American conservative watchdog Judicial Watch has released emails showing that Clinton Foundation officials sought diplomatic immunity from Hillary Clinton.
The batch of 37 emails showed that donors and officials tried to obtain diplomatic passports. Diplomatic passports, by law, are only supposed to be issued to members of the US government, or private citizens serving on federal commissions.
The watchdog group reported this batch included 37 emails that the State Department never received. So far Judicial Watch has uncovered 228 new emails not part of the 55,000 Clinton sent to the department.
In July 2009, Clinton Foundation executive asked top Hillary aide Huma Abedin about diplomatic passports:
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Jul 27, 2009 10:32 AM
Need get me/ justy and jd dip passports
We had them years ago but they lapsed and we didn’t bother getting them
From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 10:38:39 PM
To: Doug Band
Ok will figure it out
However, only “members of Foreign Service, their family members, or those working on U.S. government contracts” can receive these types of passports. Officials said the request came about because of a humanitarian mission to North Korea. Former President Bill Clinton traveled to the reclusive kingdom to free captive journalists. These officials also said they never issued the requested passports:
“Former presidents from time to time may undertake official work on behalf of the U.S. government. Former presidents are entitled to diplomatic passports, but diplomatic passports are not granted to accompanying staff,” the official said.
Of course, the Hillary campaign has attacked Judicial Watch about not giving its readers the full story:
“Once again Judicial Watch is not telling you the whole story. The trip led to the successful release of two American journalists who were being held in North Korea. This request turned out to be unnecessary and the trip was able to occur without diplomatic passports,” said Angel Urena, spokesman for Mr. Clinton. Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, called the criticism “a new low even for this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s.”
Um, read the email exchange, Hillary. Band specifically asks for diplomatic passports for himself and two other Clinton Foundation executives, NOT Bill Clinton, who already has one since he’s a former president.
A month later, Abedin told another State Department official that Bill wanted Hillary to meet with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, a company that “has donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.” Abedin and other aides tried to find time to “pull aside” Hillary so she could privately meet with Liveris. A Dow spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that the meeting was about a plane for Bill to use to North Korea. The publication also reported the deep ties between Dow and the Clintons:
Dow Chemical has also pledged to spend at least $45 million through the Clinton Global Initiative, a wing of the Clinton Foundation that coordinates charitable commitments, though none of those funds went to CGI. In 2007, the company pledged to spend $30 million over two years on loan guarantees to support clean water utilities in India. In 2009, it committed to spend more than $10 million to “raise awareness of the global water crisis.” In 2011, the company and its partner foundation pledged to spend more than $5 million on two educational initiatives.
When Hillary became secretary of state, she promised to cut ties with the foundation in order to avoid conflicts and controversy. But an email exchange Judicial Watch uncovered once again shows she did not keep that promise. Sidney Blumenthal emailed Hillary, asking her about a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Ireland. Hillary then forwarded the email to Abedin, Band, and aide Cheryl Mills. She told them, “I think this a good idea and see no conflict.”
Another email exchange occurred between billionaire businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild to Hillary about an interview with Parade magazine for journalist Les Gelb. Rothschild told Hillary that Gelb would give her “veto over content” and even promised that she would like the questions he would ask her.
A favor? Yes. Oh, Rothschild also contributes heavily to the Clinton Foundation. In May, she held a “$100,000-a-plate fundraiser” for Hillary.
All of this evidence has led to 50 House Republicans to ask the Justice Department for a new probe into the Clinton Foundation. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) penned the letter, telling Attorney General Loretta Lynch:
All of this makes it very unclear where the State Department ended and where the Clinton Foundation began. Official business of the United States government, the State Department most certainly included, should be conducted in a manner that prioritizes the best interests of the American people, not the special needs of the well-connected donors to a largely unaccountable foundation.
The Clinton family tried to make the controversy go away by stating that they will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary wins the presidency. This only brought more confusion to GOP lawmakers. Ratcliffe wrote:
Further casting a shadow of doubt over this arrangement is the recent announcement by the Clinton Foundation that it will stop accepting donations from foreign governments if Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States. This begs the obvious question about why an inappropriately cozy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the President of the United States is deemed unethical, but the same relationship between the foundation and the Secretary of State or candidate for president were not.
One more thing. Chelsea said she will remain on the foundation’s board even if her mother wins in November. But the Clintons are untouchable and can get away with anything so why not?