Judicial Watch’s independent work recently resulted in extensive coverage of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s corruption of the State Department.
A Judicial Watch lawsuit was central to the ongoing scandal involving the Clintons and the money they raised while Hillary was secretary of state.
Last year, Judicial Watch forced the disclosure of documents that provided a road map for over 200 conflict-of-interest rulings that led to $48 million for the Clinton Foundation and other Clinton-connected entities during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Previously disclosed documents in this lawsuit, for example, raise questions about funds Clinton accepted from entities linked to Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran, among others. The story on these documents that got the ball rolling can found be here. The headline says it all: “State Department approved 215 Bill Clinton speeches, controversial consulting deal, worth $48m; Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff copied on all decisions.”
Dedicated investigating, legal work, and journalism (Judicial Watch’s Micah Morrison in partnership with The Washington Examiner) produced the key documents that led to much more investigating by others. Notably, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer used Judicial Watch-produced documents to help with his headline-making book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. This book helped feed major media interest in the story that Judicial Watch has been highlighting since 2008.
The headlines tell the whole story:
- From the New York Times: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company
- From Reuters: Exclusive: Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors
- From the Washington Post: For Clintons, speech income shows how their wealth is intertwined with charity
- From ABC News: Bill Clinton Cashed In When Hillary Became Secretary of State
Now, in the midst of this cavalcade of reporting on Clinton corruption, Judicial Watch has disclosed yet more documents in its Clinton accountability lawsuit.
The organization has recently highlighted 126 more pages of documents from the State Department related to Hillary Clinton’s conflicts of interest during her time as secretary of state. These documents were forced out of the State Department thanks to a federal court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department back in May 2013.
Incredibly, the State Department has also turned over almost 1,000 records to the Clinton Foundation, beginning in January 2014, for review prior to public release.
The Obama State Department allowed Hillary Clinton to remove and destroy government email records, and now it has been made clear that the State Department has been improperly giving government documents to the Clinton operation – documents that should have been turned over to Judicial Watch and the American public years ago.
The latest group of documents again raises the specter of foreign potentates compromising American foreign policy by giving cash to the Clinton machine. One new document shows that State Department officials had concerns in January 2011 about Bill Clinton’s activities related to Saudi Arabia. An email chain, begun on January 25, 2011, includes several members of the State Department’s Legal Advisor Office, and the subject line “Clinton Foundation Request – Saudi entities.” The discussion is almost entirely redacted in the three-page email chain. This is Obama transparency at its best. If nothing else, Bill and Hillary have a friend in the Obama administration in helping cover their tracks. The timing of the email suggests it was about the Saudi government and that the event netted the Clintons $300,000.
We already have the documents about this lucrative event. The Clinton Foundation told the State Department he would participate in the 2011 Global Competiveness Forum, a five-day event in Riyadh. The event was co-sponsored by the Dabbagh Group Holding Co., which “comprises 28 autonomous companies, operating in diversified businesses in 30 countries. Mohammed Husnee Jazeel currently serves as Dabbagh Group’s CFO.” The Clinton Foundation described the event as:
[A]n annual meeting of global business leaders, international political leaders and selected academics and journalists. It was founded in 2006 by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and is held under the patronage of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.
Established in 2000, the SAGIA encourages investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and provides licensing and support services to investors.
The “ticketed event” targeted “the Saudi Arabian business community.”
Also discussed is a Clinton Foundation request regarding an undisclosed country in Asia in August 2010: “Spoke to Jim [James H Thessin], on this and he plans to speak to the EAP [East Asian & Pacific Affairs] PDAS [Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary] and get his views.”
A June 2010 message chain addressed to then-Deputy Chief of Mission in Tanzania Larry E. Andre and others is labeled “URGENT RE: Clinton Foundation Issue, ” and states: “Former POTUS Clinton is on the ground in Tanzania… we need guidance fairly urgently to still be relevant.”
Also in the documents is a fully redacted June 2011 exchange between longtime Clinton associates Cheryl Mills and Doug Band.
Band assisted in creating the Clinton Global Initiative and is a founding partner and president of Teneo. Also previously disclosed, documents show that the State Department approved a consulting arrangement between Bill Clinton and Band. The Clintons ended the deal after only eight months, as criticism mounted over Teneo’s ties to the failed investment firm, MF Global.
Mills defended Bill Clinton during his 1999 impeachment trial. She also was on the Clinton Foundation’s board prior to joining Mrs. Clinton at the State Department. Mills reportedly negotiated the “ethics agreement” on behalf of the Clintons and the Foundation that required the Clintons to submit to rigorous conflict-of-interest checks. Despite this, and in apparent violation of Obama administration ethics rules, the documents Judicial Watch forced out show Mills was involved in ethics reviews as chief of staff for Mrs. Clinton at the State Department.
There’s another interesting tidbit that speaks to Clinton cover-up tactics with which Americans are all too familiar. There’s a January 2013 email from Clinton Foundation Scheduler Margaret Steenburg to State Department attorneys saying a list of speech hosts for conflict-of-interest review was provided to them. The list, however, is conspicuously absent from the FOIA production documents.
The State Department just disclosed that it turned over 128 records to the Clinton Foundation for review under Exemption 4 of FOIA. Exemption 4 allows the withholding of commercial information about third parties that could cause them competitive harm. More than 1,000 records have been turned over to the Clinton Foundation under this unusual review process, resulting in more delay.
The lawsuit which first exposed the Clinton foreign fundraising racket at the State Department continues to be obstructed by Mrs. Clinton’s political operation. Remember that Mrs. Clinton is obstructing the release of information about the very scandal she is dismissing as “politics.”
With these revelations of State Department concerns about the Clinton machine’s Saudi and Asian dealings, this simple FOIA lawsuit is once again providing the road map for those tracking Hillary Clinton’s abuse of office as secretary of state. In the meantime, the State Department seems to be more concerned about helping Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign than following federal disclosure law.
Finally, the State Department promised to conduct a supplemental search of email records allegedly turned over late last year by Hillary Clinton. The State Department has been silent on obtaining or recovering other emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret accounts or any secret accounts of her top staff, including Cheryl Mills. And it is silent as to when Judicial Watch will get those documents.
Judicial Watch’s litigation continues. As the Clinton campaign distracts, lies and denies, the court process will move forward and more truths about Hillary Clinton’s abuse of office will come to light.