The Canadian arm of the Clinton Foundation has more than 1,100 undisclosed donors and is seeking permission from the the top 28 to reveal their identity, according to reports.
The disclosure effort is in response to the intense scrutiny aimed at the Clinton Foundation’s failure to comply with an ethics agreement it signed in 2008 before Hillary Clinton took the job as secretary of state.
The agreement required the Clinton Foundation to disclose all of its donors on an annual basis. And although the agreement also explicitly required the Foundation’s various side partnerships to disclose its donors, a recent New York Times article and a forthcoming book, “Clinton Cash,” has revealed that the Vancouver-based Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership has not disclosed its 1,100 donors.
The revelation is troubling because of Bill Clinton’s close relationship with Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra.
Giustra donated $31 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2005, months after Clinton accompanied him on a business trip in which he secured a lucrative mining deal with Kazakhstan’s energy agency.
Giustra has since donated another $100 million, which was used to create the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership.
One of the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership’s major donors is the Canada-based Fernwood Foundation. It has given $2.35 million to the organization, none of which was properly reported by the Clinton Foundation. The Fernwood Foundation is controlled by Ian Tefler, a longtime business partner of Giustra’s and the former chairman of Uranium One, a uranium mining company now controlled by Russia. Tefler donated to the the Clinton-Giustra partnership while Hillary Clinton’s State Department was deciding on whether to allow the Russian company to take over Uranium One.
After coming under scrutiny — and after the Clinton Foundation announced it was refiling its taxes and will increase transparency into its activities — the Canada-based partnership is reaching out to 28 donors who have given at least $250,000 to ask for permission to disclose their identities, The Washington Post is reporting.
The Foundation and Giustra have defended the non-disclosure by claiming that Canadian law prohibits the disclosure of donors.
According to Bloomberg Politics, Giustra, citing Canada’s Personal Information Privacy and Electronic Disclosure Act, said “we are not allowed to disclose even to the Clinton Foundation the names of our donors.”
Maura Pally, the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation, also issued a statement, claiming that “unlike in the U.S., under Canadian law, all charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without prior permission from each donor.”
But as both Bloomberg and The Federalist reported, Canadian tax professionals doubt Giustra’s and the Clinton Foundation’s defense of the non-disclosures.
Numerous sources told those outlets that there appears to be nothing in Canadian law preventing charities from disclosing their donors.
The Washington Post’s fact-checker also found fault with the claim. It awarded Giustra’s and Pally’s statements three “Pinoccios,” indicating a significant factual error.