Bill Clinton helped direct nearly $3 million to an energy company that was owned in part by a “family friend” who is rumored to be one of the former president’s mistresses.
And according to The Wall Street Journal, the charity also scrubbed its website of evidence of a $2 million commitment that Clinton helped arrange for the company, Energy Pioneer Solutions, in order to avoid drawing attention to the former president’s friendship with that investor, a 56-year-old blonde divorcee named Julie Tauber McMahon.
According to The New York Post, some outlets have alleged that McMahon, who is a neighbor of the Clintons in Chappaqua, N.Y., is the Bill Clinton friend nicknamed “Energizer.”
“Energizer” was first described in the book “The First Family Detail,” by former Secret Service agent Ronald Kessler. The woman reportedly visited the Clinton home frequently but timed her stops when Hillary Clinton was not there.
McMahon has denied having a relationship with Clinton.
In 2010, the Clinton Global Initiative placed Energy Pioneer Solutions on its conference agenda. It was at that conference that a Canadian investor announced that she was committing $2 million to the company, which was in the business of retrofitting houses to cut energy usage.
Clinton also reportedly helped the firm by touting it to then-Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. The Department of Energy later awarded an $812,000 grant to the company.
The company was founded in 2009 by Scott Kleeb, who twice ran for Congress in Nebraska. Kleeb owned 29 percent of the company as did McMahon and Jane Eckert, who owns an art gallery in Pine Plains, N.Y.
Andrew Tobias, the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, also held a five percent stake in the company.
Clinton’s help for a privately owned firm controlled by friends could have been a violation of federal law, according to The Journal. It cites the IRS’s website which states that charities “must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests.”
McMahon told The Journal that she was not involved in the talks to secure the $2 million donation arranged by the Clinton Global Initiative. But the newspaper did find what appears to be an attempt by the charity to hide Clinton’s friendship with McMahon.
It reports that the $2 million commitment was entered into the database on the Clinton Global Initiative’s website but removed a few months later.
According to the report:
The reason was to avoid calling attention to Mr. Clinton’s friendship with one company co-owner, Ms. McMahon, and to protect the integrity of Mr. Clinton and Clinton Global Initiative, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Clinton Foundation told The Journal that the commitment was removed at the request of Samuel, the Canadian donor.
After questions about the commitment, the Clinton Foundation told The Journal that it will change its policy by disclosing all past and future financial commitments.
Samuel ended up providing only $500,000 of her pledge to Energy Pioneer Solutions. But the company was able to raise the rest of the funds, though it is not clear where the money came from.
As The Journal reports, the Department of Energy announced its grant to the firm in 2010 and touted it as a “women-owned small business,” a term that the company used to describe itself on its grant application.
The company has floundered since its founding. It lost $300,000 in both 2010 and 2011 and was found in a Department of Energy audit to have failed to properly account for expenses paid for with grant money.