Ever wonder how to get a ride on a private jet? The Clintons figured it out pretty well while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, as the New York Times explains today. New e-mails emerging from a FOIA lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch explain how Bill Clinton got the use of Dow Chemical’s private jet by having the Clinton Foundation and Bill himself arrange a one-on-one meeting with Hillary for its CEO and major donor through Huma Abedin at the State Department.
It’s good to be queen, eh?
The emails released by Judicial Watch also include discussions about meetings between Mrs. Clinton and a number of people involved in major donations to the Clinton Foundation.
In one exchange in July 2009, Ms. Abedin told Mrs. Clinton’s scheduler that Mr. Clinton “wants to be sure” that Mrs. Clinton would be able to see Andrew Liveris, the chief executive of Dow Chemical, at an event the next night. Dow Chemical has been one of the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation, giving $1 million to $5 million, records show.
Ms. Abedin arranged what she called “a pull-aside” for Mr. Liveris to speak with Mrs. Clinton in a private room after she arrived to give a speech, according to the emails, which did not explain the reason for the meeting.
In another series of e-mails, the Clinton Foundation’s Doug Band and Justin Cooper requested diplomatic passports for the same trip that Bill Clinton used the jet — the trip to Pyongyang to get the release of two American journalists held there. State ending up declining the request, and the Clinton campaign attacked Judicial Watch for highlighting the episode, calling it “a new low even for this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s.”
Yeah, well, all vast right-wing conspiracy accusations aside … why did the State Department and Hillary have to grant personal access to Dow Chemical’s CEO to arrange this rescue trip? Why not just charter the jet for Bill Clinton directly? State and the White House would have had to approve the trip in advance, so it’s not as though those arrangements would have been remarkable, especially for a former president traveling abroad on a personal diplomatic mission. Failing that, why didn’t the Foundation pick up the tab, or Clinton pay for it out of his own pocket, considering the nobility of the effort now claimed by Team Hillary?
Here’s a better question: what specifically did Liveris want to discuss with Hillary in exchange for the use of the aircraft? And another: did Hillary agree to take some sort of action or intervention on behalf of Dow or Liveris in exchange for the favor? Answers to those questions do not emerge from the e-mails, the Times’ Eric Lichtblau reports, but those are the questions that require answering. And it seems even more odd now that these connections are emerging that the FBI and the Department of Justice didn’t take very much interest in finding them when they had these e-mails all to themselves.