republican Donald Trump might well have finally gotten the “October Surprise,” that was expected to come from the constant roll out of WIKILEAKS emails. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate woke up this morning to some troubling headiness in both the Washington Post and New York Times, talking about the Clinton Foundation.
According to an extensive report in the Washington Post, Douglas Band who was an aid and very close confidant to former President Bill Clinton was doing duel duty. He was helping to raise money for the Clinton Foundation while at the same time securing speaking and consulting fees for the former president.
Band targeted a number of Fortune 500 companies such as Coke and Teneo, a company that he worked for over the years. According to the company website Teneo, is a global advisory firm that works exclusively with the CEOs and leaders of the world’s largest and most complex companies providing strategic counsel across their full panoply of key objectives and issues.
According to The Post in documents recently dropped by WIKILEAKS, Band issued a memo back in 2011 to foundation lawyers conducting a review of the organization. He did so, because there was a great deal of tension coming from Chelsea Clinton, who had begun to take a more active role in the foundations day to day operations and she expressed concerns about Teneo’s operations.
The Post reported that the memo, made public Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, lays out the aggressive strategy behind lining up the consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune, including during the years that Hillary Clinton led the State Department. It describes how Band helped run what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.,” obtaining “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”
This WIKILEAKS document along with the reporting of The Post does not provide a “smoking gun,” that proved that Hillary Clinton was involved while serving as Secretary of State. However, it does call into question the actions of The Clinton Foundation and their practices.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported in this morning’s editions that WIKILEAKS documents show that Chelsea Clinton accused her father’s aides of taking “significant sums of money from my parents personally,” of “hustling” during foundation events to win clients for their own business, and of even installing spyware on her chief of staff’s computer.
In another WIKILEAKS email Hillary Clinton, told the king of Morocco, she would attend a Clinton Foundation, function in that country because the king had pledged $15 million to the foundation at the time. However, her inner circle thought that her showing up at such a gathering as she was about to run for president was not a wise idea. It prompted some of her closest friends and campaign staffers to openly show their concern.
“She created this mess and she knows it,” a close aide, Huma Abedin, wrote of Clinton in a January 2015 email. (WIKILEAKS doc.)
Clinton did not attend the Morocco event after all and listened to her inner circle.
A bit of history here and that is the Clinton Foundion was started in 1997, when Bill Clinton was still president. As of today the foundation has raised roughly $2 billion to fund projects around the world, helping African farmers improve their yields, Haitians recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake and millions of people gain access to cheaper H.I.V./AIDS medication, among other accomplishments.
Despite the many good things the foundation has done over the years, it has long been debated if the Clinton’s have profited personally from the fund raising done by the non-profit organization. Something, that with the latest drop of WIKILEAKS emails is likely to draw more attention just 12 days away from the November 8th election.
Quotes in this story came from WIKILEAKS, The Washington Post and The New York Times.