Bill Clinton is in the news today and not in a good way. Another batch of leaked Clinton campaign emails from WikiLeaks reveals that the former President made “tens of millions of dollars” for himself and his family in a tangled web of deals that overlapped activities of the Clinton Foundation with personal income earned by President Clinton.
More to come from WikiLeaks
The WikiLeaks dump of emails from Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta continues and likely will continue up to Election Day. The Clinton campaign has not denied the authenticity of the emails, but claims they are part of a Russian effort to deny Mrs. Clinton’s election.
Bill Clinton, Inc.
The memo that is causing headlines today was written by Doug Band, a longtime aide to President Clinton, in response to an investigation undertaken by a law firm over concerns raised by Chelsea Clinton and others that the personal earnings of Bill Clinton could undermine the Clinton Foundation’s IRS status as a charity. Band appeared to be acting in a dual role of raising funds for the Foundation while also engaged in raising personal income for President Clinton. In a memo entitled “For Profit Activity of President Clinton (i.e. Bill Clinton, Inc.)”, Band talked of creating more than $116 million in “for-profit activity” for the former President.
We have dedicated our selves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities—including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements… In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family—for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements). — Doug Band
An uncomfortable intersection
While there is nothing to suggest any illegal activity on the part of former President Clinton in his private earnings, the intersection between Mr. Clinton’s personal income activities, the tax-exempt Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, is bound to create questions long after the election is over.
Clinton not harmed in polls
As of yet, there is no evidence that the avalanche of leaked emails is damaging Mrs. Clinton in her race against Donald Trump. However, it is safe to assume that WikiLeaks or whomever else is behind the leaking of the emails, has a plan for a release schedule that will do the most damage to the Clinton campaign in the closing days of the campaign, and there may be even more incendiary emails released in the days ahead.
Congressional investigation likely
Even if Mrs. Clinton wins the election, the fallout from the hacked WikiLeaks emails will be far from over for the Clinton’s. It is hard to imagine that Congress will not launch an investigation into the contents of the emails once the election is over, particularly if the Republicans maintain control of one or both houses of Congress.