Rwanda

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)

February 2012 – The State Department diverted grant money for nonprofit groups fighting HIV infection in Rwanda, and gave $27 million to a Clinton-backed project instead

A group photo of Rwandan President Kagame, top center left, former US president Bill Clinton, center, his daughter Chelsea Clinton, front center right, with students of Rwamagana School of Nursing and Midwifery in Kayonza District-Eastern Province , Rwanda, Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Credit: Cyril Ndegeye/The Associated Press)

“In 2007, Bill Clinton made a public appeal for an international mission with deep personal resonance: to expand and modernize the piecemeal health care system in Rwanda, the African nation whose tribal genocide in 1994 Clinton feels he should have done more to stop.

But it was not until Hillary Clinton, his wife, became secretary of state that Bill Clinton, working through a Boston-based charity that he leads, was able to help the African nation secure at least $27 million from the State Department to bring his vision closer to reality — a network of care centers fortified with newly trained doctors.”

(…) “The State Department diverted a portion of US government grant money flowing to nonprofit groups fighting HIV infection in Rwanda, and channeled it to the Rwandan government to build the program envisioned by Clinton’s charity.

Under the proposal, Rwanda, using State Department funds, would pay prestigious American universities to send medical specialists into rural areas of Rwanda to train Rwandan health care workers. Participating institutions included Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brown University, and the Yale School of Medicine, among others.

The proposal went to Clinton’s State Department — more specifically the office tasked with distributing hundreds of millions of money to combat HIV infections abroad, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Office, or PEPFAR.

Even though the office had just approved a five-year plan for Rwanda, it was willing to make a change and put more focus on training local health care workers, according to the State Department.

In February 2012, the State Department approved Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health plan and agreed to move $23.5 million in PEPFAR funds to it, along with $3.8 million in other aid funding.

Launching the new project meant other priorities needed to be defunded. The State Department said only that “certain technical assistance and training activities” were curtailed to make way for the new Clinton-backed programming.” (Read more: Boston Globe, 10/17/2015)