When I was asked by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations to testify this week about the Clinton Foundation, I knew the challenge would be organizing the vast trove of information we have accumulated through court action over the past several years.
That evidence, I told the committee, warrants a serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, there is evidence that the Obama Justice Department suppressed an investigation of the Foundation.
In my testimony, I said that we were suspicious from the very beginning of Hillary Clinton’s term at the State Department if she and Bill could keep Foundation and government business separate. By 2014, it was evident that we were right, and we issued a report with the Washington Examiner:
A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state…
State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one.
Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.
[ … ]
[A]n inspection by the Examiner and Judicial Watch of donations to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton’s personal financial disclosure forms, and the State Department conflict-of-interest reviews show that at least $48 million flowed to the Clintons’ personal coffers from many entities that clearly had interests in influencing the Obama administration — and perhaps currying favor with a future president as well.
I detailed for the committee Bill Clinton’s speeches in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China, all of which poured enormous sums into the Foundation. And there were Bill Clinton’s infamous speeches in Russia. There he gave two for $625,000. One was to the Russian investment bank, Renaissance Capital, at a 2010 event.
I also reminded the committee that it was our efforts that uncovered Hillary Clinton’s notorious private email system, which effectively shielded her various dealings. After our lawsuits forced the disclosure of the Clinton email server, another Judicial Watch lawsuit broke open what is now known as the Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scandal.
Emails we uncovered demonstrate that Clinton Foundation donors and supporters received special favors and consideration from the Clinton State Department. Just one example:
Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain: A Judicial Watch-obtained Huma Abedin-Doug Band email exchange from 2009 revealed that Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton but was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had spent $32 million in conjunction with CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
I concluded my prepared remarks this way:
Judicial Watch will continue its various independent lawsuits and investigations, on behalf of the public interest, into the Clinton Foundation and the related Clinton email scandal.
Because the Clinton Foundation issue is not a “private” scandal. It is a State Department scandal, it is an FBI scandal, it is a Justice Department scandal, it a foreign potentate scandal, it is a shady corporation scandal, and, for sure, it is a government transparency scandal.
It was a privilege to represent you before Congress and to put forward in a public forum what we have known for a long time about Bill and Hillary Clinton and their Foundation: Influence pays handsomely.
You can watch my testimony and congressional follow-up questions here. If you wish, scroll directly to the 15-minute mark where I begin.
EDITORS NOTE: This column with videos and images is republished with permission.