Clinton intervened to benefit son-in-law while at State

Another e-mail from the Hillary Clinton secret server may have the Democratic front-runner in hot water — and this one’s not even classified. The Associated Press reported last night that then-Secretary of State Clinton intervened to benefit her son-in-law’s business prospects. Marc Mezvinsky was asked by an investor to get help setting up contacts at the State Department, and Hillary ordered her deputy to work on it:

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton intervened in a request forwarded by her son-in-law on behalf of a deep-sea mining firm to meet with her or other State Department officials after one of the firm’s investors asked Chelsea Clinton’s husband for help setting up such contacts, according to the most recently released Clinton emails.

The lobbying effort on behalf of Neptune Minerals Inc. came while Clinton — now the leading Democratic presidential candidate — was advocating for an Obama administration push to win Senate approval for a sweeping Law of the Sea Treaty. The pact would have aided U.S. mining companies scouring for minerals in international waters, but the Republican-dominated Senate blocked it.

Clinton ordered a senior State Department official in August 2012 to look into the request. Her action came three months after an investor in the mining firm emailed Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton’s husband and a partner in Eaglevale Partners LP, a New York hedge fund, asking for his help in setting up State Department contacts.

Clinton relayed a copy of the investor’s email to Thomas Nides, then a deputy secretary of state and now vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, a major New York financial services firm. “Could you have someone follow up on this request, which was forwarded to me?” Clinton asked Nides. He replied: “I’ll get on it.”

The Associated Press has been asking Team Clinton for an answer on this for more than a week, but finally gave up and ran the story without their comment. They didn’t get any farther with the investor, Henry Siklas, or with a Neptune exec. Neither Chelsea Clinton nor her husband Mezvinsky would comment for the record, either. No one seems to want to talk about how a number of people — including Hillary herself — may have tried to cash in on her connection to power.

All of this circles around the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which got blocked in July 2012, thanks to conservative opposition to its ratification. At the time, Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation actively organized opposition to the treaty, explaining that it would surrender sovereignty in areas including the mining interests that wanted Mezvinsky to use his family connections to curry favor at State:

By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution.

To effect the treaty’s broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention.  Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.

A month earlier, he went into more detail:

Ratifying LOST not only means losing national sovereignty, it means losing jobs. If the United States enters this agreement, it would mean giving up billions in oil-and-gas royalties to be redistributed among developing and landlocked nations — some of whom are state sponsors of terror — and subjecting the United States to international climate change lawsuits. …

Although the treaty is meant to establish a set of rules regarding the oceans, only a few pages of it deal with purely navigational concerns. The bulk of the 288-page treaty does things like establish a new international bureaucracy in Jamaica to collect and redistribute royalties on offshore oil drilling and force the United States into international arbitration for environmental disputes.

During a recent Senate hearing, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked how LOST would regulate American carbon emissions. Clinton claimed it wouldn’t, but she didn’t appear to consider several portions of the treaty that condemn and place sanctions on pollution — even those coming from land-based sources.


When Hillary sent this request to her deputy, LOST had already foundered in the Senate. When Mezvinsky made his initial inquiries, though, ratification was still a possibility, and Hillary was pushing for its ratification. The investor in this mining operation saw the writing on the wall if LOST passed, and was looking to start drilling where it really mattered — in the halls of power. And Siklas appears to have struck oil, too.

Everyone has clammed up, but perhaps this might be worth a look from a Congressional committee. Or perhaps some of the journalists covering the Hillary Clinton campaign can follow up on the AP’s fine work here and ask those questions in public. Did Hillary run the State Department on behalf of the American people, or as a cash cow for the Clintons?