Growing Democratic anxieties over a possible Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy received a jolt on Thursday, as Reuters revealed Hillary and Bill Clinton broke the disclosure rules they agreed to with the Obama administration by failing to disclose Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) donors since 2010.
As Reuters notes, CHAI is the Clinton Foundation’s “flagship health program, which spends more than all of the other foundation initiatives put together.”
The Reuters revelation comes on the heels of Hillary Clinton’s roundly criticized explanations for why she evaded records laws by using a personal email address and had a secret server housed in her Chappaqua home.
The confluence of the Clinton Foundation foreign donations scandal, the secret email and server scandal, and the breach of disclosure agreements have coalesced into a dramatic 15 percent drop in Democratic voter support for Hillary Clinton since February. Indeed, even 46 percent of Democrats now say there should be an independent investigation of all of Clinton’s emails to see whether any of the nearly 32,000 emails she deleted contained information germane to her official business as Secretary of State.
“[Democrats] are scared to death,” National Journal Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director Ron Fournier reported earlier this week. “And there’s a lot of Democrats, by the way, who are saying, ‘follow the money.’ A lot of Democrats are really worried about the Foundation, that’s what they’re really worried about.”
Democrats’s greatest fear: that the questions surrounding the undisclosed foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s secret email address and server intersect. More specifically, that undisclosed foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation may have served as a sort of “down payment” for policies or actions taken during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.
To date, no such revelations have drawn a clear line of connection between foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and official actions Clinton took as Secretary of State. Still, numerous progressives and Democrats have gone on record expressing serious concerns.
Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman called the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign money “troubling.” Harman added, “I don’t understand why the money wasn’t returned, or after the fact, approval wasn’t sought.”
Former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Clintons’s acceptance of foreign cash created appearances that “are awkward at best.”
Liberal Fox News commentator Juan Williams conceded that the Clinton Foundation scandal involves “rank influence-peddling.”
The progressive New Republic said, “The foundation shouldn’t have accepted donations from foreign countries so that no one could ever accuse Clinton of being influenced by that money… This should frighten Democrats.”
The New Republic added, “Who knows what other past mistakes might surface, or ones yet to come?”
Even the New York Times Editorial Board blasted Hillary Clinton for accepting foreign Clinton Foundation donations and called on her to restore the Foundation’s ban—a ban that has now been revealed to have been violated.
For her part, Hillary Clinton appears unfazed. On Thursday, she delivered yet another paid speech, the type she typically receives $250,000 to $300,000 to deliver, reports Politico.
How much will be revealed between now and the 2016 presidential election about the tangle of relationships between the Clinton Foundation and secret email scandals remains to be seen.
The 2016 presidential election will take place Nov. 8, 2016, in 600 days.