A new scandal is looming over Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and it once again centers on the dalliances of her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
At issue is a $2 million “commitment” from Bill Clinton’s “Clinton Global Initiative” charity to a for-profit company called Energy Pioneer Solutions. The company is owned by several friends of the Clinton including former and current Democratic party officials and a woman who is suspected of being Bill’s mistress.
The Wall Street Journal has the details:
Energy Pioneer Solutions was founded in 2009 by Scott Kleeb, a Democrat who twice ran for Congress from Nebraska. An internal document from that year showed it as owned 29% by Mr. Kleeb; 29% by Jane Eckert, the owner of an art gallery in Pine Plains, N.Y.; and 29% by Julie Tauber McMahon [emphasis ours] of Chappaqua, N.Y., a close friend of Mr. Clinton, who also lives in Chappaqua.
Owning 5% each were Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias and Mark Weiner, a supplier to political campaigns and former Rhode Island Democratic chairman, both longtime friends of the Clintons.
The Clinton Global Initiative holds an annual conference at which it announces monetary commitments from corporations, individuals or nonprofit organizations to address global challenges—commitments on which it has acted in a matchmaking role. Typically, the commitments go to charities and nongovernmental organizations. The commitment to Energy Pioneer Solutions was atypical because it originated from a private individual who was making a personal financial investment in a for-profit company.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that Clinton personally endorsed the company to then Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, possibly helping them secure a $812,000 Energy Department grant.
So who exactly is Julie Tauber McMahon, part owner of Energy Pioneer Solutions and beneficiary of the Clinton Global Initiative’s generosity? According to the New York Post, McMahon is rumored to be the woman dubbed “Energizer” by the secret service for her frequent visits to the Clinton estate in Chappaqua, New York.
The New York Post reports:
Secret Service agents were even given special instructions to abandon usual protocol when the woman came by, according to journalist Ronald Kessler’s tell-all book, “The First Family Detail.”
“You don’t stop her, you don’t approach her, you just let her go in,” says the book, based on agents’ accounts.
“Energizer” is described in the book as a charming visitor who sometimes brought cookies to the agents.
But why does any of this matter?
This is more than just salacious, soap-opera gossip. Tax-exempt non-profits like the Clinton Global Initiative are supposed to be philanthropic in nature, and are forbidden from acting in anyone’s private interest.
According to the International Revenue Services website, such organizations “must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests.”
If indeed it is discovered that Bill Clinton used donor money to benefit a for-profit company owned by his friends, it is a gross violation of the initiatives tax status. Such an ethical and legal lapse can and would be fair game in the 2016 race.