The Clintons are receiving intense pressure from donors and Democratic Party leadership to completely sever ties with the Clinton Foundation, according to reports.
The pressure from both groups is the latest effort to extricate Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from any further corruption complaints.
Former President Bill Clinton announced Aug. 18 in an open letter on the Foundation’s website that he would be stepping down from the board and stopping his fundraising efforts should Hillary win in November. In addition to these changes, he announced the foundation would only accept donations from U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and domestic based foundations.
These measures come after recent criticism that the Clinton Foundation participated in pay-to-play schemes with many foreign nations and magnates (RELATED: These Are The Two Companies That Might Land Hillary Clinton In Hot Water).
Many Democratic members of Congress have come out calling for the Clintons to completely sever ties with the Foundation. One such Congressman, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva said that the scandal has become a matter of public distraction and essentially is now a hindrance to the Party and the Clinton campaign (Related: Hillary-Backing Dem Congressman: Clinton Should ‘Cut Off’ The Foundation [Video]).
Grijalva told the press it was time for the family to cut ties because “what’s at stake is the big prize. The big prize is not the Clinton Foundation. It’s the presidency of the United States,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
The sentiment Grijalva expressed is one shared by others in the Democratic Party. Many think the efforts by the Clintons so far are not nearly enough to squelch the allegations and backlash surrounding the Foundation. Currently, the plans include the aforementioned measures, changing the name of the organization to the Clinton Foundation (from the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation), and keeping Chelsea Clinton on the board.
Many believe that having Chelsea active on the board will still give a sense of impropriety and have the potential to open up further allegations of pay-to-play favors.
Republican nominee Donald Trump fought similar criticisms in simlar fashion, minimizing concerns that he would hand out business favors as president by completely relinquishing control of business operations to his children.
Clinton Foundation President, Donna Shalala, told the press that if Clinton wins in November, the organization will “work quickly through the end of the year and into 2017 to transition our programs,” reports the Journal.
William Galston, former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton and current scholar at the Brookings Institute, declined to comment on whether or not Hillary Clinton should leave the Foundation if she wins in November.
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