The Clinton Global Initiative is closing its doors for good

The final 22 employees of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York have been given notice and will receive their walking papers in less than three months. Once numbering more than 200, the staff had already been reduced a couple of times, but the curtain will finally come down entirely this spring. In what may prove to be more than a little ironic, their final exit will take place on tax day. (Daily Caller)

The Clinton Foundation announced it’s laying off 22 staffers on the Clinton Global Initiative, keeping with a plan to deal with the negative spotlight put on the organization during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The layoffs will take effect April 15, the Clinton Foundation said in a filing with the New York Department of Labor Thursday, citing the discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative. The move is part of a plan put in motion ahead of the presidential election in order to offset a storm of criticism regarding pay-to-play allegations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

I first caught wind of this development from Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, where he notes that this plan was initially put in place back in September. After all of the time that was spent examining CGI and the Clinton Foundation in general, with particular emphasis on all of the group’s foreign donations and possible conflicts of interests for Hillary, it’s rather sad how casually this is being seen as just the expected course of affairs.

This makes sense. If Hillary won, as the Clintons expected, even they would understand the problem of maintaining the CGI while she served as president. If Hillary lost, contributions would likely dry up.

Apparently, they have — a trend that predates the election.

Even though everyone knew this was coming sooner or later, the shuttering of CGI really speaks to the larger question of the Clintons and their foundation which were such a hot topic during the campaign. It’s worth asking ourselves why any elements of the foundation are closing up now, of all times. Think about it for a moment. The major reason that the group was seen as problematic was that it could complicate things for President Hillary once she was in office, right? You wouldn’t want the appearance of any conflicts of interest, what with all the money from foreign governments and shady figures that was flowing in and out the doors. (Norway had been donating $2.8M per year recently for reasons unknown.) And all the while, the Clintons were busy denying there was any sort of quid pro quo going on, insisting that the foundation was just a mechanism to help good people do good things to improve the world.

But now the election is well and truly over and the Clintons are free to pursue any interests they desire without the worry of questions of influence. (Well.. at least until Chelsea runs for office anyway.) If the overall Clinton Foundation is exactly as they’ve described it, why shutter any aspects of it now? CGI was originally formed by Bill Clinton and Doug Band, at least in part, to deal with the challenges of global interdependence. Are those challenges not still with us? Struggling people remain in need of help around the world. And don’t all of those generous philanthropists still clamor to give their money to a good cause?

Apparently not. If nothing else, these developments are indicators of precisely what many suspected all along. The Clintons were, no doubt, doing some good work through their foundation, but it was also a convenient magnet attracting massive amounts of cash and influence. And the people lining up to empty their coffers into the Clintons’ hands could have sent their donations anywhere, but they chose the Clinton Foundation because it put them on good terms with a powerful American dynasty which was widely expected to take back the White House. Once Hillary Clinton’s future plans for power had fallen to ruin, the enthusiasm for giving seems to have begun to wane almost immediately.

But look on the bright side. As soon as Chelsea throws her hat in the ring for whatever the first step on the road to 2028 winds up being, the foundation will no doubt come roaring back.