William J. Clinton Foundation

September 28, 2007 The Clintons are mum on donors

The William J. Clinton Library (Credit: public domain)

Bill Clinton is showing no inclination to disclose the names of the people whose sizable donations helped construct his $165 million presidential library.

In a surreal moment during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked about the fact that her husband’s foundation and library refuse to disclose the names of the people who have chipped in, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars — any of whom might want to curry favor with the family of the next president. Moderator Tim Russert asked why her husband had not voluntarily made the donor list public even if the law does not require it, given the potential for conflict.

“You’ll have to ask them,” said the senator from New York.

“What’s your recommendation?” Russert asked.

“Well, I don’t talk about my private conversations with my husband,” she responded.” (Read more: Washington Post, 09/28/2007)

September 6, 2005 – After mining deal, financier secretly donates to Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton with Sir Tom Hunter, left, and Frank Giustra, major donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation (Credit: Evelyn Hockstein/New York Times)

“Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections.  Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.”

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.”  (Read more: The New York Times, 01/31/2008)

1997 – President Bill Clinton creates the non-profit Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation Logo (Credit: The Clinton Foundation)

The Clinton Foundation was founded in 1997 as the William J. Clinton Foundation also known as the Clinton library and located in Little Rock, Arkansas. From 2013 to 2015 it was briefly renamed the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

It is a non-profit organization with a stated mission to “improve lives across the United States and around the world to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement.”

According to the Clinton Foundation’s website, neither Bill Clinton nor his daughter, Chelsea Clinton draws any salary or receives any income from the Foundation. When Hillary Clinton was a board member she reportedly also received no income from the Foundation.

The Washington Post will note in 2015, “The foundation now includes 11 major initiatives, focused on issues as divergent as crop yields in Africa, earthquake relief in Haiti and the cost of AIDS drugs worldwide. In all, the Clintons’ constellation of related charities has raised $2 billion, employs more than 2,000 people and has a combined annual budget of more than $223 million.”  (Read more: Washington Post, 6/02/2015)