Emails: Clinton aide arranged meeting with foundation partner

Emails: Clinton aide arranged meeting with foundation partner
© Greg Nash

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Monday released a trove of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE’s email exchanges, some of which the group says show high-dollar Clinton Foundation donors and partners receiving special access to the former secretary of State.

In 2009, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin coordinated with Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band to arrange a meeting between Clinton and the Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain, which was requested by the crown prince.

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“Cp of Bahrain in tomorrow to Friday[.] Asking to see her[.] Good friend of ours[,]” Band wrote to Abedin on June 23 of that year, a Tuesday.

Abedin replied several hours later that the crown prince had attempted to arrange the meeting through “normal channels,” but that Clinton “said she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel.”

Two days later, Abedin reached out to Band and said: “Offering Bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for meeting woith [sic] hrc[.] If u see him, let him know[.] We have reached out thru official channels[.]”

Salman in 2005 established a scholarship program as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, committing more than $32 million by 2010, according to the Clinton Foundation website. Salman did not contribute money to the Clinton Global Initiative, which does not fund or implement members' so-called "commitments to action," but does promote them on its website. 

The Abedin-Band email exchange was part of 725 pages of State Department documents released by Judicial Watch on Monday, 20 of which the group said were not previously turned over to the State Department.

Another exchange shows Band requesting that Clinton help smooth the visa process for a member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, from the United Kingdom, who was struggling because of a “criminal charge.” The request came from Casey Wasserman, president of the Wasserman Foundation, which has donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.

But Clinton’s office did not comply with the request. Abedin said it “makes me nervous to get involved but I’ll ask.”

Band replied, “Then don’t[.]” The request never resulted in a visa, a spokeswoman for Wasserman told The Hill.

The release comes as controversy continues to swirl around the Clinton Foundation. Republicans have long accused Clinton, now the Democratic presidential nominee, of engaging in “pay-for-play” practices while secretary of State.

“These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “There needs to be a serious, independent investigation to determine whether Clinton and others broke the law.”

The Clinton campaign has pushed back on the allegations.

“Once again this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s is distorting facts to make utterly false attacks,” Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said. “No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

The Clinton Foundation will stop accepting donations from foreign companies and corporations if Clinton is elected in November, former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMajor health reform requires Democratic congressional dominance No presidential candidate can unite the country Lindsey Graham's Faustian bargain MORE said Monday. 

While Hillary Clinton is no longer involved with the foundation, Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton continue to appear at events. The former president has said that he would step down from the foundation’s board and stop fundraising if his wife is elected.

In an open letter, Bill Clinton laid out the changes, saying they are intended to eliminate “legitimate concerns about potential conflicts of interest,” though he defended the organization’s work for environment, education and public health causes.

On Monday, before the release of the emails, Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE called for the foundation to be dismantled, saying it is the “most corrupt enterprise in political history.”

 

This article was updated and corrected at 2:57 p.m. on Aug. 24 to note that Salman partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005.