Clinton Is Tardy In Ethics Concern
With a presidential election on the line, Hillary Clinton is beginning to take ethics regarding her family’s Clinton Foundation seriously. If she is elected, the foundation will make changes, she and husband Bill Clinton have said.
Blatant conflicts of interest have been reported widely. While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, interests, some foreign, made big donations to the foundation and/or paid Bill enormous fees for speeches at the same time they were seeking favorable consideration from the U.S. government.
Of 154 people outside the government who met with or spoke by phone to Clinton while she was secretary of state, 85 made contributions or pledged them to the foundation and its programs, according to The Associated Press. Those 85 people directly and indirectly gave as much as $156 million, the AP found.
Among them were quite a few people seeking special treatment or favors from the State Department. The AP’s investigation turned up both Americans and foreigners making such requests.
Stop and think about that: More than half the people outside government who were granted audiences or phone conversations with Clinton gave money to her foundation. What other government official have you heard of with that kind of pay-for-say record?
But changes will be made, the Clintons insist. If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, her husband will leave the foundation board and cease raising money for it. If she is elected, no donations from abroad will be accepted. Likewise, corporate contributions will be turned down.
Better late than never? Consider this: The appearance of people buying favors from the president seems to worry the Clintons. But when she was secretary of state, in control of day-to-day conduct of U.S. foreign policy and with enormous influence over domestic affairs — well, not so much.