April - 2015

April 29, 2015 – Clinton Foundation fails to disclose 1,100 foreign donations

Hillary Clinton (Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The co-founder of the Clinton Foundation’s Canadian affiliate is revealing new details about the charity’s donors in an effort to counter allegations in the New York Times and the new book “Clinton Cash.”

“Hillary Clinton’s presidential run is prompting new scrutiny of the Clintons’ financial and charitable affairs—something that’s already proved problematic for the Democratic frontrunner, given how closely these two worlds overlap. Last week, the New York Times examined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra’s company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received “a flow of cash” to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company’s chairman totaling $2.35 million.

Giustra strenuously objects to how he was portrayed. “It’s frustrating,” he says. And because the donations came in through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP)—a Canadian affiliate of the Clinton Foundation he established with the former president—he feels doubly implicated by the insinuation of a dark alliance.

“We’re not trying to hide anything,” he says. There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP.  “All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation—every penny—and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified,” he says.

The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow “the same protocols.”

It hasn’t.”

April 23, 2015 – Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

(Credit: Yahoo News/AP/Getty Images)

[…] “At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”
(Read more: New York Times, 4/23/2015)

April 20, 2015 – False Philanthropy? First Interim Report Concerning Public Disclosures of The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

Credit: Austin Hargrave/The Hollywood Reporter)

By: Charles Ortel

The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive

My interest in the Clinton Foundation financial disclosures was originally sparked by an article written in the New York Times entitled “Unease at Clinton Foundation over Finances and Ambitions.”

Considering this article with the benefit of hindsight after having poured through reams of public filings and comments made by the Clinton Foundation as well as related parties, one wonders how seriously management, directors, and other employees take their manifold legal duties, particularly when it comes to making truthful and complete disclosures.

Since August 2013, few investigative reporters have dug deeply enough below the surface of Clinton Foundation filings, seeking and finding answers to questions concerning the stated financial performance of significant constituent entities as well as the consolidated whole.

I have completed a summary review of these filings, and have attached a report which answers a few key questions. Specifically:

  1. What do Clinton Foundation disclosures tell informed readers about the stewardship of billions of dollars in “charitable contributions” sent to Little Rock, to New York City, to Boston, to London, and to Stockholm from numerous donors with modest means, from wealthy and powerful donors, and from a host of governments and government-connected benefactors?
  2. Did management exercise vigilance to ensure that the Clinton Foundation actually carried out its original and its amended tax-exempt purposes?
  3. Did directors take reasonable care, as fiduciaries, under applicable state, federal, and foreign laws to operate this charity serving, at all times, a public interest?
  4. Are all business arrangements with material “related” parties fully and adequately disclosed in annual, publicly available filings that comparable charities regularly complete on time?

Or, do the Clintons, and others who operate the Clinton Foundation, function as Robin Hood in reverse? Do they dupe small, modest income donors to enrich themselves and cronies?

Headline Conclusions of the First Foundation Report

The truth is that it is difficult to perform penetrating analysis of publicly available financial information pertaining to the Clinton Foundation because, so far, it is not technically complete in numerous material respects.

The numbers that the Clinton Foundation supplies to the public in its legally mandated filings do not add up, are frequently incorrect, and appear to be materially misleading. In numerous cases, the Clinton Foundation appears to have followed inconsistent policies adding in appropriate portions of the various activities it pursued around the world to create “consolidated” financial statements.

As the attached report notes, In several instances portions were added only for some of the years in which the entities remained in operation, artificially enhancing purported financial results. In other cases, important elements of activity were improperly characterized and combined.

Meanwhile the Foundation solicits donations even though its informational filings are not in compliance with applicable law. Regulators at Federal, State, Local, and international levels are not doing what they should do to protect the public.

Why?

And how long must we wait before regulators at home and abroad remedy rampant and persistent deficiencies in the Clinton Foundation’s operating and disclosure practices.

The attached print report details ten specific concerns about the most recent Clinton Foundation filings. I invite your considered reaction. (Charles Ortel, ‘False Philanthropy’ Report, 4/20/2015)