NYT, Globe: Clinton Foundation used Byzantine organization to hide donors

posted at 8:41 am on April 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

When the sleazy connections surrounding the Uranium One/Rosatom deal and the Clintons first emerged, the Clinton Foundation chose a very odd hill to defend — the privacy of the donors of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Frank Giustra had been one of the principals in the deals that eventually gave the Russians control of half the uranium market, including here in the US, and the 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation subsidiary appeared at first to be more of a sideshow to the Uranium One scandal.

Maybe not. The New York Times’ Mike McIntire and Jo Becker report that even the tax break aspect of the CGEP got overstated, and that it had been unnecessary for Canadians wishing to take the tax writeoff since 2010. So why did 1100 donors bother with it — and why did the Clinton Foundation carefully choose the province in which to incorporate it?

Instead, the foundation said that the partnership was created by the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra to allow Canadian donors to get a tax benefit for supporting his work with Mr. Clinton — a benefit that came with the price of respecting Canada’s privacy laws. On Wednesday, the partnership issued a statement citing a legal opinion that “charitable donors have an expectation and right of privacy.”

However, interviews with tax lawyers and officials in Canada cast doubt on assertions that the partnership was necessary to confer a tax benefit; an examination shows that for many donors it was not needed, and in any event, since 2010, Canadians could have donated to the foundation directly and received the same tax break. …

For example, the Uranium One chairman, Ian Telfer, used his family charity, the Fernwood Foundation, to make his donations to the partnership. Mr. Telfer would have received a tax benefit when he first put his money into Fernwood, not when Fernwood donated to the partnership.

“There would only be one tax benefit no matter how many charities it passes through,” said Mark Blumberg, a tax lawyer in Toronto.

The partnership might have been necessary to provide a tax benefit to early individual donors, but not since 2010. That year, the Clinton Foundation was specially designated by the Canadian government, allowing Canadians to write off donations given directly to it.

In other words, there was no tax benefit for institutional donors at all, and none for individual donors after 2009. The benefit was purely secrecy, and that benefit redounded mostly to the Clintons.

After getting four Pinocchios from the Washington Post, the foundation complained that Michelle Ye Hee Lee hadn’t taken into consideration the laws of British Columbia, which are tougher on donor privacy. Even those, McIntire and Becker report, wouldn’t bar a charity from revealing its donors, though they may need to ask permission in some cases. The Clintons specifically pledged to provide that transparency as a key part of her appointment to the State Department, in order to prevent what happened with Uranium One and other pay-for-play issues with foreign entities while she served as Secretary of State.

That still prompts the question: why incorporate CGEP in British Columbia? Why not in Toronto, Ontario, which is just a stone’s throw from New York, where both the Clintons and their foundation are based? That choice certainly provides them a shield, at least a rhetorical one, to defend the lack of transparency that Hillary once pledged to provide. Was that deliberate? Given their rapid reliance on this Byzantine structure as their defense, it’s difficult to conclude otherwise.

Nor is that the only example of obfuscation. The Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey reports today that one of the foundation’s highest-profile units, the Clinton Health Access Initiative based in Boston, hid “tens of millions” of dollars in foreign government donations. Despite an agreement to disclose those donations, the Clinton Foundation never did:

The Clinton Health Access Initiative never submitted information on any foreign donations to State Department lawyers for review during Clinton’s tenure from 2009 to 2013, Maura Daley, the organization’s spokeswoman, acknowledged to the Globe this week. She said the charity deemed it unnecessary, except in one case that she described as an “oversight.”

During that time, grants from foreign governments increased by tens of millions of dollars to the Boston-based organization.

Daley’s acknowledgement was the first by the charity of the broad scope of its apparent failures to fulfill the spirit of a crucial political pledge made by the Clinton family and their charities. The health initiative has previously acknowledged failing only to disclose the identity of its contributors, another requirement under the agreement.

The failures make the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which is headquartered on Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, and goes by the acronym CHAI, a prominent symbol of the broken political promise and subsequent lack of accountability underlying the charity-related controversies that are dogging Clinton as she embarks on her campaign for president.

They also underscore the deliberate nature of the Clinton’s secrecy. It’s been “shields up” since 2009, and the Clintons took in millions upon millions of dollars by trading in on their access to power. Just imagine what they’ll do in the White House.

Update: I had a bad link to the Globe report in the original post. It’s fixed now.


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Comments

Bishop!

Paco on April 30, 2015 at 8:44 AM

Honestly, if Hillary isn’t going to be indicted on any of this, I don’t care. This stuff won’t affect the average Democrat voter because they still need their handout.

It would be nice if a GOP candidate (or two or three) would start calling for an investigation to indict instead of responding in ways that score political points with those that care about such things.

chuckfinlay on April 30, 2015 at 8:50 AM

hid “tens of millions” of dollars in foreign government donations

Link correction needed, Ed.

Thanks.

Mark Boabaca on April 30, 2015 at 8:50 AM

Of course they did.

K. Hobbit on April 30, 2015 at 8:51 AM

Drip drip drip

And dems will continue to defend her……you’ve should have heard Howard dean this am on morning joe……nothing to see here

cmsinaz on April 30, 2015 at 8:52 AM

If she gets back into the WH, maybe they’ll only steal from foreigners. bwahahaha.

Kissmygrits on April 30, 2015 at 8:53 AM

After getting four Pinocchios from the Washington Post, the foundation complained that Michelle Ye Hee Lee hadn’t taken into consideration the laws of British Columbia, which are tougher on donor privacy.

I’m pretty sure they only got three Pinocchios. I remember because it was only yesterday and because I thought they were a Pinocchio light of reality.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2015 at 8:54 AM

President Shrillary: ‘If you like your National Parks, you can keep your National Parks’.

Kissmygrits on April 30, 2015 at 8:54 AM

RICO!!!!

Dusty on April 30, 2015 at 8:59 AM

“There would only be one tax benefit no matter how many charities it passes through,” said Mark Blumberg, a tax lawyer in Toronto.

This should tell you all you need to know. Money passing through multiple Charities is always a cover up for something.

Johnnyreb on April 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM

And dems will continue to defend her……you’ve should have heard Howard dean this am on morning joe……nothing to see here

cmsinaz on April 30, 2015 at 8:52 AM

What other choice do the Dems have? They’ve pre-ordained her nomination and it isn’t like they have a whole lot of other options. You really think that Bernie Sanders is the solution to America’s problems?

The tactic here is clear. Ignore this corruption as much as possible but get it out now. That way when we are in the general election and Ted Cruz brings up Uranium One, Blue can let out a big sigh and say something along the lines of “I’ve already addressed this issue, it is old news, let’s move on.”

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM

They also underscore the deliberate nature of the Clinton’s secrecy. It’s been “shields up” since 2009, and the Clintons took in millions upon millions of dollars by trading in on their access to power. Just imagine what they’ll do in the White House.

Hillary Clinton is a bought and paid for agent of foreign powers. She’s willing to sell out America if it gets her more money and power.

rbj on April 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Has Hillary answered a single question since she announced her historic candidacy?

Naturally Curly on April 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Has Hillary answered a single question since she announced her historic candidacy?

Naturally Curly on April 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

She did say she prefers boxers…….

Johnnyreb on April 30, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Yup you’re right HN

Cripe

cmsinaz on April 30, 2015 at 9:08 AM

Has Hillary answered a single question since she announced her historic candidacy?

Naturally Curly on April 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Of course she has. Lots of them.

Black beans or pinto beans?
Would you like guacamole?
Do you want the meal or just the burrito bowl?

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2015 at 9:12 AM

So is there any prosecutor working on this latest scandal?
If not it will be treated as the hotair that it is.

weedisgood on April 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

RICO!!!!

Dusty on April 30, 2015 at 8:59 AM

Yep. This is a RICO case and this Justice Department will ignore it.

RadClown on April 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

And yet the NY Times will endorse Hillary for President…

And amazing silence from Republican members of Congress…

albill on April 30, 2015 at 9:17 AM

One of the higher profile Republican candidates who has no chance of winning the nomination (Rand Paul?) needs to step up and really call for investigations and even suggest criminal activity. Not all have to do this, but there has to be one sacrificial lamb.

hip shot on April 30, 2015 at 9:17 AM

These decades long corrupt practices to increase and ‘hide’ personal aggrandizement and wealth accumulation are all positives to Dhim voters. The ends justify the means.

vnvet on April 30, 2015 at 9:18 AM

Some one should get a patent on the Teflon application covering the Clintons. Between the liberal media and the progressive pundits, Hillary is a pure as a fresh driven snow. No direct evidence of impropriety, no quid pro quo, and certainly no foreign investors looking for, (and receiving), favors from a State Department operated by Mrs. Clinton.

The Liberal Mantra is……..”YOU CAN’T PROVE IT, SO ALL ACUSATIONS MUST BE FALSE”. This is the Teflon being applied by the left—great stuff!

The hypocrisy is, if this was a Republican, both the media and the pundits would be screaming for indictments and a special prosecutor. Can’t wait for part two of Schweizer’s story, when Jeb Bush is exposed of receiving money nefariously—-and watch these same folks calling for his imprisonment, (or at least a DOJ investigation).

Rovin on April 30, 2015 at 9:19 AM

What other choice do the Dems have? . . . You really think that Bernie Sanders is the solution to America’s problems?

The Democrats can always turn to Chris Christie as their nominee.

Emperor Norton on April 30, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Shields Up

Another Buck Sexton listener, Ed? I catch his podcasts nightly.

petefrt on April 30, 2015 at 10:10 AM

So is there any prosecutor working on this latest scandal?
If not it will be treated as the hotair that it is.

weedisgood on April 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

You do remember that it took eight months after the Watergate break-in for the Senate committee to be empaneled and begin its investigation, right? Or that it was 11 months until a special prosecutor was appointed, right?

No, of course not. You were baked all through that period. No recollection whatsoever that official action on government corruption doesn’t begin overnight.

In the meantime, you still seem perfectly fine with government corruption, secrecy, and law-breaking. Try to remember that the next time you want to complain about a Republican who does something of which you do not approve.

Athanasius on April 30, 2015 at 10:28 AM

And yet the NY Times will endorse Hillary for President…

albill on April 30, 2015 at 9:17 AM

Mark these words: They will choose principled lunacy over corrupt incompetence, and endorse Sanders.

PushTheButtonMax on April 30, 2015 at 10:50 AM

So is there any prosecutor working on this latest scandal?
If not it will be treated as the hotair that it is.

weedisgood on April 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

And there you have a preview of the standard Democrat response.

If you can’t get other Democrats to prosecute for it, we get away with it, therefore it’s meaningless, never really happened.

It follows logically from the perception that “rights” are nothing but political privileges, to be given and taken at the whim of the aristocracy. The aristocracy isn’t expected to be subject to laws, as if they were mere mortals. They are the source of “rights,” so they can do whatever they want as long as they keep promising “rights” that I think give me more power.

Once “rights” are conflated with “government granted privilege,” political power trumps everything. Of course leftists endorse despotism enforced by violence and the threat thereof. How can they not? They don’t believe that there is really anything else, it’s just variations on a theme.

GrumpyOldFart on April 30, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Americans don’t resent people who get rich.

And we admire those who spend lives “doing good”.

What we really, really detest is those who get filthy rich “doing good”.

There’s a perfect word for the Clintons: Shysters.
Like the televangelists of old, they demand our adulation for their “service”….all while lining their own pockets out of their charity.

jeanneb on April 30, 2015 at 11:10 AM

But just think about all of the good she can do with all of that money! Especially once she has the power of the presidency.

/Threw up a little.

Oxymoron on April 30, 2015 at 12:13 PM

When does a tax exempt foundation become a shame ??

When the program contributions to those being helped is less than the tax rate.

THE IRS OUGHT TO DECLARE ALL THE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CGI AS INCOME TO THE CLINTONS AND TAX IT AS SUCH!!

KenInIL on April 30, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Has Hillary answered a single question since she announced her historic candidacy?

Naturally Curly on April 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

She did say she prefers boxers…….

Johnnyreb on April 30, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Over poodles?

Steve Z on April 30, 2015 at 1:02 PM

THE IRS OUGHT TO DECLARE ALL THE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CGI AS INCOME TO THE CLINTONS AND TAX IT AS SUCH!!

KenInIL on April 30, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Lois Lerner: We can’t do that, since we can’t find the emails.

Steve Z on April 30, 2015 at 1:04 PM

And yet the NY Times will endorse Hillary for President…

And amazing silence from Republican members of Congress…

albill on April 30, 2015 at 9:17 AM

One of the higher profile Republican candidates who has no chance of winning the nomination (Rand Paul?) needs to step up and really call for investigations and even suggest criminal activity. Not all have to do this, but there has to be one sacrificial lamb.

hip shot on April 30, 2015 at 9:17 AM

I’m not so sure that it might be better to lay low as long as rags like the Times and Globe are reporting on it. Reduces the effectiveness of “the vast right wing conspiracy” chattering nonsense and might just help extend it out. Start bringing it up just before it starts to wind down. That is the time to go all in and get it back into the headlines.
Hopefully the pain will be serious enough to have some key figures (read that: rats) jumping ship. When that happens it will be much harder for the rest of the MSM to ignore.

JusDreamin on April 30, 2015 at 1:41 PM

The Clintons are the epitome of the nouveau riche.
The poor couple from the hick State of Arkansas who gains the most powerful position on the planet but they will always feel inadequate and looked down on by the old money rich who without they never would have amounted to anything.
You can see it in all their actions. From White Water, Hillary’s stock scandal, the way they treat staff, the constant chip on their shoulder, the invention of the vast right wing conspiracy and now we see the Clinton Foundation.
They have lied and cheated their way to the top but they will never be accepted. Now with the disclosure of the Foundation their rich “friends” will start to pull back from Bill & Hillary so not to be tainted by the reckless wannabees.

Tommyhour on April 30, 2015 at 4:04 PM