WASHINGTON, D.C. - Presidential candidates always are the targets of accusations, but in Hillary Clinton’s case, you might feel like you need a spreadsheet to keep track.
In the three weeks since Clinton officially announced her run for president, there has been what seemed to be an uninterrupted stream of accusations aimed at her.
Most of the allegations raised about the former secretary of state stem from what some perceive as shadiness surrounding foreign donor contributions to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation or other Clinton-linked charities.
One of the first to raise such accusations was Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Help Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” a book that officially went on bookstore shelves Tuesday.
“Clinton Cash” accuses Hillary Clinton of being involved in instances where the Clinton Foundation, or her husband, former President Bill Clinton, accepted money from foreign entities in exchange for favorable action by the State Department while Hillary was at the helm. The New York Times and Reuters also have reported examples of the foundation or Clinton himself receiving money during Hillary’s tenure at the State department. The book also states that of the $105 million Bill Clinton made from speeches in the past 12 years, about half came during his wife’s four-year term at the State Department— a fact that the government watchdog group Politifact says it has confirmed.
On the contrary, progressive group Media Matters, did a deep dive into the book’s claims and raised serious questions about accuracy. So far none of the book’s assertions have been proven—that a quid-pro-quo or paying off for favors occurred. Even the author admits as much. But some believe the coincidences unearthed may be enough for a legal probe.
The only thing that doesn’t seem debatable is that there simply are a lot of allegations leveled at Hillary Clinton. So to help you keep track, here is a list of some of the higher-profile claims, along with a recap of what has been reported:
Claim: A mine owner who donated millions to the Clinton Foundation also got a lucrative uranium deal in Kazakhstan
While it sounds like a CIA Cold War spy drama, this is all non-fiction. Back in 2013, Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom bought Canadian-owned Uranium One, a company with uranium mining holdings from Central Asia to the American West, giving the Russian company one-fifth of all uranium-producing capacity in the U.S. The move raises some questions, as the New York Times points out, because the deal needed prior government approval through multiple agencies, including the State Department, during the time Hillary Clinton was secretary.
This is key because several leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who were integral in selling off Uranium One, have been major donors to the Clinton’s charitable efforts. The owner of the Canadian mining company that sold to Russia, Frank Giustra, has rejected the claims, saying in a statement, "There is not one shred of evidence to back up the Times' conclusions. This is not about me, but rather an attempt to tear down Secretary Clinton and her presidential campaign.”
Claim: A Clinton Foundation donor made some big bucks from a Columbia free-trade agreement
Giustra’s name comes up in more than one allegation pointed at the Clintons. In this particular case the Canadian businessman was accused in “Clinton Cash” of donating tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for approval of a trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia.
Giustra is more than a donor to the Clintons. He’s also a partner with them through their joint Canadian charity, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Giustra could make a pretty penny from the approved trade deal with Colombia. He, however, said in a statement, “I sold my shares in Pacific Rubiales several years before the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which, I will note, was approved by several U.S. agencies and the White House.” But news investigations by publications such as the International Business Times found that Giustra’s interests in Colombia are vast, including ports under construction, power plants, farms and mines.
Claim: The Clinton Foundation failed to disclose 1,100 foreign donors during the time Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State
One of the Clinton family’s charities is established wholly in Canada and because of that, its organizers say that the identities of 1,100 of their foreign donors cannot be divulged due to Canadian privacy laws. But some skeptics say no such laws exists unless the charity granted anonymity to the donors prior to their donations.
Claim: Clinton’s position on an Indian nuclear agreement changed just as Indian businesses donated heavily to Clinton enterprises
One of the accusations in “Clinton Cash” is that Clinton changed her position on a 2008 nuclear agreement with India to support it after businesses in that country inundated many of the Clinton enterprises with donations. Clinton addressed the accusation in New Hampshire earlier this month, calling it one of many “distractions and attacks.” According to an analysis by Politico, the argument in “Clinton Cash” has some inherently false points, namely that in 2006 Clinton already was on record saying she supported the India agreement.
Claim: Bill Clinton gave a speech on the dime of a Canadian bank that would benefit from Keystone XL’s passage
A passage in “Clinton Cash” says Bill Clinton was paid $1 million to make an appearance for a Canadian bank that was a major shareholder in the Keystone XL pipeline. The timing, according to the book, raises questions because the State Department was considering whether to approve the final stages of the pipeline when Clinton made the speech. The State Department still has not reached a decision on the pipeline, and Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013.
Claim: The Clinton Foundation didn’t ID foreign gifts on its tax returns
A Reuters report found that some Clinton charitable organizations under-reported or over-reported donations they received from foreign governments by millions of dollars. For three years in a row, the Clinton Foundation had reported that it received no funding from the U.S. and foreign governments, a shock to many. Now it turns out, according to Reuters, that was an error and that gifts received from foreign governments were worth tens of millions of dollars. Many of the charities said they will re-file tax forms because of the oversight.
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