A new group of emails released Tuesday by the conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch implicates Hillary Clinton in back-door deals with Clinton Foundation donors during her time as secretary of state.
The 296 pages of emails, obtained by Judicial Watch in a lawsuit over a Freedom of Information Act request, include exchanges that were withheld by Clinton from the 55,000 pages of emails she provided the State Department in its investigation of her use of a private email server to do official department business. The emails reveal the Clinton State Department providing political access to a large donor to the Clinton Foundation and granting political favors to Clinton donor Morgan Stanley bank involving U.S. economic relations with China.
The favors done by the Clinton state department all took place in the shadow of a letter Clinton sent to State Department Designated Agency Ethics Official James H. Thessin upon her appointment to the position of secretary of state in 2009. The letter read in part, “For the duration of my appointment as secretary if I am confirmed, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which The William J. Clinton Foundation (or the Clinton Global Initiative) is a party or represents a party.” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, has claimed that Clinton hid the 44 emails released in the lawsuit because they appear to contradict this pledge, saying that “the State Department and the Clinton Foundation worked hand in hand in terms of policy and donor effort.”
The New York Times has reported on the emails, highlighting a few exchanges between the State Department and Clinton Foundation workers. In one such exchange, between Douglas J. Band, at the time the leader of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, and Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Secretary Clinton who would later find work at the Clinton Foundation. The Times reports that Band “wrote that he needed to connect Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire who was one of the foundation’s top donors, with someone at the State Department to talk about his interests in Lebanon.” Abedin replied that she would talk to Jeffrey Feltman, at the time the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon.
What the Times fails to mention is that in 2009 Chagoury, a friend of Bill Clinton who paid a $66 million fine for money laundering in Switzerland in 2000, donated between $1 and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation while his company pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. For that level of reporting, one must turn to the World Socialist Web Site, which also reported of Abedin and Band: “While still working for the State Department in 2012, Abedin received a special designation that enabled her to hold positions at the Clinton Foundation and at Teneo, a global advisory firm founded by Band in 2011 with assistance from the Clintons. During her time with Teneo, she earned upwards of $15,000 per month as a consultant.”
Nor does the Times, which has been working hard to promote Clinton for the presidency, mention what is perhaps the most incriminating email exchange, that involving Clinton and Stephen Roach, then chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.
Through PACs and from employees, Morgan Stanley has given over $550,000 to Clinton during her political career. Morgan Stanley also donated over $25 million to the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014.
In 2009, at the nadir of the economic crisis and as Clinton was about to embark on her first tour of Asia as secretary of state, Roach provided her a copy of his upcoming testimony before Congress and requested a meeting with her in person, saying, “Best regards and good luck on this important and timely trip.” Clinton had Huma Abedin schedule a meeting with Roach in Beijing. On her tour, presumably after meeting with Roach, Clinton pressured Beijing to continue buying large amounts of U.S. Treasury notes. This purchase of U.S. debt was then used to help fund the bailout of “too-big-to fail” banks like Morgan Stanley and pay for the $787 billion stimulus package. Essentially, Clinton played the role in Beijing of a Morgan Stanley sales representative.
The revelations of corruption at the heart of the Clinton State Department provide a glimpse into the corridors of U.S. power, where Hillary Clinton makes her political home. The government is not only responsive to the demands of the wealthy elite, it is itself a tool of the wealthy in the U.S. The tepid reporting of this corruption by major dailies like the New York Times, however, also provides a glimpse into those corridors of power. With the support of the U.S. financial and corporate sectors, the Obama White House and the military- and security-industrial complex, as well as protection in the corporate media, Clinton is not likely to suffer significantly from fallout due to these most recent emails or from any other material that could be considered scandalous.
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