Hillary Clinton did two huge favors for Morocco during her tenure as secretary of state while the Clinton Foundation accepted up to $28 million in donations from the country’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, according to new information obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Lisa Jackson tried to shut down the Florida-based Mosaic Company in 2011, operator of America’s largest phosphate mining facility.
Jackson’s close ties and loyalty to the Clintons were revealed when she joined the Clinton Foundation’s board of directors in 2013, just months after she left the EPA. Jackson is also close to John Podesta, Clinton’s national campaign chairman.
Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company, OCP, would ostensibly have benefited from Jackson’s move to shut down Mosaic. Mohammed donated up to $15 million to the Clinton Foundation through OCP.
Clinton also relaxed U.S. foreign aid restrictions on Morocco, thus allowing U.S. funds to be used in the territory of Western Sahara where OCP operates phosphate mining operations. The aid restrictions stemmed from Morocco’s illegal occupation of the territory since 1974.
Morocco is repeatedly condemned for seizing the territory and for unilaterally extracting the country’s valuable minerals, impoverishing what’s left of the local Sahrawi Arabs.
No nation recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara and the United Nation’s Security Council legal office and the International Court of Justice both demand that Muhammed withdraw his claim over the territory and end illegal extraction of minerals.
An email Wikileaks made public last week illustrated how Clinton, while acting as secretary of state, negotiated an additional $12 million donation to the Clinton Foundation from Muhammed in return for holding the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. Another $1 million payment came from OCP to cover the expenses of the CGI meeting. (RELATED: “WIKILEAKS: Hillary Got $12 Million for Clinton Charity As Quid Pro Quo For Morocco Meeting”)
The regulatory assault against the U.S. phosphate industry began in earnest when Jackson launched a barrage of intimidating regulatory initiatives against Mosaic. Environmental concerns about phosphates date from 1979 but the EPA did little to address concerns related to phosphate mining until Jackson’s 2011 moves.
The regulatory assault on the U.S. phosphate industry encompassed several agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS.) DHS aircraft flew at low altitudes over Mosaic’s central Florida operations in search of environmental problems. The EPA also threatened large Superfund penalties, which could have bankrupted Mosaic.
Phosphates are essential ingredients in fertilizers used in American farming. Closing or reducing Mosaic’s output would have cost tens of thousands of American jobs and injured the country’s agricultural productivity.
It also would leave the U.S. dependent upon foreign phosphate producers, but particularly Morocco’s OCP. The only other countries that mine phosphates are Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.
Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican congressman who represents the Florida district where Mosaic operates, told TheDCNF he now sees why the EPA went after Mosaic.
“The tactics makes perfect sense as to why the EPA, under Lisa Jackson’s tutelage, targeted Mosaic’s phosphate operations in my district. I was never given any answers when I questioned Lisa Jackson about the EPA’s deliberate actions against Mosaic,” Ross told TheDCNF.
“Now I know why. An environmental concern never existed. This targeting was all done as a payback to Morocco for donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation,” Ross said.
An uproar from Florida regulators push-back from the state’s congressional delegation and the agency’s tenuous legal position all forced the EPA to end its threats against Mosaic.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who is vice-chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and a vocal critic of the Clinton Foundation, agreed with Ross, saying “these facts seem to reveal the possibility of more pay-to-play activities at the Clinton Foundation.”
“It would be especially troubling if the Clinton Foundation was working with the EPA to suppress the American phosphate industry in favor of Morocco. The EPA and Clinton Foundation should be forthcoming about their dealings with the Moroccan government and the American phosphate industry.”
Clinton’s 2012 support of a rider on the U.S. foreign aid bill permitting foreign aid to be sent to the Western Sahara arguably legitimized Moroccan occupation of territory and depopulated the Sahrawi Arabs. Native Moroccans were sent into the country by the government to extract the minerals.
The rider approved by Clinton said that U.S. foreign aid funds “may be used in regions and territories administered by Morocco,” meaning, the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara is classified a “Non-Self-Governing Territory” under international law.
“Previously, United States excluded Western Sahara from bilateral assistance to avoid seeming to endorse Moroccan control,” said Eugene Kontororvich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, in a legal review of occupied territories around the world.
Hans Corell, the U.N. Security Council’s Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs, said in January, 2002, that “if further exploration and exploitation activities were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the international law principles applicable to mineral resource activities in Non-Self-Governing Territories.”
A Dec. 10, 2015 report by the International Court of Justice ruled that “the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara is not recognized by the European Union or its Member States, or more generally by the UN, and the absence of any international mandate capable of justifying Moroccan presence on that territory.”
But none of that mattered to former President Bill Clinton, who said nothing about the world’s condemnation of Morocco’s exploitation of the area for its phosphate industry, while speaking at the Clinton Foundation’s 2015 Marrakech CGI conference. Instead, he praised it.
“The Moroccans who are here will tell you that in the last several years, they have become the Saudi Arabia of phosphates, and what they have done with it, to diversify their economy and to make it part of a comprehensive strategy instead of another example of resource curse, is very impressive indeed,” Clinton said.
“Hillary Clinton sold her soul when they accepted that money,” reported Politico the day after the Marrakech CGI conference.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify that while Jackson, Clinton and CGI were close while in government and after, there is no direct evidence Jackson and Clinton worked together on the EPA’s investigation of the Mosaic Company.