A conservative legal watchdog has released documents that it says show staffers to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonEconomists argue for taxing trades Sanders signs autographs as Clinton makes surprise showing on stage Coincidence? Obama spoke for 44 minutes, Clinton for 42 MORE interacting with the Clinton Foundation.
Judicial Watch said the internal State Department documents show Clinton’s aides helping orchestrate her public thanks to organizations that had made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. Those "commitments to action" involve an organization developing a plan to address a global problem and then carrying it out without the Foundation's involvement.
An August 2009 email chain shows Clinton’s staff at the department communicating with Clinton Foundation staff on how she could thank their supporters for “commitments” they made.
“It would be helpful to have [a] list of commitments during whole session so she can reference more than just those around her speech,” wrote Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s then-chief of staff at State, in a message to Amitabh Desai, then the Clinton Foundation’s director of foreign policy.
The email chain additionally included Clinton’s former chief of staff, Huma Abedin, then-deputy chief of staff for Policy Jake Sullivan and Caitlin Klevorick, a former Foundation employee who became senior adviser to the counselor and chief of staff to the secretary of State.
Clinton addressed Clinton Foundation donor commitments during the Clinton Global Initiative Closing Plenary in September 2009.
“This is an exceptional gathering of people who have made exceptional commitments to bettering our world,” she said on September 25, 2009, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York, N.Y.
“We see it in everything you do. It seems a good opportunity given the talent, the energy and the passion in this room to talk about an exceptional global challenge: chronic hunger and what we can all do about it,” she added.
The Clinton Foundation has faced heightened scrutiny since the former secretary of State joined the White House race.
The State Department’s Office of Inspector General reportedly issued a subpoena to the Clinton Foundation last fall as part of an investigation into projects that may have required federal approval while she was secretary, according to The Washington Post.
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hand in glove with the Clinton Foundation on fundraising and foreign policy,” said Tom Fitton, president of the conservative legal watchdog, in a statement.
“Despite the law and her promises to the contrary, Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into the D.C. office of the Clinton Foundation,” he added of the current Democratic presidential front-runner.
— This story was corrected on March 23 to reflect that the "commitments to action" are carried out separately from the Clinton Foundation. A previous version contained incorrect information.