Donor promised to make Clinton 'look good' if appointed to international security board

Newly released emails show Rajiv Fernando promised to make Hillary Clinton “look good” if he was appointed to the International Security Advisory Board. Fernando also seemed to recognize that he was relatively ill-equipped for the position and said he was making efforts to get up to speed. McClatchy reports:

In September 2009, Fernando emailed Abedin again after meeting with another staffer referred to only as Tauscher – presumably Ellen Tauscher, a former congresswoman from California who was undersecretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. He said Tauscher told him that she may be able to include him as a possible choice for the board.

“They will have their list and Hillary will have hers and at the end of the day as long as they don’t have opposition to any of Hillary’s people, they should get in,” he wrote.

“In addition to my previous experiences listed in my resume, I have been meeting with professors from Northwestern, University of Chicago and Yale for the past 6 months,” he wrote to Abedin. “I know I will be able to hold my own and be valued contributor to this board. I promise I will make the Secretary look good.”

As it turns out, Fernando did not make the Secretary look very good. When ABC News asked how a businessman with no relevant qualifications wound up on the board, Fernando quickly announced he was stepping down. Behind the scenes emails revealed by ABC News earlier this month show there was a scramble to try and explain the appointment, the main thrust of which was to protect Secretary Clinton:
“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.

“As you can see from the attached, it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” Mannina wrote, referring to an attachment that was not included in the recent document release.

Another emails indicates that Cheryl Mills (no doubt with Clinton’s prior approval) put Fernando on the ISAB. After ABC News started asking questions, it was Mills that told staffers to stall the inquiry for 24 hours until they could announce that Fernando had stepped down to spend more time on his business. Fernando’s brief tenure on the board has even been scrubbed from the State Department’s website:
The State Department’s website lists former members of the ISAB, but Fernando’s name is not among them. [State Department spokesman Mark] Toner was unable to explain why the name was missing and when asked if the list was comprehensive, said, “Apparently not.”
In another email reported on last week, one of Clinton’s own aides mocked Fernando’s appointment, suggesting he might have been a better fit on the “President’s Physical Fitness Council.”
The appointment of a campaign bundler and Clinton Foundation donor to a board which required a top security clearance because it frequently discussed U.S. nuclear strategy is a genuine scandal and proof that Clinton went out of her way to deliver political favors to those who were funding her ambitions.