Did Hillary Clinton use political influence to enrich her family’s foundation?Baltimore Post-Examiner

Did Hillary Clinton use political influence to enrich her family’s foundation?

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Many pundits on the left came to the defense of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when she admitted using a private email server while Secretary of State.

One-time adviser to President Bill Clinton, James Carville, dismissed the email allegations as “made up.” Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm described the entire episode as “just a nothing-burger.”  Liberal activist David Brock described the incident as a “manufactured controversy.”

But that’s when the issue centered upon the server – and not necessarily the contents of those emails. It’s whats in those recently released emails that has caught the eye of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) who requested an Internal Revenue Service investigation into the foundation along with 63 fellow-House Republican colleagues.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the case would be referred to the agency’s tax-exempt division.

“If Sec. Clinton took an action as a result of a promised fee or financial benefit to the Clinton Foundation, her family, or her personally, it would be illegal,” said former Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth.

Hillary Clinton was not a member of the foundation’s board while serving in that office but was nevertheless an interested party because her husband and daughter were and subsequently remain board members.

Last week the conservative group Judicial Watch obtained and released a series of emails Clinton had not turned over to the State Department as she had previously suggested. Judicial Watch said many of those emails suggest further evidence of pay for play.

In June, another conservative group, Citizens United, obtained and released emails suggesting a wealthy Lebanese foundation donor secured a position on the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board despite having no pre-requisite technological experience.

Hayworth said Clinton’s decision to recuse herself from the foundation’s board does not remove the appearance of impropriety because her husband and daughter are still board members and are extremely unlikely to recuse themselves as the former secretary did.

“Of course…should she become President, it would present a huge conflict of interest…but given their past activities, I doubt if Bill and Chelsea will recuse themselves,” Hayworth said.

Former Maryland Republican legislator Michael Smigiel has practiced law for nearly three-decades and previously served as minority parliamentarian in the state’s House of Delegates. Smigiel said evidence suggests Clinton did engage in play for play with foreign entities in exchange for foundation contributions. He also said that if those allegations are subsequently proven true beyond a reasonable doubt that that disposition would render Clinton unfit to serve as president.

“Right now even if you cannot prove it; but there is a appearance of this; if it occurred; you have a president who sits with the possibility of blackmail over their head from everyone of those foreign agencies who gave money for the pay for play in the future,” Smigiel said. “Do we really want to have a president who could be blackmailed while in office, that if you don’t do this or that; I’m going to release the information to show that there was a tie to our quid pro quo for what I received for my donation to the Clinton Foundation?”

Smigiel said inherent conflicts of interest would be present if Clinton was elected president due to the fact that her closest family members are still board members and because foreign entities might perceive a quid pro quo even if that was not the foundation’s intention.

“There’s a direct link,” Smigiel said. “They’ve shown unequivocally that Bill’s salaries quadrupled for speaking engagements as soon as she became Secretary of State. Now it sort of gives you an appearance of impropriety and if those who are dealing with Bill Clinton through the foundation believe that they’re buying influence-does it matter whether they are getting that influence or whether they believe it?”

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News 


About the author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan is a reporter and political columnist with Baltimore Post-Examiner and has broken multiple stories involving athletic scandals. He has been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America as well as Baltimore area radio stations. Bryan has both covered and worked in the Maryland General Assembly and is extremely knowledgeable of politics, voting patterns and American history. In addition to his regular duties, Bryan freelances for several publications and performs investigative research. He has a B.A. in Political Science. Contact the author.
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