Hillary Was Scheduled To Meet Privately With Crony Lobbying Her For Africa Business

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Hillary Clinton’s State Department schedule includes an entry for a meeting with former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in December 2009, just a month after the career diplomat emailed his longtime friend on behalf of a company he was working for which was seeking federal contracts.

Wilson’s lobbying Clinton for the company, Symbion Power, has previously been reported. But it was unclear until now whether the two ever met face-to-face to discuss the international engineering contractor, which was founded in 2005.

As Clinton’s schedule shows, the pair appeared to have met privately in the then-secretary of state’s office on Dec. 11, 2009. And though the schedule entry contains no additional notes about the meeting, it followed a series of emails Wilson sent Clinton in the preceding months touting Symbion.

Months after Wilson contacted Clinton about Symbion, a small, quasi-federal agency called the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) granted the company $100 million in contracts to provide power to Tanzania.

As secretary of state, Clinton chaired MCC.

In a Nov. 10, 2009 email that Wilson sent to Clinton through Sidney Blumenthal, the former ambassador said he was “very enthusiastic about Symbion” and claimed that it was “one or the very few American companies outside the petroleum sector willing to establish itself and to undertake projects in Africa.” (RELATED: After An Email To Hillary, Company Directed By Ambassador Joe Wilson Was Awarded Africa Contract)

“We are certain that our approach to project development and execution will mesh nicely with African needs and U.S. policy priorities,” Wilson wrote, also indicating that he hoped to meet with Clinton to discuss Symbion’s work.

Clinton responded the next day, telling Wilson, who endorsed then-Sen. Clinton for president in 2008 and served as ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe in the Bill Clinton White House, that she was in Singapore at the time and would not be able to meet.

“Sorry to miss you, and hope you’ll let me know when you will next be [in Washington D.C.],” Clinton wrote.

Wilson wrote back to Clinton, telling her that he was making “about one trip a month to DC for Symbion” and that he was certain there would be an opportunity to meet “in the near future.”

Clinton answered, saying that she would have one of her aides schedule a visit — a meeting which appears to have taken place the next month.

The scheduled meeting raises numerous conflict-of-interest questions, especially since Wilson has asserted in court filings that he did helped procure Symbion’s MCC contract.

In an Oct. 15 filing, Wilson claimed that he “was directly and deeply involved on behalf of Symbion in pursuing and developing the business opportunities for Symbion, including the Millennium Challenge Fund.” (RELATED: Clinton Crony Claims He Was ‘Deeply Involved’ In Obtaining Contract From Agency Controlled By Hillary)

Wilson is suing Symbion and its CEO, Paul Hinks, claiming that he was not paid for 14 months of consulting work. Symbion hired Wilson in June 2009 and paid him $20,000 a month, according to court documents.

Both MCC and Symbion have told The Daily Caller that Clinton had no influence on the decision to award Symbion the Tanzania contract. The State Department was unable to verify for TheDC whether the meeting occurred and suggesting filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Wilson lobbied Clinton for Symbion in other ways. In 2011 he emailed to ask that she intervene during a phone call she was scheduled to have with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt concerning a business dispute involving Symbion’s use of construction equipment. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Intervened In Business Dispute After An Email From Joseph Wilson)

The revelation that Clinton was scheduled to meet with Wilson comes amid demands for the Office of Government Ethics to investigate Clinton for intervening to help a friend of her son-in-law’s secure a meeting to discuss a company in which he was invested. (RELATED: Watchdog Seeks Investigation Into Whether Hillary Favored Son-In-Law)

Harry Siklas had worked with Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, at Goldman Sachs. In a May 25, 2012 email, Siklas asked Mezvinsky to help him get a meeting with Clinton to discuss Neptune Minerals, a deep sea mining company.

“I need a contact in Hillary’s office,” Siklas wrote, also pointing out that he had convinced bankers at Goldman Sachs to invest in Neptune.

Clinton forwarded the request to an aide asking him to follow up.

In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, the government watchdog group, The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, asserted that the email suggested that Clinton gave “special access” to Mezvinsky.

The group also cited government ethics rules which state that federal officials “shall act impartially and shall not give preferential treatment to any private individual or organization.”

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