Within days of FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend indictment of Hillary Clinton in the e-mail scandal, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn began circulating a letter among her House colleagues to generate support for an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. As of Wednesday more than 40 members had signed onto the letter. It is to be sent to Comey on Friday, with copies to the heads of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Trade Commission.
In her letter she claims that the foundation has far exceeded its original intentions, which were to “construct a library, maintain a historical site with records, and engage in study and research.” Over time the foundation has morphed into a “lawless, Pay-to-Play enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years … [exhibiting] a pattern of dealing that personally enriched the Clintons at the expense of American foreign policy.”
Her beef centered around two of the more egregious examples of how the Clintons profited by selling their influence internationally in exchange for contributions to their foundation: the International Youth Foundation, and Uranium One.
During her stint as secretary of state under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, USAID (the U.S. Agency for International Development) made grants of more than $55 million to the International Youth Fund (IYF). The IYF supports expanding educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people around the world.
On its board sits one Douglas Becker, owner of Laureate International Universities, a for-profit educational organization that was perfectly placed to benefit from USAID’s largesse of taxpayer monies. During Hillary’s administration Becker returned the favor by making gifts of between $1 million and $5 million directly to the Clinton Foundation. In addition, in 2010, Becker named Bill Clinton as “honorary chancellor” of his company, paying him more than $16 million for the privilege.
As for Uranium One, the net upshot is that, with Hillary’s assistance, Vladimir Putin now controls one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States, along with much of its supply chain. During the process a number of executives in the former Canadian company made contributions to the Clinton Foundation, as well as providing Bill Clinton a speaking opportunity in Russia for which he was paid $500,000.
The New York Times exposed much of the background of the machinations behind the scenes in a 14-page article published in April 2015. Wrote the report’s investigators:
The deal made [the Russian company that bought Uranium One] one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain….
The sale gave the Russians [read: Putin] control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.
It’s what happened along the way that caught the attention of the Times’ investigators:
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.
Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
There’s more — much more — that Blackburn didn’t mention, but could have. There were the arms sales to nations unfriendly to the United States during her tenure which generated millions to the Clinton Foundation. For example, in late 2011 Clinton’s State Department cleared a sale of $29 billion of advanced Boeing fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. In this case she had been paid off long before the deal was struck. Wrote the International Business Times:
In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 — contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.
This was just a small part of the “pay-to-play” schemes that Blackburn wants the FBI to investigate. While at State, Hillary approved the sale of $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, and another $151 billion of other deals with 16 countries that donated to her foundation as expression of their thanks. These deals not only enriched the Clintons, but increased risks to U.S. security in the process. Wrote the IBT:
The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department.
Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.
Even this fails to do any more than touch the surface of the deal-making that took place under her administration, and continues today. There is so much more to the story that best-selling author Peter Schweizer (Extortion, Throw Them All Out) decided to take a look. What he found led him to write Clinton Cash, an expose that answers the question: Where did Bill and Hillary Clinton get all their money?
Cynics are likely to shrug it off, saying, “There she goes, again. She’ll just get off, again.” Others are holding steadfastly to the view that this effort by Blackburn, should it move the FBI to shift its attention towards the Clinton Foundation chicanery, could spell the death knell and the doomsday for the Clinton monarchy.