Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, is asking the Internal Revenue Service to audit the Clinton Foundation following reports last week that Bill Clinton helped raise money for a private company owned by a group of friends and Democratic party operatives.
Tax-exempt charities, which the Clinton Foundation purports to be, are prohibited under federal law from acting in private individuals’ interests. Instead, they must act in the public interest.
But last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Clinton helped secure a $2 million commitment and an $812,000 Department of Energy grant for a private company called Energy Pioneer Solutions.
The company was founded in 2009 and owned by a group of Democratic friends of the Clintons. One of the Clintons’ neighbors in Chappaqua, N.Y. owned a 29 percent stake in the company. She is reported to be the Bill Clinton friend that the Secret Service has nicknamed “Energizer.” Some news outlets have asserted that she is one of Clinton’s mistresses.
Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias also owns a five percent stake in the company, as does Mark Weiner, a political operative and Clinton crony.
To help the company further, Clinton discussed it with Department of Energy Sec. Stephen Chu. Shortly after that, the agency awarded an $812,000 grant to the company, which it touted as a “women-owned small business” even though the firm was founded by a man.
The Journal noted that the $2 million commitment, which was announced at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in September, was scrubbed from the foundation’s website in order to avoid drawing attention to Clinton and McMahon’s friendship.
Following that report several watchdog groups told The New York Post that the Clinton Foundation’s activities are either indicative of illegal activity or blur the lines between charity, business and politics.
American Crossroads cites the two articles in its complaint to the IRS.
“These two articles appear to provide ‘probable cause’ for an IRS investigation into whether the Clinton Foundation wrongly provided private benefits to close friends and supporters of the individuals who control the organization,” American Crossroads president Steven Law wrote in group’s complaint to the IRS, The Journal reported Monday.
“In fact, it is undisputed that the Clinton Foundation used its charitable assets to aid a for-profit corporation owned by people with direct personal and political connections with the Clinton Family, which in turns controls the Clinton Foundation,” he continued, adding that the Clinton non-profit is “unlike any other family-linked charitable foundation in memory.”
The Clinton Foundation responded last week to The Journal’s article, claiming that it has not done anything wrong.