Elections

Clinton Foundation Already Considering Exceptions To Foreign Donation Decision

(Reuters/Samantha Sais) / Reuters

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

After announcing a potential moratorium on foreign and corporate donations Aug. 14, the Clinton Foundation is already considering exceptions to its previous decision.

The foundation announced it will only accept donations from U.S. citizens and foreign charities if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins in November, according to Bloomberg. Former President Bill Clinton said the purpose of these changes is to thwart any “legitimate concerns about potential conflicts of interest,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Clinton Health Initiative, which relies heavily on foreign donations, hasn’t decided to participate in the moratorium, a spokesperson told WSJ. The CHI has its own board, which plans to meet soon about the issue.

While Hillary and Bill have announced they will leave the board of the Clinton Foundation if she wins the White House, Chelsea Clinton is now purportedly staying on as a board member to ensure “that those benefiting from the foundation’s work will be able to continue receiving that often life-changing help,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

The move to have Chelsea remain on the board is in stark contrast to the discussions this summer which alleged that all Clinton family members would be leaving the foundation for Hillary’s tenure as president if she were to win. With Chelsea remaining on the board, it creates the appearance of impropriety for observers of the Clinton Foundation.

Additionally, not all Clinton Foundation operations are directly affected by the ban on foreign and corporate donations.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, which in “2014 accounted for 66 percent of spending by the Clinton network of charities,” is arguably the most important of the exemptions, reports the Boston Globe. The health initiative gets a majority of its donations from foreign governments, which easily bring about more ‘pay-to-play’ allegations against the Clintons (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: IRS Launches Investigation Of The Clinton Foundation).

The Clinton Foundation facing widespread scrutiny about their acceptance of foreign money and ‘pay-to-play’ favor giving, announced in 2015 that it would only be accepting donations from six Western nations, according to Politico.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative does not have such a stringent policy, and accepts donations from many foreign nations, family foundations, universities, and corporations. The initiative received a huge uptick in donations when Clinton became secretary of state, according to the Globe. The initiative also never “reported those increases to the State Department as was required by an agreement hammered out between the charity and the Obama administration. It also failed to report new foreign donations, another requirement,” the Globe reports.

Two other Clinton-backed charities are not tied to this ban: “the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an entity cofounded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, a joint venture between Bill Clinton and Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra,” according to the Boston Globe (RELATED: These Are The Two Companies That Might Land Clinton’s Foundation In Big Legal Trouble).

Frank Giustra, a major mining investor in Canada and owner of UrAsia, won a landmark uranium deal in Kazakhstan just days after visiting with Clinton, reports the New York Times. The two men boarded Giustra’s private jet to Kazakhstan where they met with the country’s autocratic president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Clinton, in addition to helping Giustra, undermined American foreign policy by expressing his personal support for Nazarbayev’s desire to head an international elections monitory group, reports the New York Times.

Shortly after Giustra and the former president visited the nation, the embryonic UrAsia signed a preliminary contract “giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.” Following this very private visit, Giustra donated some $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation, and five months later,  held a fundraiser for the joint Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative where Giustra pledged $100 million dollars.

Giustra told the Boston Globe on Aug, 19 that “President Clinton and I believe it is important that we continue the work of alleviating poverty around the world.”
The aforementioned statement may foreshadow possible impropriety in a Clinton White House as well as the potential for undue influence by donors through the Clinton Foundation (or any of its initiatives). “85 of 154 people with private interests who either met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton and also gave to her family’s charities … as much as $156 million,” an Associated Press release shows.
Chelsea Clinton does not “intend to say whether she would raise money for the foundation until after the election,” the Journal reports.
For the past year, the Clinton Foundation was managed by Summit Rock Advisors, where “Nicole Fox, Chelsea Clinton’s maid of honor at her wedding, is managing director,” the Journal reports.

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