Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

2009 – Doug Band’s new corporate consulting firm, Teneo, is closely tied to the Clinton Foundation

Douglas Band (Credit: McMullan /Cosipa News)

[…]”As the foundation grew, so did the outside business ventures pursued by Mr. Clinton and several of his aides.

None have drawn more scrutiny in Clinton circles than Teneo, a firm co-founded in 2009 by Mr. Band, described by some as a kind of surrogate son to Mr. Clinton. Aspiring to merge corporate consulting, public relations and merchant banking in a single business, Mr. Band poached executives from Wall Street, recruited other Clinton aides to join as employees or advisers and set up shop in a Midtown office formerly belonging to one of the country’s top hedge funds.

By 2011, the firm had added a third partner, Declan Kelly, a former State Department envoy for Mrs. Clinton. And Mr. Clinton had signed up as a paid adviser to the firm.

Teneo worked on retainer, charging monthly fees as high as $250,000, according to current and former clients. The firm recruited clients who were also Clinton Foundation donors, while Mr. Band and Mr. Kelly encouraged others to become new foundation donors. Its marketing materials highlighted Mr. Band’s relationship with Mr. Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, where Mr. Band sat on the board of directors through 2011 and remains an adviser. Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.

Those worries intensified after the collapse of MF Global, the international brokerage firm led by Jon S. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey, in the fall of 2011. The firm had been among Teneo’s earliest clients, and its collapse over bad European investments — while paying $125,000 a month for the firm’s public relations and financial advice — drew Teneo and the Clintons unwanted publicity.

Mr. Clinton ended his advisory role with Teneo in March 2012, after an article appeared in The New York Post suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was angry over the MF Global controversy. A spokesman for Mr. Clinton denied the report. But in a statement released afterward, Mr. Clinton announced that he would no longer be paid by Teneo.

[…]Mr. Band left his paid position with the foundation in late 2010, but has remained involved with C.G.I., as have a number of Teneo clients, like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and UBS Americas. Standard Chartered, a British financial services company that paid a $340 million fine to New York regulators last year to settle charges that it had laundered money from Iran, is a Teneo client and a sponsor of the 2012 global initiative.” (Read more: New York Times, 8/13/2013)

April 25, 2009 – Judicial Watch uncovers Clinton emails with pay to play revelations

Gilbert Chagoury, Chairman of The Chagoury Group (left), Bill Clinton (center) and Ronald Chagoury, Chief Executive Officer (right) attend the Eko Atlantic City Dedication Ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on February 21st, 2012. (Credit: public domain)

“This week we released 296 pages of State Department records containing 44 email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department. This brings the known total to 171 of new Clinton emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The new documents reveal that in April 2009 controversial Clinton Foundation official Doug Band pushed for a job for an associate. In the email, Band tells Hillary Clinton’s former aides at the State Department, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, that it is “important to take care of [Redacted]. Band is reassured by Abedin that, “Personnel has been sending him options.” Band was co-founder of Teneo Strategy with Bill Clinton and a top official of the Clinton Foundation, including its Clinton Global Initiative.

Included is a 2009 email in which Band directs Abedin and Mills to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with the State Department’s “substance person” on Lebanon.  Band notes that Chagoury is “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us,” and insists that Abedin call Amb. Jeffrey Feltman to connect him to Chagoury.

Chagoury, a foreign national, is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton and a top donor to the Clinton Foundation.  He has appeared near the top of the Foundation’s donor list as a $1 million to $5 million contributor, according to foundation documents. He also pledged $1 billion to the ClintonGlobal Initiative. According to a 2010 investigation by PBS Frontline, Chagoury was convicted in 2000 in Switzerland for laundering money from Nigeria, but agreed to a plea deal and repaid $66 million to the Nigerian government.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/12/2016)

September 23, 2010 – Clinton Charity Aided Clinton Friends

Julie Tauber McMahon (Credit: public domain)

“The Clinton Global Initiative is a program of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The foundation has been a focus of criticism this political season over donations received from governments and corporations that had business before Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state and that could be affected by decisions she would make as president. The foundation has said it “has strong donor integrity and transparency practices.”

The Clinton Global Initiative’s help for a for-profit company part-owned by Clinton friends poses a different issue. Under federal law, tax-exempt charitable organizations aren’t supposed to act in anyone’s private interest but instead in the public interest, on broad issues such as education or poverty.

“The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests,” the Internal Revenue Service says on its website.

Energy Pioneer Solutions was founded in 2009 by Scott Kleeb, a Democrat who twice ran for Congress from Nebraska. An internal document from that year showed it as owned 29% by Mr. Kleeb; 29% by Jane Eckert, the owner of an art gallery in Pine Plains, N.Y.; and 29% by Julie Tauber McMahon of Chappaqua, N.Y., a close friend of Mr. Clinton, who also lives in Chappaqua.

Owning 5% each were Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias and Mark Weiner, a supplier to political campaigns and former Rhode Island Democratic chairman, both longtime friends of the Clintons.

The Clinton Global Initiative holds an annual conference at which it announces monetary commitments from corporations, individuals or nonprofit organizations to address global challenges—commitments on which it has acted in a matchmaking role. Typically, the commitments go to charities and nongovernmental organizations. The commitment to Energy Pioneer Solutions was atypical because it originated from a private individual who was making a personal financial investment in a for-profit company.” (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 5/12/2016)

December 03, 2011 – Opinion: Grifters-in-Chief

Kimberly Strassel (Credit: Wall Street Journal)

By Kimberley Strassel

[…]”The memo came near the end of a 2011 review by law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett into Clinton Foundation practices. Chelsea Clinton had grown concerned about the audacious mixing of public and private, and the review was designed to ensure that the foundation didn’t lose its charitable tax status. Mr. Band, Teneo boss and epicenter of what he calls “ Bill Clinton, Inc.,” clearly felt under assault and was eager to brag up the ways in which his business had concurrently benefited the foundation, Clinton political causes and the Clinton bank account. The memoed result is a remarkably candid look at the sleazy inner workings of the Clinton grifters-in-chief.

The cross-pollination is flagrant, and Mr. Band gives example after example of how it works. He and his partner Declan Kelly (a Hillary Clinton fundraiser whom Mrs. Clinton rewarded by making him the State Department’s special envoy to Northern Ireland) buttered up their clients with special visits to Bill’s home and tête-à-tête golf rounds with the former president. They then “cultivated” these marks ( Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, UBS) for foundation dollars, and then again for high-dollar Bill Clinton speeches and other business payouts.

Teneo’s incestuous behavior also included Mrs. Clinton’s State Department. The Band memo boasts that Mr. Kelly (while he was Mrs. Clinton’s State envoy) introduced the then-head of UBS Wealth Management, Bob McCann, to Bill Clinton at an American Ireland Fund event in 2009. “Mr. Kelly subsequently asked Mr. Mccann [sic] to support the Foundation, which he did . . . Mr. Kelly also encouraged Mr. Mccann [sic] to invite President Clinton to give several paid speeches, which he has done,” reads Mr. Band’s memo. UBS ultimately paid Bill $2 million.

American Ireland Fund meanwhile became a Teneo client, and made Mr. Kelly (of former State envoy fame) a trustee, where he “ensured that the AIF is a significant donor to the Foundation.” AIF then bestowed upon Mrs. Clinton a major award on her final trip to Northern Ireland in 2012, in an event partly sponsored by . . . Teneo.

Not that this is all one way. Mr. Band let slip just how useful all these arrangements were for Teneo, too, when he backhandedly apologized in the memo for hosting 15 client meetings in a hotel room rented by the Clinton Global Initiative.

The memo removes any doubt that the foundation is little more than an unregistered super PAC working on the Clintons’ behalf. Donors to the charity are simultaneously tapped to give Bill speech requests and other business arrangements, including the $3.5 million he was paid annually to serve as “honorary chairman” of Laureate International Universities. Mr. Band’s memo also notes his success at getting donors to “support candidates running for office that President Clinton was supporting.” (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 10/27/2016) (Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLC “Governance Review” 12/03/2011)

July 28, 2012 – Cheryl Mills shared now-classified info with Clinton Foundation

Former Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, second from right, Trey Gowdy, second from left, and Elijah Cummings, left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (Credit: Susan Walsh/The Associated Press)

“Hillary Clinton’s No. 2 at the State Department twice forwarded information to the Clinton Foundation that was later deemed classified, the latest instance of former Clinton staff transmitting now-classified information.

According to a new email chain shared with POLITICO by Citizens United, Cheryl Mills — Clinton’s former chief of state at State — forwarded State Department background information about Rwanda and the Congo to the Clintons’ philanthropic organization. Citizens United, a conservative activist group, obtained the messages via a Freedom of Information act lawsuit.

Former President Bill Clinton was visiting Africa, including Rwanda, around the time that Mills sent the email, which was mostly redacted. Former president Clinton was also considering giving Rwandan President Paul Kagame a plenary role at the Clinton Global Initiative, according to the emails.

“Fyi for [Bill] since he is in contact w/Kagame,” Mills wrote in an email chain dated July 28, 2012, forwarding to the foundation a message originally written to State employees under the subject “Developments in the Eastern Congo.”

“Thanks,” Ami Desai, the foundation’s director of foreign policy, wrote back. “He has been talking about giving Kagame a plenary role at CGI.”

The information in the 2012 emails was classified by the State Department in July of this year because of national security and foreign policy reasons, according to the documents. The classification specifically related to foreign government information and intelligence activities, sources or methods, according to the redaction labels.” (Read more: Politico, 10/06/15)