Even a huge storm can disappear on the vastness of the ocean, and this amazing story of corruption in Hillary’s State Department can vanish in the boundless volume of Trump news. But it shouldn’t. This is a big deal.
In a new batch of emails released on Tuesday, watchdog group Judicial Watch revealed an incredible scheme to reward big Clinton Foundation donors with lucrative contracts and favors using Hillary’s State Department as the graft ATM, reports show. As the New York Post writes on Thursday morning, it’s not just the one incident that broke through on cable news, but rather a “huge” number of recipients of Clinton influence peddling.
The shady Lebanese-Nigerian businessman who got Hillary Clinton’s State Department to arrange a high-level meeting was only one of a dizzying number of big donors to the Clinton Foundation to score government favors.
The list includes high rollers whose relationships with the Clintons made them even richer; countries with dubious human-rights records; and companies looking to grease the skids to get an edge on the competition.
That businessman that everyone has been talking about is Gilbert Chagoury. Judicial Watch writes:
Included in the new document production is a 2009 email in which Band, directs Abedin and Mills to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with the State Department’s “substance person” on Lebanon. Band notes that Chagoury is “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us,” and insists that Abedin call Amb. Jeffrey Feltman to connect him to Chagoury.
Chagoury is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton and a top donor to the Clinton Foundation. He has appeared near the top of the Foundation’s donor list as a $1 million to $5 million contributor, according to foundation documents. He also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative.
The Clinton folks, with the explicit assistance of New York Times spin doctors (I mean just look at that headline), tried to explain this away as merely inquiring about an election, but the New York Post elaborates:
It wasn’t long before Chagoury had an appointment with Jeffrey Feltman, the former US ambassador to Lebanon.
A rep for Clinton claimed Wednesday that Chagoury simply wanted to talk about the upcoming Lebanese election.
But Chagoury was also a key financial backer of pro-Hezbollah politician Michel Aoun, who was running for parliament on the Hezbollah-aligned bloc, according to multiple press accounts.
A close friend of Bill Clinton, Chagoury struck a plea deal on money-laundering charges in Switzerland in 2000 and was fined $66 million.
The e-mails between State Department aides and foundation staffers were hardly unique — the department estimated the number at more than 12,000.
Remember, Hillary specifically vowed to keep Foundation matters separate from her State Department work. Twelve thousand emails? That’s not separate. That’s cahoots.
As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton put it, the Chagoury incident alone is “a violation of that agreement on its face.” But it wasn’t alone.
Frank Giustra, a billionaire mining magnate from Vancouver, pledged $100 million to the foundation in 2005 — and then reaped a fortune from the relationship.
Giustra had dinner in 2010 with Bill and Hillary Clinton right before the Clintons met with the president of Colombia.
Shortly afterward, a company Giustra partially owned acquired the lucrative rights to conduct logging operations in an ecologically sensitive area along the Colombian coast.
Giustra and Bill Clinton also jetted off to Kazakhstan in 2005 to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Giustra’s mining company later signed a deal giving him stakes in three state-run uranium mines in the country.
The mines were acquired by the Russian atomic-energy agency, Rosatom, in a deal that got State Department approval on Hillary’s watch.
He pledged $100 million to the Clinton Foundation and then made a fortune off them. How does anyone need this spelled out for them? Money of this magnitude talks, and in this case Bill and Hillary did the talking.
And still more:
The Clinton Foundation also has accepted millions from foreign countries — some with deplorable human-rights records — that needed approval from State for roughly $165 billion worth of weapons deals.
In one case, State approved a huge increase in arms shipments to Algeria, even though the department’s own 2011 human-rights report blasted the country for “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption” and a “lack of judicial independence.”
The Algerian government that same year donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
A year later, State approved a 70 percent jump in military exports to the country, including “chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment.”
Guys. Come on.
And yet still more, from Fox News:
In another email from April 2009, Band seems to pressure Clinton’s former aides Cheryl Mills and Abedin into hiring a foundation associate.
In the email, Band writes it’s “important to take care of [name redacted].”
Abedin responds, telling Band, “Personnel has been sending him options.”
The latest batch of emails came more than a week after Clinton said, in a “Fox News Sunday” interview, that “there is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.”
Oh yeah, absolutely none. It’s one hundred million nothings.
And people, the list goes on.
The crossover and conflicts of interest between Hillary’s position as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation are abundant, apparent, unacceptable, outrageous, and obvious, just like her clear negligence and dishonesty with her entire personal email server saga. But like that epic “mishandling” of classified information, her abuses of power and overt corruption seem poised to go unpunished once again.
In any other year it would be a sexy story. In any other year, it would be irresistible, even to the Democrat owned MSM. But it’s Two Thousand and Trumpteen. This can easily fade behind some idiotic thing Trump will say or do that gives her cover once again. He’s her best defense.
What a year.