A particularly slimy series of “coincidences” led (a) the State Department to allow interest in half the world’s uranium to fall into Russian hands while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, (b) Bill Clinton to pocket $500,000 from the bank financing the deal, and (c) the Clinton Foundation to rake in millions from the people who cashed out in the Uranium One deal. At the center of the Uranium One deal was Frank Giustra, the Canadian contributor who poured cash into the foundation during Hillary’s tenure at State. In an attempt to deflect attention from the nexus of cash and influence, Clinton Foundation exec Maura Pally declared that the organization couldn’t disclose the donors to the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership because Canadian law prevented it:
Like every contributor to the Foundation, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) is publicly listed as a donor on our website. But as it is a distinct Canadian organization, separate from the Clinton Foundation, its individual donors are not listed on the site. This is hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparency — unlike in the U.S., under Canadian law, all charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without prior permission from each donor.
As Morgen Richmond discovered almost immediately, that didn’t keep them from posting the donors on their website in 2009. The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee dug a little deeper, and found that Pally’s not telling the truth:
The Clinton Foundation said “all charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without prior permission from each donor” under Canadian law. It is unclear whether the foundation is referring to federal or provincial law. If it is the later, the statement would be accurate.
However, the charity’s own memo says it is operating under federal obligations and its fiduciary duty for its board of directors. The federal law does not explicitly ban charities from disclosing individual donor names without permission. In fact, it only applies to commercial use of personal information. The public release of donor names for a non-commercial purpose is not prohibited. The charity, however, interprets the release of donor records as “bartering,” which experts have questioned.
Lee gives the Clinton Foundation three Pinocchios for this lame attempt to deflect attention through a non-sequitur. The issue isn’t with the donors we don’t know (at least for now), but with the donor we do know. Giustra made a fortune off the staged sell-off of Uranium One to ARMZ, which got folded up immediately into Putin-linked Rosatom almost immediately after the final acquisition in January 2013. The Russian interests who made out all started off by kicking a lot of money to the Clintons.
Speaking of foreign interests, Andrew Kaczynski takes us on a nostalgic visit to 1996, when the Clintons expressed all sorts of alarm about foreign cash in American politics. As long as it wasn’t coming their way, that is:
Bill Clinton himself, however, once was the person attacking his opponents for taking money tied to foreign interests. In the midst late of the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign against Bob Dole, the issue of foreign interests improperly funneling money to help Bill Clinton’s re-election efforts became an issue. Dole, seizing on reports of improper contributions attacked Democrats for taking money tied to foreign interests.
Clinton shot back with an ad of his own, accusing Dole of being a hypocrite in an attempt to muddy the waters.
MALE NARRATOR: Bob Dole. Desperate Attacks. President Clinton restricted foreign lobbying, fought for years for campaign-finance reform.
TEXT: Lifetime ban on foreign lobbying by top officials
MALE NARRATOR: Dole and the Republicans took $2.4 million from foreign interests. …
NARRATOR: An independent watchdog cites Dole as the senator “most responsible for blocking any serious campaign finance reform.”
It’s no coincidence that Hillary Clinton’s talking about campaign finance reform again, too. Cash for we, but not for thee … The hypocrisy never ends.
But there is good news. We’ve discovered Team Hillary’s campaign song (NSFW):