Former President Bill Clinton’s intern problems didn’t end with Monica Lewinsky in the White House, but continued into his post-presidency at the non-profit bearing his family name and were a factor when Hillary Clinton was being considered for Secretary of State in 2008.
A blistering November 2008 internal management review by a Clinton Foundation attorney told the charity’s top executives to move “immediately” on a number of recommendations, including establishing a new “sexual harrassment” policy and ending the practice of promoting interns into jobs they couldn’t handle.
Attorney Kumiki Gibson pointed in the review report to “the head of the Harlem office [who] has admitted that she likes hiring and/or promoting interns, despite the fact that many of these individuals have no to little experience outside the foundation and the fact that this office is located in a city with vast talent pool.”
The Gibson review was attached to a November 2011 email from Cheryl Mills, then Clinton’s State Department chief of staff, to long-time Clinton political adviser John Podesta. The Mills email was made public Saturday by Wikileaks.
The Clinton Foundation’s first headquarters outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, where it was founded was in Harlem, New York.
In the review, Gibson also told the Clinton Foundation’s top executives that they should “review and adopt the proposed Sexual Harassment Policy, for immediate implementation” and immediately hire a new position “to handle complaints, in accordance” with the new policy.
Establishing the sexual harassment policy and changing how interns were hired and promoted were among the key recommendations that Gibson told the Clinton Foundation executives needed attention as part of a comprehensive effort “to bring the foundation into compliance with the law and standards that government not-for-profits and must must create strong legal and [human resources] offices so to prevent any lapses in the future.”
President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives Dec. 19, 1998, on multiple charges stemming from his sexual relationship in the White House with Lewinsky. The Senate, which like the House was controlled by Republicans, declined to convict Clinton, so he remained in office until the end of his term in 2001.
At the heart of Gibson’s review was the fact she found the foundation was organized almost exclusively around the former chief executive’s needs and priorities.
“This organization, loosely linked around the President, comprised of many ‘free agents,’ and serving, to some degree, the interests of the President may have been appropriate when the foundation was in its start-up phase, with few offices, few employees, and few major decisions,” Gibson wrote.
“It is not, however, appropriate for an organization that operates across the globe with over 500 employees and a budget of $90 million, that is regulated at every level of government, and that depends on outside funders for sustenance.”
Gibson did not suggest the existence of sexual improprieties involving the former President and Clinton Foundation interns referenced in her review.
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