Corporations and foreign nations, including those with repressive human rights records, that prominently donated to the Clinton Foundation reportedly received lucrative weapons deals from Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
According to an International Business Times report, “under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation,” which was “nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.”
At least seven foreign nations that received clearance for arms deals from the State Department—Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia–reportedly donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
After the numerous pay-to-play revelations in Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, news outlets have been further investigating the financial dealings of the Clintons and their family foundation.
The IBT report found that Hillary Clinton’s State Department “authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration.” According to the report, “governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.” Additionally, “Bill Clinton took in speaking fees reaching $625,000 at events sponsored by entities that were dealing with Hillary Clinton’s State Department on weapons issues.”
The State Department “is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments.” And since federal law designates the secretary of state “as ‘responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales’ of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries,” Hillary Clinton “was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.”
As IBT noted, though a presidential policy directive her husband signed in 1995 requires the State Department to take “human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies,” the report found that Clinton’s State Department approved arms deals that “enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department.” Those nations included Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar:
- During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria — nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration.
- During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar.
The Qatar deal reportedly employed “as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.” As IBT noted, Chelsea Clinton, even though she lacked any journalism experience, was being paid a six-figure salary by NBC in 2011 General Electric still owned 49% of the network.
Furthermore, the report found that “Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.”
In 2011, just two months before Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the sale of $29 billion “worth of advanced fighter jets” from “a consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing” to Saudi Arabia, Boeing, which manufactured the jets, reportedly donated $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Saudi Arabia has reportedly donated at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. The sale reportedly agitated Israeli officials, who complained that the sale would upset the region’s balance of power. And, as IBT points out, “the deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.”
Lockheed, which told IBT “that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state,” was a contractor on “17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department” over the course of 2010. IBT found that the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, of which Lockheed is a member, paid Bill Clinton $250,000 for a speech in 2010 just three days after “Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor.”
Goldman Sachs reportedly paid Bill Clinton $200,000 for a speech in April of 2011 just two months before “the State Department approved a $675 million foreign military sale involving Hawker Beechcraft — a company that was then part-owned by Goldman Sachs,” which has also reportedly “contributed at least $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to donation records.”
As IBT noted, “under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions — a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.”
Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, told the outlet that “these continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment.”
“Can it really be that the Clintons didn’t recognize the questions these transactions would raise?” he added. “And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”
Meredith McGehee, the policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, which is “an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules,” reportedly said that “the word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation.”