A Clinton Foundation donor and St. Louis-based political consultant begged Huma Abedin to get former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with her client, the U.S.’s largest coal company, according to emails released by a conservative legal group.
“Huma, I need your help now to intervene please,” Joyce Aboussie, a Clinton Foundation donor with close ties to the former First Family, emailed Abedin in June 2009 after Clinton had been leading the State Department for about six months.
Peabody Energy, a major coal company, hired Aboussie and the lobbying firm of the former Speaker of the House Dick Gephardt to set up a meeting with Clinton to discuss the company’s “clean energy and sustainability” activities around the world as well as their dealings with Chinese officials.
Aboussie has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and she admitted to be hired by Peabody due to her “relationship with the Clintons.”
“We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months,” Aboussie wrote. “This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s.”
Abedin responded to a second Aboussie email, saying “we hope we can make something work” but “we have to work through the bureaucracy here.”
Abedin is a long-time aide to Clinton, following her to the State Department and on the campaign trail, but now she’s found herself at the center of a political firestorm over Clinton’s use of a private email server while working in the Obama administration.
The Aboussie email is one of 191 new emails released by the group Judicial Watch that weren’t part of the 50,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to the State Department in 2014. The Clinton campaign said the emails were simply a political ploy by a right-wing group.
“Once again this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s is distorting facts to make utterly false attacks” spokesman Josh Schwerin told Politico. “No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”
It’s unclear if Peabody ever got its meeting with Clinton, but Politico reports a Peabody executive got a meeting with then-U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman in 2010.
A 2010 internal Department of State memo details an “informal” meeting “with two or three Urumqi-based representatives from U.S. companies, including Peabody (coal) and GE.” GE has given at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
“St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, has opened an office in Urumqi and is actively pursuing opportunities in Xinjiang’s underdeveloped coal sector,” the memo reads.
It’s not clear if Abedin was involved in setting up the 2010 meeting, according to Politico, but Huntsman’s calendar showed he was scheduled to meet with “Sydney Parkhouse, a Peabody vice president based in China, along with executives from Sheraton, GE, and IBM” just seven days after meeting with Peabody representatives in Urumqi.
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