January 21, 2015

Clinton Being Hosted By Former Fundraiser, Former Keystone Lobbyist, And Now Keystone Investor

On the heels of President Obama’s strikingly populist tone during his State of the Union address, Hillary Clinton’s first public appearances will be paid speeches before a Canadian bank under investigation for a tax evasion scheme.

McClatchy already reported on how Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has settled numerous criminal investigations into misleading investors and making illegal corporate donations. Now, MSNBC reports that a longtime Clinton fundraiser who has a financial stake in the Keystone XL pipeline and has previously lobbied for its construction, also just happens to be a senior partner and board member of CIBC.

Hillary Clinton returns to Canada Wednesday for two speeches sponsored by a Canadian bank, but don’t expect her to say too much on the Keystone pipeline, the elephant in the room when it comes to relations between the U.S. and our neighbors to the north. …

Gordon Giffin, a longtime Clinton donor who served as ambassador to Canada under Bill Clinton, is on the board of directors of the CIBC, the bank sponsoring Clinton’s appearance, and has lobbied for the company hoping to build the Keystone pipeline.

Giffin, who as a “Hillraiser” bundler for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and has donated $1,000 to the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary, is a lawyer specializing in international energy issues. His firm was a registered lobbyist for Transcanada for several years, and Giffin personally lobbied for the company trying to build Keystone pipeline in 2007 and 2008, according to Senate ethics records. Transcanada did not fully takeover the Keystone pipeline until 2009.

Giffin is also on the board of Canadian Natural Resources, an energy company pushing for Keystone to be built. …