Weekly Update: Abedin Emails Show Clinton Donors Receiving Special Treatment
Our understanding of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department continues to expand as more of her illicit server’s emails are revealed.
This week we released 448 pages of documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing new incidents of Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, providing special State Department treatment to major donors to the Clinton Foundation and political campaigns.
The heavily redacted documents from Abedin’s non-government account include an email from Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, to Abedin revealing that he acted as a go-between for a Clinton Foundation donor, Richard Park. And they reveal Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band instructing Abedin to “show love” to Clinton donor Andrew Liveris.
The documents included six Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 439 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to the State Department.
The documents are in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) for: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”
A number of emails show the free flow of information and requests for favors between Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation.
In July 2009, in reference to the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Clinton Global Initiative head Doug Band told Abedin that she “Need[s] to show love” to Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical. Band also asked for Liveris to be introduced to Hillary, “and have her mention both me and wjc”. Dow gave between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. Band also pushes for Clinton to do a favor for Karlheinz Koegel, a major Clinton Foundation contributor, who wanted Hillary Clinton to give the “honor speech” for his media prize to “Merkel.”
The emails reveal that on June 19, 2009, Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, passed a long a letter for Hillary Clinton for Clinton donor Richard Park. Park donated $100,000 to Bill Clinton as far back as 1993 and is listed by the Clinton Foundation as a $100,000 to $250,000 donor.
In March 2012, Bill Clinton received an invitation to speak at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea…. Richard Park’s friendship with Tony Rodham earned him a direct line to Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state. In January 2013, the Korean businessman sent Rodham an email and asked him to “forward this to your sister.”
On November 14, 2009, Clinton donor Ben Ringel, who has appeared in numerous prior emails asking for favors, emailed Abedin to get help in getting an Iranian woman a visa to come to the United States. He writes: “We need to get her clearance even only temporary to be with her granddaughter.” Abedin forwarded the request to Lauren Jiloty, asking her “Can U help Monday with consular affairs?” Jiloty replies, “Sure. Will look into it.” Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. In May, Band, working through Abedin, attempts to help Canadian concert promoter and Foundation donor Michael Cohl with the processing of a visa. Abedin passes the request to Monica Hanley, Clinton’s “confidential assistant.”
The emails show that Clinton Foundation operative Band was involved in personnel matters at the Clinton State Department. In a May 2009 email exchange between Band and Abedin, a “career post” to East Timor for someone is discussed. Abedin explains to Band that Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s then-chief of staff, was working on the situation “under the radar.”
In August 2009, Band tells Abedin of someone who wants to be the ambassador to Barbados. Abedin replies: “I know, he’s emailed a few times. But she wants to give to someone else.”
The emails also show that Abedin received advice from her mother, Saleha Abedin (a controversial Islamist activist), regarding whom the Obama administration should appoint as the US Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. She notes that she has obtained a recommendation from “Hassan” (not further identified), and that she’d reached out to “Ishanoglu.” This is presumably Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish academic and the former Secretary-General of the OIC. Ihsanoglu famously called on the West to enact anti-Islamic blasphemy laws.
On Monday June 8, 2009, Clinton emails her aide Lona Valmoro and Abedin asking to attend a cabinet meeting: “I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am. Is there? Can I go? If not, who are you sending?” Valmoro answers: “It is actually not a full cabinet meeting today – those agencies that received recovery money were invited to attend/participate. We were welcome to send a representative though, not sure if we have anyone going.”
Other emails found in Abedin’s unsecure email account appear to show additional instances of the Clinton State Department’s lax approach to protecting national security.
On July 4, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Jonathan “Scott” Gration sent Abedin an email that the State Department has classified in part and redacted because the information deals with “foreign governments” and “national defense or foreign policy.” Abedin forwarded Gration’s email to her personal, unsecure email account. In his email, Gration related his meeting with Libyan president Muammar Qadafi, saying: “I conveyed our appreciation for Libya’s role to improve relations between Chad and Sudan … Leader al-Qadafi promised to continue his nation’s close collaboration with the United States … and is eager to meet you and President Obama.…” Gration would later be fired for, among other things, using personal email accounts to send government information.
A document titled “HRC PRIVATE LINE BLOCK” gives the planned whereabouts for President Obama for Thursday, June 4, 2009: “Attend POTUS Foreign Policy Speech at Cairo University.” In another example of lax concern for security, Valmoro forwarded Clinton’s detailed daily schedule for July 15, 2009, to officers of the Clinton Foundation, including Doug Band and Justin Cooper. Again, on July 26 Valmoro forwarded Hillary’s detailed, sensitive daily schedule to numerous Clinton Foundation officials.
In other examples of lax concern for security, on June 11, there is a reference to testing the “Federal preparedness and response for an international terrorist threat to the United States. [Principal-Level Exercise] will be a scenario-driven discussion for Cabinet Secretaries, agency Directors and Administrators, senior officials in the Executive Office of the President, or their approved representatives.” A document in Abedin’s unsecure email account dated May 2009 is titled “The Secretary’s Phone Call with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang” is marked sensitive but unclassified and fully redacted, as is a document titled “The Secretary’s Phone Call with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.”
I’m not sure how much more evidence of pay for play, classified information mishandling, and influence peddling from Clinton’s email server one would need to show for a serious criminal investigation to be required.
More emails to come soon, so stay tuned….
As we continue to monitor the cost to taxpayers of presidential perks, we have received new numbers on President Trump’s travel.
We have obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and a lawsuit for Trump administration travel records.
The new records show new expenses totaling $2,301,527.02. As a result of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, the following records were produced:
- Melania Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago between February 3-6 on a C-37B military jet at an operating cost of $10,075 per hour for six hours. The total comes to $60,450.
- Vice President Pence flew Air Force Two 5.58 hours to Houston for the Super Bowl between February 3-6 at an operating cost of $15,994 per hour, for a total of $89,246.52.
- Melania Trump flew from New York to Washington DC on February 10 to join her husband on Air Force One for the trip to Mar-a-Lago. She departed on February 12 for New York on a C-37A jet for a weekend total of 7.09 hours at $10,075 per hour, bringing the cost to $71,431.75.
- President Trump flew Air Force One 5.7 hours to Mar-a-Lago between February 17-21 at an operating cost of $142,380 per hour, for a total of $811,566.
- Melania Trump flew from New York to Mar-a-Lago between February 17-21. One leg she flew 5.63 hours on a C-37B military jet at an operating cost of $10,075 per hour for a total of $56,722.25 and on the other leg she flew 5.57 hours on a C-40B jet at $5,450 per hour for a total of $30,356.50. The grand total is $87,078.75.
- President Trump flew 4.1 hours on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago between March 17-19 at $142,380 per hour, for a total of $583,758.
In response to a Judicial Watch FOIA request, the Air Force produced the following record:
- President Trump entertained Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago between February 10-13 where they played a round of golf. They flew Air Force One 4.2 hours at $142,380 per hour for a total of $597,996.
We previously released documents showing travel expenses of $1,281,420.
We also closely tracked Obama family travel costs throughout his presidency. In response to a June 19, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Judicial Watch recently received documents from the Secret Service related to Michelle Obama’s March 2014 trip to China. The total Secret Service expenses adds up to $389,931.71:
- $288,662.07 in hotels
- $72,701.14 in car rentals
- $5,020.52 in cell phone charges
- $4,282.65 in rental reproduction equipment
- $393.52 in printers and toners
- $1,010.63 in cell phone rentals
- $199.17 in supplies
- $11,266.38 in overtime/per diem pay
- $1,265.13 in miscellaneous services by another government agency
- $5,130.50 in Air/Rail
Added to the previously released flight costs from the Air Force ($362,523.53) and the total for the trip comes to $752,455.24. Obama family travel cost taxpayers at least $100,104,459.53 during his two terms.
Presidential travel is racking up millions of dollars in expenses paid by taxpayers. The liberal media did not much care about our reporting on President Obama’s abusive travel but now are keenly interested in President Trump’s trips.
The Trump administration should do what the Obama administration did not do – move reforms through to get these expenses under control for this and future presidents. In the meantime, the bureaucracies should release the travel numbers rather than requiring us to go to court to get accountability for taxpayers.
When we last looked in on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe he was trying to influence the 2016 presidential election in Hillary Clinton’s favor by abusing his office to restore voting rights for 206,000 convicted felons. As an aside, it’s interesting to note that he assumed criminals would choose to vote for Clinton.
Now we find the Teflon governor looking over his shoulder as some of his shady dealings pursue him. The media has apparently been too busy criticizing Ivanka Trump’s dress to cover this story fully. But our Corruption Chronicles blog has the details.
An electric car company that folded after taking millions of taxpayer dollars was founded by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, but the mainstream media is ignoring this pertinent fact.
The Mississippi-based company, GreenTech, shut down in January but is back in the spotlight because this week the state’s auditor demanded the firm repay $6.4 million in public funds. Only a small Richmond, Virginia, newspaper prominently reported McAuliffe’s ties to the scandal, stating in the headline that, “Mississippi auditor demands $6.4M repayment from McAuliffe’s former electric car company.”
Most mainstream news outlets ignored the story altogether and a few kept McAuliffe’s name out the minimal coverage. Washington D.C.’s mainstream newspaper went with a lengthy wire service story that matter-of-factly mentions McAuliffe in the very last sentence. “Among former insiders is Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe,” the end of the article states. “He resigned as the firm’s chairman in December 2012 and said he divested his interest.” How convenient! The article omits that, as GreenTech founder, McAuliffe brokered the deal in which the company got millions in public funds by promising to invest $60 million locally and creating hundreds of new full-time jobs. That never happened and instead taxpayers got fleeced. Now Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering is ordering that the money be repaid with interest and investigative costs. The exact figure is $6,360,019.60.
McAuliffe is a renowned Democratic fundraiser who made a fortune with shady investments in a telecommunications giant that went bankrupt. He started his fundraising career in Jimmy Carter’s 1979 reelection campaign and has raised big bucks for Democrats over the years, but not without controversy. McAuliffe was investigated for campaign-finance abuses during the 1996 presidential election and was deposed by the Senate committee investigating the matter.
In 2002 the Virginia governor was investigated for his role in an unprecedented case of political profiteering for turning a $100,000 investment in telecommunications giant Global Crossings into an $18 million profit. The company later made the fourth-largest bankruptcy filing in history and McAuliffe insisted he only did “political work” for the company’s founder who, incidentally, donated $1 million to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library.
In 2013, McAuliffe appeared on Judicial Watch’s most corrupt politicians list, and last year Judicial Watch sued the governor on behalf of Virginia voters for signing an executive order to restore voting rights to about 206,000 convicted felons. In court proceedings, Judicial Watch argued that the blanket restoration of rights to felons violates “provisions of the Virginia Constitution mandating that voting rights may only be restored on an individual basis, following a particular, individualized review and a finding of sufficient grounds for restoring such rights.” Plaintiffs alleged that their votes and the lawful votes of other Virginians will be cancelled out or diminished by felons who are not eligible to vote under Virginia’s laws and constitution.
Though his pals in the mainstream media are keeping his name out of the GreenTech scandal, McAuliffe could still be in serious trouble. The Virginia paper that reported his key role in the bankrupt electric car company points this out: “McAuliffe’s office has said the governor has had no involvement with the company since stepping down as its chairman and divesting his financial stake. But the escalating standoff in Mississippi raises the likelihood that the business deal McAuliffe brokered could be headed toward a bitter end in court. Ending his four-year term as governor with a higher national profile and record as an exuberant pitchman for Virginia, GreenTech’s unraveling could dog McAuliffe amid speculation about a 2020 presidential bid.”
Until next week …