After the flood of new reporting on allegations that Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to sell access to major Clinton Foundation donors, government watchdog groups are sounding off about the “very serious” conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation should Hillary win in November.
“The Clinton Foundation has posed a very serious conflict of interest for the entire time that it’s existed,” Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said, according to The Hill. “The conflicts of interest are very real, and that gives Trump some ammunition to throw at it, and we’re going to hear about it [until the campaign ends].”
Holman acknowledges that Bill Clinton’s promise to resign from the Clinton Foundation board and stop giving paid speeches if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November is a positive sign. But it won’t eliminate the perception of “pay to play.” He suggests Chelsea Clinton’s resignation from the foundation board.
“If she really wants to get out from under the cloud she should sever ties completely with the foundation,” Holman said. However, that’s a decision to which the Clintons won’t commit.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that more than half the non-governmental personnel granted meetings with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave large donations to the Clinton Foundation.
These revelations have created “a very serious perception problem” that leads to the erosion of the faith people have in the government, says Larry Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center.
“You’d still have large individual donations that could raise a question,” Noble said, The Hill reports.
Given Bill Clinton’s promise of more transparency, Noble says, “I’d want to know what other safeguards they’re going to have [to ensure] the foundation is not being used as a conduit to get access to the White House.”
The Clintons should “sever all connections and not have any contact with the foundation,” to ensure this happens, Noble said.
“I think the foundation can still exist,” he added, “but there are going to have to be a lot of safeguards there.”