A liberal group that has longtime Clinton friend Robert Reich as its chairman of the board is calling on the Clinton Foundation to open up its books to an outside audit and to stop accepting donations from foreign entities.
Common Cause issued the statement on Friday, a day after a bombshell report from The New York Times laid out how Hillary Clinton’s State Department signed off on a deal that allowed the Russians to gain control of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply.
The deal involved a company founded by Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, who has pledged $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.
“Citing concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the influence of hidden overseas donors, Common Cause called on presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Clinton Foundation today to commission an independent and thorough review of all large donations to the foundation and to release the results,” the statement reads.
Common Cause executive director, Miles Rapoport, who was formerly with the progressive group Demos, cited a New York Times editorial from Thursday which asserted that the Clinton Foundation failed to live up its agreement to disclose donors.
“The foundation’s omissions create significant gaps in the information that voters need to make informed decisions at the polls,” Rapoport said.
He added that to ensure a complete audit, the Clinton Foundation “should enter into a contractual agreement with auditors to open its books fully and to make public the complete report of their review.”
“And to further guard against potential conflicts of interest, the foundation should stop accepting donations from foreign governments and foreign corporations,” he added.
In its article, which was based in part on Peter Schweizer’s forthcoming book, “Clinton Cash,” The Times also revealed that the Clinton Foundation did not disclose $2.35 million in donations made by a Giustra associate who was involved in the uranium company eventually taken over by the Russians.
The failure to disclose those donations and others is at odds with a promise Clinton made before taking over as Obama’s secretary of state that the Clinton Foundation would disclose all of its benefactors.
“The Clinton Foundation and any other foundations tied to a candidate or his or her family provide one more way for potential donors to gain access and curry favor from candidates – without the public knowing about it,” Rapoport said. “That lack of transparency creates a clear risk of undue influence and conflicts of interest.”
The group’s statement comes as a bit of a surprise given that its chairman is Robert Reich, a friend of the Clintons and President Clinton’s labor secretary.
Reich has so far not offered extensive comment on the scandals involving the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s use of private email during her tenure as secretary of state.
He did respond to a Washington Post article from February laying out how many Clinton Foundation donors are also donating to Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“It will be important for Hillary to distance herself from all of this,” Reich wrote on Facebook. “If she runs she’ll have to establish that she’s her “own woman” — not only in contrast to her husband, but also in contrast to big business and Wall Street.”
Reached for comment, Common Cause spokesman Dale Eisman said that Reich had no input on the decision to release the statement.
“Dr. Reich and other members of our National Governing Board did not take part in drafting the statement and weren’t asked to sign off on it,” Eisman told The Daily Caller.
“The board sets Common Cause’s overall policies and leaves it to President Miles Rapoport and the staff to implement them. Dr. Reich has made it clear that he wants the organization to adhere to our history of non-partisanship and apply the same standards to our scrutiny of every candidate in every party.”