As new details emerge about the State Department pay-for-play scheme in which donors to the Clinton Foundation received favors while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, a new report from the Associated Press is showing the extent to which donors were granted personal access to then-secretary Clinton.
The Associated Press is reporting that of the 154 people from private interests who personally met or had phone conversations with Secretary Clinton during her time at the State Department, 85–more than HALF–donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs. “Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million,” the Associated Press is reporting. “At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.”
The Associated Press based its findings on a review of State Department calendars.
The report goes on to say that included amongst Clinton’s patrons were a who’s-who of the elite, affluent, and influential.
Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.
The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.
The AP’s report comes as previously unreleased emails shed new light on the depth of the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton-helmed State Department, lending further credence to critics who claim the Democratic nominee is ethically challenged.
Earlier this week, Judicial Watch released a batch of emails that showed Clinton aide Huma Abedin acted as a conduit between the Clinton Foundation and Secretary Hillary Clinton, often worked in concert with top Clinton Foundation executive and longtime Clinton loyalist Doug Band to arrange access for high-dollar donors.