Do some of the newly uncovered emails involving Hillary Clinton’s tenure as U.S. secretary of state connect her actions as a federal official with a $500,000 payment to her husband, Bill Clinton?
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported communications obtained by Citizens United, an activist group that is the lead plaintiff in several Freedom of Information Act court cases over Clinton’s emails, show she publicly defended an “embattled banker” while visiting Bangladesh at the same time Clinton Foundation officials “tried to steer money from an Abu Dhabi oil company into the banker’s coffers.”
The report said the emails “peek into the byzantine worldwide network of deals hatched by the Clinton Foundation, and illustrates the massive potential conflicts of interest involving the Clintons, their foundation, wealth donors and foreign officials.”
The foundation said it traced a complicated payment by TAQA, also known as the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, to longtime Clinton Foundation donor Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.
But then, “the oil company deal eventually put as much as $500,000 into President Bill Clinton’s pockets via a speaking fee he got in Scotland,” the report said.
It started with a May 7, 2012, email exchange between Cheryl Mills, who then was Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff, and Amitabh Desai, a foreign policy worker for the Clinton Foundation.
“TAQA is a huge oil and gas company 74 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government that operates in 11 countries, including Canada and the United States. The firm in 2010 won the first of three ‘blanket agreements’ with the Obama administration to import billions of cubic feet of natural gas from Canada into the United States,” the Daily Caller said.
Clinton Foundation development officer Linda Andich raised the question of the TAQA donation after reading a report of Hillary Clinton’s advocacy for Yunus, who had been charged in Bangladesh with financial mismanagement of the bank, which was supposed to be giving micro-loans to people to encourage economic development.
“Just reading about HRC’s support of the Grameen Bank, which prompted me to check in for any updates for the State Department, re: the Donation from TAQA,” Andich wrote Desai and Dennis Cheng, the Clinton Foundation’s chief development officer.
Later, Desai asked Mills, “we’d welcome your guidance on accepting funds from TAQA.”
She promised to “call to discuss.”
Reported the Daily Caller: “The emails show [Clinton] foundation officials were trying to complete a deal offered by TAQA managing director Leo Koot in Scotland. He agreed to give $60,000 to the foundation for Bill to speak at a Scotland charity and auction. The winner of the auction was to get a ‘Special Day with President Bill Clinton in New York.’”
Eventually the foundation accepted the $60,000, and “Bill went to Scotland where he received an additional $250,000 to $500,000 for his speech before a group called ‘Business For Change,’ according to the foundation’s website,” said the Daily Caller.
It explained Yunus’ connections to the Clintons date to Bill’s tenure as Arkansas governor, and his Grameen America foundation donated between $100,000 to $250,000, according to the Clinton Foundation website.
Further, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the U.S. Agency for International Development gave millions of grant dollars to Yunus and others.
“Mixing official State Department business and actions with Clinton Foundation fundraising is a huge red flag,” Citizens United President David Bossie told the Daily Caller. “What do discussions of foreign donations from the TAQA Group have to do with Hillary Clinton’s official duties as secretary of state?”
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Cateras on July 25, 2016, rejected a State Department request to release the emails over a 27-month period and ordered release of most of them by Nov. 4, just days before the presidential election pitting Hillary against Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The FBI investigated Clinton’s handling of her State Department emails, and its director, James Comey, concluded she was “extremely careless.” Clinton later interpreted that to mean the FBI was affirming she was telling the truth about her emails.
But ramifications still are developing. Her mention of a Iranian nuclear scientist may have contributed to his execution.
Former federal prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he would have prosecuted Clinton for the way she mishandled classified information.