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ICYMI: Clinton Foundation Would Weigh Down A Hillary Presidency

- May 23, 2016

Excerpts from Bloomberg View


By: Al Hunt 
Sunday, May 22, 2016

“…The Clinton Foundation…would present an inherent conflict of interest should she become president, and may be problematic for her even now as a candidate.
 
“Clinton has suggested that if she is elected, the foundation -- which collects contributions from wealthy interests including foreign governments -- would continue basically as is. ‘The work that it's done has been extraordinary,’ she said in March when asked whether there would be any ethical concerns about continuing the foundation. ‘The answer is transparency.’
 
“Ethics experts reject that. They say there wouldn't be any way to avoid the appearance of conflicts if she wins the presidency.
 
“'If Bill seeks to raise large sums of money from donors who also have an interest in U.S. policy, the public will rightly question whether the grants affected United States foreign policy,’ says Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert at New York University School of Law…
 
“Joel Fleishman, a foundation expert, says the Clintons have to ‘sever the relationship completely and put it in the hands of independent trustees’… 
 
“The Clinton Foundation and its various offshoots have raised about $2 billion from wealthy individuals, corporations -- especially Wall Street -- and foreign governments…
 
“Some of the donors have been influence-seekers, including a Canadian businessman who, according to critics, who may have sought to parlay his Clinton connections to reap business benefits with dictators. The foundation also set up a Canadian subsidiary that effectively skirted some disclosure requirements.
 
“An article in the Wall Street Journal this month raised questions about a financial commitment that the Clinton Foundation made to a for-profit company run by politically connected close friends.
 
“Some of these issues surfaced during Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state. It's a bigger problem now that she's the leading presidential candidate, and it would be critical if she gets to the White House…
 
“That means separating from the Clinton Foundation.”

Read the full column here.


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