January 11, 2016

Clinton Under Ethical Fire Amid Calls For New Federal Investigation

Bipartisan ethics watchdog Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) continued its calls for an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s well-established practice of granting preferential access to her political allies and donors when she served as Secretary of State.

The group filed an ethics complaint referencing news reports and emails released by the State Department that establish a pattern of behavior in which donors were treated differently from other citizens by Clinton’s State Department. The complaint reads in part:

According to news reports and evidenced by her own correspondence, Secretary Clinton had a pattern and practice of giving preferential treatment to individuals with which she had financial ties.  See, e.g., Isaac Arnsdorf, How Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Cared for Democratic Donors, Jan. 6, 2016 (Attached as Exhibit A); Tom Hamburger, How Hillary Clinton Kept Her Wealthy Friends Close While At State Department, The Washington Post, Oct. 5, 2015 (Attached as Exhibit B).  This was not a single incident, but rather Clinton Foundation and political donors were regularly granted access to Secretary Clinton or one of her aides to discuss issues before the State Department.   

The complaint goes on to reference released emails showing that billionaire donor George Soros was “impressed” with his level of access to Clinton, and lists several examples of Soros and other well-connected political backers getting meetings with Clinton that an average citizen would not:

Although not a complete list, an example of the donors that obtained special meetings include Bill and Melinda Gates whose family foundation has donated more than $25 million, Victor Pinchuk whose foundation has donated more than $13 million, Susie Buell whose community foundation has donated over $10 million, and Haim Saban whose family foundation has donated more than $10 million, and George Soros who has donated between $500,001 to $1 million, all to the Clinton Foundation though 2015. 

This complaint comes on the heels of another filed in December charging Clinton pulled strings to get a request from a business contact of her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, in front of senior State Department officials, which received widespread media attention.

FACT has long documented Clinton’s history of questionable ethics, ranking her “in a league of her own” on the organization’s list of 2015’s worst ethics violators.