Secretary of State

February 1, 2013: Clinton’s four year tenure as secretary of state ends

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Perth Australia on November 13, 2012. (Credit: Theron Kirkman-Pool/Getty Images)

Clinton is succeeded by Senator John Kerry (D). Kerry apparently uses a government email account for all work matters, and all his emails are automatically preserved by the State Department for posterity. (The New York Times, 3/2/2015)

Most of her top aides leave the State Department around the same time, such as Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines, while Patrick Kennedy remains. (The New York Times, 8/13/2013)

October 2012 – A State Department investigator accuses officials of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, having sex with minors, and several investigations were influenced, manipulated or called off by senior officials

Aurelia Fedenisn ( Credit: CBS News)

CBS News‘ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, [dated October 2012], several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”

In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.

“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.

In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detail” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”

A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.” (Read more: CBS News, 6/10/2013)

US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, with his wife in Brussels, was investigated over claims he solicited prostitutes and minor children. (Credit: Zuma Press)

The following day, Foreign Policy writes, “In a fast-developing story, U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has been named as the diplomat accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to State Department documents obtained by NBC News. Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.

“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/11/2013)

On June 17, 2013Foreign Policy writes, “The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.

Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”

Fedenisn’s life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.

Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that “we hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly.” She also announced that the department would request additional review by outside law enforcement officers on OIG inspection processes.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/17/2013)

August 2009 – The FBI investigates a Russian bribery plot connected to Rosatom and Uranium One

Bill Clinton meets with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, 2010. (Credit: Mikhael Metzel/The Associated Press)

“Fifteen months before the 13 members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the sale of the Canadian company Uranium One to Russia’s nuclear arm giant Rosatom, the FBI began investigating persons who were connected to the Russian state corporation. The FBI said in court documents and in interviews conducted by Circa that by 2010 they had gathered enough evidence to prove that Rosatom-connected officials were engaged in a global bribery scheme that included kickbacks and money laundering. FBI officials said the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law.

The deal which required approval by CFIUS, an inter-agency committee who reviews transactions that leads to a change of control of a U.S. business to a foreign person or entity that may have an impact on the national security of the United States. At the time of the Uranium One deal the panel was chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

By the time CFIUS approved the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom the FBI’s investigation had already gathered substantial evidence of bribery and kickbacks against a Russian national, Vadim Mikerin, who was then a top official with Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary, according to court documents. The FBI said while at Tenex, which was located in Maryland, Mikerin was involved in multiple bribery and kickback schemes.

(…)The Justice Department didn’t move forward an indictment with prosecution of bribery by people tied to Rosatom, through subsidies and other entities, until 2014 after CFIUS approved the sale of Uranium One, leaving the American public without knowledge of the Russian company’s allegedly illegal actives as it went to procure one-fifth of U.S. uranium supply.

(…) “A Russian state-owned enterprise responsible for selling Russian nuclear materials, contracted with a U.S. public relations expert in 2009 to provide public relations and marketing consulting services to TENEX in the United States,” states a court warrant. “The contractor approached the FBI and received authorization to participate in the scheme.”

Victoria Toensing, a lawyer for the FBI informant, said her client “is not only afraid of the Russian people, but he is afraid of the US government because of the threats the Obama administration made against him.”

“My client was providing information for a couple years before this really got voted on by CFIUS, and here’s the rub. High-ranking law enforcement officials in the Obama Administration knew that there was corruption in this company and that information about the corruption in this Russian entity never made it to CFIUS, evidently, because CFIUS authorized the purchase in 2010.” -Victoria Toensing, lawyer (Video interview at source link)

(…) One of the points of contention for people investigating the Clinton’s connections with Russia and the Uranium One deal was a $500,000 payment given to Bill Clinton by the Russian bank Renaissance Capital for a speech he gave in Moscow in June 2010. Analysts at Renaissance Capital, who paid the Bill Clinton for the speech, spoke highly of Uranium One’s stock saying in July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. The speech by Bill Clinton and the 2010 research report by Renaissance Capital happened while CFIUS, of which Hillary Clinton was a sitting member, was looking at the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton did not return calls seeking comment and no evidence has been presented the speech payment made to Bill Clinton had any connection to the passage of the deal. Officials at Renaissance Capital could not be reached immediately for comment.At the time of the investigation did any of the U.S. law enforcement, intelligence or other agencies involved in the case inform the CFIUS board of the ongoing investigation? If not, why not? If they were informed, why did they make the decision they did to approve the Uranium One transaction? Did the president, himself, know?,” a U.S. official who worked counterintelligence cases related to Russia told Circa.

During the time of the FBI’s investigation which began in 2009, Tenex was able to expand its American foothold with $6 billion in new utility contracts, according to documents and news reports obtained by Circa.

The case being built against Mikerin in 2010 was under the supervision of Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, then an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general. According to court documents, the case was also handled by then Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is currently the deputy FBI director under Trump. The Department of Justice and the FBI would not comment on the bribery investigation of Mikerin.” (Read more: Circa, 10/17/2017)

January 20, 2009 – February 1, 2013: Bill Clinton Cashed In When Hillary Became Secretary of State

Bill and Hillary Clinton (Credit: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

“After his wife became Secretary of State, former President Bill Clinton began to collect speaking fees that often doubled or tripled what he had been charging earlier in his post White House years, bringing in millions of dollars from groups that included several with interests pending before the State Department, an ABC News review of financial disclosure records shows.

Where he once had drawn $150,000 for a typical address in the years following his presidency, Clinton saw a succession of staggering paydays for speeches in 2010 and 2011, including $500,000 paid by a Russian investment bank and $750,000 to address a telecom conference in China.

“It’s unusual to see a former president’s speaking fee go up over time,” said Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer in the White House Counsel’s office under President George W. Bush. “I must say I’m surprised that he raised his fees. There’s no prohibition on his raising it. But it does create some appearance problems if he raises his fee after she becomes Secretary of State.”

Public speaking became a natural and lucrative source of income for Clinton when he returned to private life in 2001. Records from disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton during her tenures in the U.S. Senate and then in the Obama Administration indicate he took in more than $105 million in speech fees during that 14 year period.” (Read more: ABC News, April 23, 2015)

December 17, 2008 – The Clinton Foundation reveals its donor list

Bill Clinton  (Credit: Bloomberg News)

“Former President Bill Clinton has collected tens of millions of dollars for his foundation over the last 10 years from governments in the Middle East, tycoons from Canada, India, Nigeria and Ukraine, and other international figures with interests in American foreign policy.

Lifting a longstanding cloak of secrecy, Mr. Clinton on Thursday released a complete list of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation as part of an agreement to douse concerns about potential conflicts if Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is confirmed as secretary of state in the Obama administration.

[…]”Saudi Arabia alone gave to the foundation $10 million to $25 million, as did government aid agencies in Australia and the Dominican Republic. Brunei, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar and Taiwan each gave more than $1 million. So did the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Foundation, both based in the United Arab Emirates, and the Friends of Saudi Arabia, founded by a Saudi prince.

Also among the largest donors were a businessman who was close to the onetime military ruler of Nigeria, a Ukrainian tycoon who was son-in-law of that former Soviet republic’s authoritarian president and a Canadian mining executive who took Mr. Clinton to Kazakhstan while trying to win lucrative uranium contracts.

In addition, the foundation accepted sizable contributions from several prominent figures from India, like a billionaire steel magnate and a politician who lobbied Mrs. Clinton this year on behalf of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the United States, a deal that has rankled Pakistan, a key foreign policy focus of the incoming administration.” (Read more: New York Times, 12/18/2008)