Clinton Foundation considering a much lower profile in 2016?
posted at 5:21 pm on January 28, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Why not? They have fulfilled their mission, at least in terms of the Clinton family ambitions, which is after all why the Clinton Foundation exists in the first place. After keeping the necessary political connections alive for another Hillary Clinton run for the Democratic presidential nomination, the foundation now worries that they may be getting in the way of her success, Ken Vogel reports for Politico:
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation ― increasingly seen as a distraction by supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid ― is considering dialing back its activity during the campaign and a potential Clinton presidency, according to interviews and documents obtained by POLITICO.
With its packed slate of events already colliding with the presidential election calendar and donors growing wary, the foundation has commissioned a study from the powerhouse Boston Consulting Group on how to improve the foundation’s showcase endeavor, the Clinton Global Initiative or CGI, while a 2015 study flagged concerns that Clinton’s presidential campaign could hurt a separate project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative. …
Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s campaign privately grumble that the foundation is diverting the attention of Bill Clinton, her former president husband — as well as key donors — at a pivotal moment in the presidential campaign. They argue that CGI should suspend planned events during the primaries and just before the general election.
“Gosh, can’t they relax a bit on that work and focus on winning Iowa?” said one bundler. “But everyone is resigned to how they function, and presumes they know what they are doing.”
Perhaps they’re worried about getting in the way of the ultimate mission — electing Hillary as president. Most of the pressure comes from the donors, Vogel notes, while the Foundation execs mainly want to continue with business as usual. Shalala, brought into leadership in part because of her political acumen, remains decidedly neutral on the issue while consultants consider the risk/reward ratios, but that won’t last forever; at some point, the donor base will want an answer.
If the issue is mainly about electoral success, then it might be an indication that Hillary’s big-pocket campaign donors are more worried about Bernie Sanders than previously indicated.
Their concerns might be more focused in another direction, though, which is toward themselves. Earlier this month, Fox News reported that the FBI had expanded its probe into the secret e-mail server used by Hillary while at the State Department into questions of public corruption. Donors didn’t join up with the foundation to end up looking like unindicted co-conspirators, after all:
The development follows press reports over the past year about the potential overlap of State Department and Clinton Foundation work, and questions over whether donors benefited from their contacts inside the administration.
The Clinton Foundation is a public charity, known as a 501(c)(3). It had grants and contributions in excess of $144 million in 2013, the most current available data.
Inside the FBI, pressure is growing to pursue the case.
One intelligence source told Fox News that FBI agents would be “screaming” if a prosecution is not pursued because “many previous public corruption cases have been made and successfully prosecuted with much less evidence than what is emerging in this investigation.”
Intel analyst John Schindler wonders whether that wasn’t the purpose of the secret e-mail system all along:
Why Ms. Clinton and her staff refused to use State Department email for official business is an open and important question. Suspicion inevitably falls on widespread allegations of pay-for-play, a corrupt scheme whereby foreign entities gave cash to the Clinton Global Initiative in exchange for Ms. Clinton’s favors at Foggy Bottom. The FBI is investigating this matter in connection with EmailGate.
Regardless of whether Ms. Clinton was engaged in political corruption, she unquestionably cast aside security as Secretary of State. She can’t quite keep her story straight on why that was, and she is at pains to deny that there is any real issue here at all, suggesting that it’s just another right-wing propaganda ploy. Ms. Clinton is veering hazardously close to her infamous “What difference at this point does it make?” claim, which she touted about the 2012 Benghazi attack.
Yet, as any seasoned intelligence professional will tell you, it matters a great deal—just not in ways visible to the American public. The communications of America’s top diplomat are closely monitored by dozens of foreign spy services, and anything sent out unencrypted, as Ms. Clinton’s email was, should be assumed to be read by numerous countries, including some who are not our friends.
Maybe that was part of the mission, too. This pressure from foundation donors could be coincidental to the earlier development, but … the correlation is at least intriguing. And if Fox News got the story right, it might be too late anyway.