Hillary is sailing through her confirmation hearings. In a suck-up session on Tuesday, Senators heaped praise on Clinton. Jim DeMint assured her that he would have no tough questions for her about the Clinton Foundation.
The foundation’s list of donors was released just before Christmas, and has not received proper attention from the media or Senators. One exception is this column by Diana West of the Washington Times. West explains that the Clinton Foundation received between $10 million and $25 million from Saudi Arabia; $5 million from the Zayed family, which has donated to “a family think tank for anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and jihadists,” $1 million to $5 million from the Dubai Foundation, owners of a company that wanted to run security for America’s ports, $1 million to $5 million from Hezbollah fan Issam Fares; and money from Chinese censorship collaboraror alibaba.com. But my favorite is the Alavi Foundation.
Writing at Forbes.com, Rachel Ehrenfeld recently reported that this group, which supports Iranian causes, gave the Clinton foundation between $25,000 and $50,000 on Dec. 19 – the very day Alavi Foundation President Farshid Jahedi was indicted on federal charges related to an investigation of the foundation’s relationship with Iran’s Bank Melli. (The donation, according to Ehrenfeld’s report, also came two days after the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Alavi’s partner, the New York-based ASSA Corp., as a terrorist entity.) Both the Alavi Foundation and Bank Melli, Ehrenfeld reported, have been “recognized as procurement fronts for Iran’s nuclear program,” with Bank Melli being designated in 2007 as a terrorist entity.
I can’t imagine how any of this might complicate Hillary’s role as Secretary of State. Can you?
Yesterday, Clinton finally faced a few tepid questions about the Clinton Foundation, and the L.A. Times fails to tell us the extent of the problem.
The L.A. Times story today mentions virtually none of the rather stunning details I discuss above. The paper tells us only that Senators have a generalized concern that foreign contributions “could pose potential conflicts of interest.” The story quotes Dick Lugar as encouraging Clinton to exclude foreign donations. This is followed by a quote from Hillary, dripping with that classic Clinton self pity: “No matter what we do, there will be those that [claim] conflicts,” she said.
Then we are told how transparent Hillary and Bill have been:
Under an agreement with the Obama transition team, the Clinton foundation made public a list of its past donors and promised to publish annually the names of its donors and to submit future foreign donations to a State Department ethics review.
Clinton’s foundation has worked to provide healthcare, particularly for people with AIDS in underdeveloped countries. It also promotes economic growth in Africa and Latin America, combats global climate change and works to solve such problems as childhood obesity in the U.S.
Matt McKenna, communications director for the former president, said by e-mail that the Clintons were “by far the most financially transparent former first couple in American history.”
L.A. Times editors do a somewhat better job in an editorial, which accurately says that the Clinton Foundation
has a history of accepting donations from tyrants and corrupt businessmen. Foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Kuwait, have given millions to the Clinton Foundation . . . Then there are highly questionable donations, such as the $500,000 he was paid by a Japanese American business for a speech he never gave, and that he later donated to the foundation
This last fact, editors note, was reported by the L.A. Times on Tuesday, and huzzah for that.
But even that article failed to document the extent of the questionable donations received by the Clinton Foundation. Maybe there has been another past article that did a better job; if so, none of it appeared in today’s article about the confirmation hearings.
The fact that this is not all being more widely reported is a disgrace. And the fact that Senators aren’t questioning her about it more closely is as well.