Clinton Foundation has bumpy record on donor disclosure

Greg Nash

In August 2016, then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took on critics of her husband’s charitable foundation by saying the former first family “went above and beyond” to disclose their donors to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest when she served as America’s top diplomat.

On the face, Clinton’s statement is true. A December 2008 voluntary ethics agreement the Clinton Foundation and incoming secretary of State executed with the Obama administration, before called for, disclosed all donors to the Foundation and its various initiatives, something normal charities don’t have to do.

{mosads}But over the years, the Clintons’ compliance fell short of their own agreement and their own proclamation that they were among the most transparent fundraisers in political history.

The Hill reported Tuesday that the Clinton Foundation only disclosed cash contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative and not any of the pro-bono and in-kind contributions the initiative received from donors.

As a result, the Foundation’s disclosure records showed $50,000 in cash donations from the lobbying firm APCO Worldwide but none of the hundreds of thousands of dollars the firm donated in pro-bono services.

Here are other examples where disclosure wasn’t complete:

• The Foundation didn’t disclose $2.35 million of donations from a family foundation linked to the mining company Uranium One, taken over in 2010 by Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy firm Rosatom, until The New York Times found the donation in Canadian tax records in April 2015.

• The Foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Secretary Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran. The Swedish entity, called the William J. Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelse, was never disclosed to or cleared by State Department ethics officials, Foundation officials told The Washington Times, even though one of its largest sources of donations was a Swedish government-sanctioned lottery.

• The Clinton Health Access Initiative, an HIV/AIDs-focused nonprofit that fell under the Foundation’s umbrella, didn’t disclose its donors annually while Secretary Clinton served in office. “Not doing so was an oversight which we made up for this year,” spokeswoman Maura Daley told Reuters in 2015.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative didn’t submit foreign government donations to State Department ethics officials for review as promised under the 2008 agreement. In April 2015, Daley told the Boston Globe that the organization never submitted information on any foreign donations for State Department review during Clinton’s tenure from 2009 to 2013. Among the foreign donors were Rwanda, Sweden, Papua New Guinea and Flanders.

• The Foundation failed to disclose support from the Algerian government. Officials told The Washington Post in 2015 that they didn’t disclose a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government in 2010 for Haiti earthquake relief.

• The Clinton Foundation belatedly disclosed in 2015 millions of dollars in speaking fees collected by former President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton. Among those paying the fees were companies or entities from China, Qatar, South Korea and Thailand.

Tags Clinton Foundation Hillary Clinton

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