I know, I know. It is heartbreaking and gobsmacking that Hillary Clinton, while on the dole as US Secretary of State, met with major donors and favor seekers behind closed doors and then falsified her official calendar to hide those meetings. Me, too. I am saddened and dismayed. My faith in the world is shaken to its very foundations.
Television cameras rolled when Hillary Clinton appeared on the central balcony of the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell — just minutes after she attended a private breakfast in September 2009 with influential Wall Street and business leaders.
But the identities of her breakfast guests would be left off of her official State Department calendar — omissions that are among scores of names and events missing from Clinton’s historical record of her daily activities as secretary of state, an Associated Press review found.
Now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton met that morning with a dozen chief executives, most of whose firms had lobbied the government and donated to her family’s global charity, the Clinton Foundation. The event was closed to the press and merited only a brief mention in her official calendar, which omitted the names of all her guests — among them Blackstone Group Chairman Steven Schwarzman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and then-New York Bank of Mellon CEO Robert Kelly.
Of course, in truly Clintonesque manner, Hillary decided that if a law was worth scoffing it was worth flouting in a truly epic fashion:
The AP review of Clinton’s calendar — her after-the-fact, official chronology of the events of her four-year term — identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors and loyalists, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were either not recorded or listed with identifying details scrubbed. The AP found the omissions by comparing the 1,500-page document with separate planning schedules supplied to Clinton by aides in advance of each day’s events. The names of at least 114 outsiders who met with Clinton were missing from her calendar, the records show.
The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure — in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror other more detailed records of her daily meetings. At a time when Clinton’s private email system is under scrutiny by an FBI criminal investigation, the calendar omissions reinforce concerns that she sought to eliminate the “risk of the personal being accessible” — as she wrote in an email exchange that she failed to turn over to the government but was subsequently uncovered elsewhere.
One of the reasons that senior government officials are required to be transparent about with whom they are meeting is because disclosure decreases the chances of corruption, self-dealing, and the perception thereof. The fact that Clinton had at least 75 meetings with people who were known to give her and her
slush fund foundation money in rather large quantities.
It is fairly well established that even as Clinton served as Secretary of State, she kept in close contact with major donors and frequently those donors were rewarded by the US government, seemingly, based on their relationship to Clinton.
There is no possible innocent reason this many closed door meetings with donors happened and failed to be recorded. Recording this stuff is baked into the Federal bureaucracy and there are people who do this as a part of their work. But there are a lot of quintessentially Clinton reasons. Hiding actions from public view and garden variety personal corruption are just two.