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National Security For Sale

- June 16, 2016

Clinton's State Department Worked Overtime To Get Her Major Donor A Top Secret Security Clearance Despite His Total Lack Of Experience
 


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Newly released emails reveal the extent that Clinton went to to reward her donors at the State Department.
  • Not only did Clinton's top aides insist donor Rajiv Fernando be placed on an intelligence board, they also worked overtime to get his security clearance expedited.
  • Fernando reached out to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin to obtain a request a personal meeting with Clinton.
  • Fernando was appointed to this State Department board without any experience, which baffled other State Department employees.
  • Rajiv Fernando has been a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns as well as the Clinton Foundation.

CLINTON PULLED STRINGS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FOUNDATION AND CAMPAIGN DONOR RAJIV FERNANDO

As Secretary Of State, Clinton Appointed Rajiv Fernando To The International Security Board. "Today, the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) met with Under Secretary Bill Burns, Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher, Special Advisor Robert Einhorn, Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro and Acting Assistant Secretary Vann Van Diepen. … The meeting marked the first gathering of ISAB members appointed by Secretary Clinton. … Mr. Rajiv "Raj" Fernando, CEO and founder of Chopper Trading;" ("Meeting Of The International Security Advisory Board," U.S. State Department, 7/12/11)

Fernando Would Serve On The Board With "Nuclear Scientists, Former Cabinet Secretaries And Members Of Congress," Which Was An "Odd Fit" As He Didn't Have Any International Security Credentials. "For one of President Obama's top fundraisers, the appointment last year to an elite group of State Department security advisors appeared to be an odd fit. Rajiv Fernando, a Chicago securities trader, has never touted any international security credentials, yet he was appointed alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on crucial security matters." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel, ABC News, 9/5/12)

Clinton's State Department Expedited The Security Protocol For Fernando, Forcing Dozens Of State Department Officials To Work Overtime To Get Him A Clearance

"Hillary Clinton's State Department Aides Rushed A Top Secret Security Clearance For A Democratic Donor In Order To Place Him In A Government Position For Which He Was Not Qualified." (Sarah Westwood, "Clinton Aides Rushed Top Secret Clearance For Foundation Donor," The Washington Examiner, 6/16/16)

Clinton's Top Aides "Intervened To Obtain A Security Clearance For Fernando" So He Could Serve On The State Department's International Security Advisory Board. "Emails obtained by the conservative watchdog group Citizens United and shared with Fox News Thursday indicate Clinton's top aides intervened to obtain a security clearance for Fernando, a Chicago businessman, in order to facilitate his service on the board." (Sarah Westwood, "Clinton Aides Rushed Top Secret Clearance For Foundation Donor," The Washington Examiner, 6/16/16)

Fox News' James Rosen Reported That "Dozens Of State Department Officials Working Overtime" Were Responsible For Getting Fernando's Security Clearance Expedited. FOX NEWS' JAMES ROSEN: "And now a new batch of emails, also obtained by Citizens United and shared exclusively with Fox News shows dozens of State Department officials working overtime to get Fernando a security clearance, a top secret security clearance before ISAB's first meeting. The emails also show, Clinton top aide, Huma Abedin, scrambling to accommodate a sudden request by request by Fernando for some facetime with the Secretary." ( Fox News, 6/16/16)

  • Fred Fleitz Of The Center For Security Policy Said It Is "Alarming" That The State Department Rushed His Clearance Process. THE CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY'S FRED FLEITZ: "The emails about this investigation are interesting, first of all, it's pretty clear that career State Department officials were wondering how this individual got on the board, but even more alarming is that there are quite a few emails that suggest the State Department rushed the security clearance process, so he could attend a meeting of this very sensitive board." ( Fox News, 6/16/16)

Click To Watch

The Emails Also Reveal Fernando Requesting A Meeting Through Aide Huma Abedin With Clinton While She Was Secretary Of State. FOX NEWS' CHRIS WALLACE: "With the FBI still investigating Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information, another case from her time as America's top diplomat is receiving new attention. It involves a Clinton Foundation donor with deep pockets who was given an important post in a top-secret security clearance until reporters started asking questions. Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen has the key documents." FOX NEWS' JAMES ROSEN: "In May 2011, Rajiv Fernando, a securities trader from Chicago, emailed Huma Abedin who said he was in Washington and wanted to see the Secretary. 'I know the Chinese delegation is in town and she has a hundred other things going on. But please let me know.' 'Would love to work something out. Let me see what i can figure out for tomorrow.' The exchange appears in emails obtain conservative group Citizens United in its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department. Why was Huma Abedin so eager to accommodate Raj Fernando? Probably because he had been a major contributor to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign and had given $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The same spring dozens of State Department officials worked overtime to get Fernando a security clearance so he could attend the first meeting of the international securities board. High-level arms control panel whose other members included former Defense Secretary William Perry and Brent Scowcroft." STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON MARK TONER (CLIP): "It's not again unimaginable that a businessman, international businessman might bring a certain level of expertise or knowledge or experience to such a job." ROSEN: "Fernando's membership on the ISAB was first uncovered in 2011 and the young CEO resigned days later. Last week it was reported that Clinton's Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills who ordered Fernando put on the board. the emails show that Fernando was made a special government employee and given an interim top security clearance." THE CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY'S FRED FLEITZ: "There are quite a few emails that suggest that the State Department rushed the security clearance process so he could attend a meeting of this very sensitive board. This appears to be an effort where a Clinton Foundation donor bought himself a seat on a very sensitive board that supposed to be composed of senior experts to advise the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control on matters of proliferation such as Iran's nuclear program." ROSEN: "When Fernando resigned, Huma Abedin sent a heads up email, in case this comes your way, to Heather Samuelsson. Clinton's liaison to the White House and the individual entrusted to go through Mrs. Clinton's emails and decide which were work-related and which could be deleted. A spokesman for Fernando said told Fox News he was a recognized cybersecurity expert. Who only resigned when he needed to devote more attention to the European financial crisis." (Fox News, "Special Report," 6/16/16)

Click To Watch

Clinton's Staff Placed Fernando On A Sensitive Government Intelligence Advisory Board At The State Department Without Any Experience In The Issue Area

Fernando Was Appointed To The State Department's International Security Advisory Board By Clinton's Chief Of Staff Cheryl Mills At Her "Insistence." "The newly released emails reveal that after ABC News started asking questions in August 2011, a State Department official who worked with the advisory board couldn't immediately come up with a justification for Fernando serving on the panel. His and other emails make repeated references to 'S'; ABC News has been told this is a common way to refer to the Secretary of State. 'The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him,' wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. 'Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence.'" (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Cho Park, "How Clinton Donor Got On Sensitive Intelligence Board," ABC News, 6/10/16)

The Decision To Add Fernando To The Board With "No Obvious Experience In The Field…Appeared To Baffle The Department's Professional Staff." "Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department's professional staff." (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Cho Park, "How Clinton Donor Got On Sensitive Intelligence Board," ABC News, 6/10/16)

  • "Fernando's Lack Of Any Known Background In Nuclear Security Caught The Attention Of Several Board Members" And "Emails Show That Confusion Ensued Among The Career Government Officials Who Work With The Advisory Panel." "Fernando's lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel." (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Cho Park, "How Clinton Donor Got On Sensitive Intelligence Board," ABC News, 6/10/16)
  • This Board Is Meant To Advise The Secretary Of State On "The Use Of Tactical Nuclear Weapons And On Other Crucial Arms Control Issues." "A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando's only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues." (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Cho Park, "How Clinton Donor Got On Sensitive Intelligence Board," ABC News, 6/10/16)

Once Pressed On The Appointment Of Fernando By The Press, Mills Asked The State Department Press Office To "Stall," Two Days Later, Fernando Resigned From The Board. "The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to 'protect the name' of the Secretary, 'stall' the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later." (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Cho Park, "How Clinton Donor Got On Sensitive Intelligence Board," ABC News, 6/10/16)

Clinton's State Department Withheld Fernando's Resume And Refused To Respond To Questions About His Appointment . "Days after ABC News contacted the State Department in 2011 to ask about his qualifications to serve on the panel, Fernando announced he had stepped down, saying he was too busy to participate. The State Department declined to provide his resume, or offer comment." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,ABC News , 9/5/12)

Fernando's Appointment Raised Eyebrows As The Board Was Traditionally Reserved For Appointees That Boasted International Security Bona Fides

Fernando's Appointment To The International Security Advisory Board Was Unusual, As A Seat On That Board Had "Not Traditionally Been Viewed As A Perk For Major Donors." "More than two dozen of the president's top fundraisers received ambassadorships during his first term, and dozens more have been placed in various key posts in his administration. Fernando's appointment stands out, however, because a seat on the International Security Advisory Board has not traditionally been viewed as a perk for major donors." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,"ABC News , 9/5/12)

  • " One Current Member Of The International Security Advisory Board Told ABC News That None Of The Other Members Could Figure Out Who Fernando Was Or Why He Was There." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel, ABC News , 9/5/12)

When Asked About His Qualifications To Be On The Board, Fernando "Turned Away From Cameras, Asked Hotel Security To Arrest The Reporters, And At One Point Grabbed An ABC News Camera And Apparently Attempted To Break It." "When he was approached by ABC News this week in his hotel lobby, he turned away from cameras, asked hotel security to arrest the reporters, and at one point grabbed an ABC News camera and apparently attempted to break it." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,"ABC News , 9/5/12)

Click To Watch

RAJIV FERNANDO HAS BEEN A MAJOR SUPPORTER TO CLINTON'S CAMPAIGNS AND THE FOUNDATION

Ahead Of His Appointment, Fernando Was A "Prolific" Bundler For Democrats And Gave Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars To The Clinton Foundation While Contributing $30,000 To A Group That Helped Clinton Retire Her Campaign Debts. "Fernando, president of Chopper Trading, has distinguished himself in one way, though. He is one of the most prolific bundlers of campaign contributions for President Obama's reelection, raising more than $500,000 this cycle. Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando gave between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that has indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering campaign debts." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,ABC News , 9/5/12)

  • A Former Member Of The Board Said It Was Inappropriate To Appoint Contributors To The Board, Saying There "Are Always People Who Have Serious Foreign Policy Expertise." "Stephen Krasner, a professor of international studies at Stanford University who served on the board under President Bush, said he did not think the panel was a place to park contributors. 'These are always people who would have serious foreign policy expertise,' he said." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel," ABC News , 9/5/12)

Rajiv Continues To Be A Major Support Of Clinton's, Acting As A Fundraiser And Superdelegate

Fernando Is A 2016 Clinton Hillblazer, Meaning He Has Raised Over $100,000 For Clinton. ("Hillblazers," HillaryClinton.com, Accessed 6/10/16)

  • Fernando Hosted A Fundraiser For Clinton At His Home In July 2015. "Hillary Clinton is coming to Chicago for a private fundraiser July 21 hosted at the home of Raj Fernando, CEO of Chopper Trading, a high-frequency trading firm that recently was purchased by Chicago-based DRW." (Shia Kapos, "Guess Who's Hosting The Next Chicago Fundraiser For Hillary Clinton," Crain's Chicago Business , 7/10/15)
  • Fernando Hosted A Fundraiser For Clinton In March 2016. "Among the hosts for the fundraiser at Riva's Restaurant on Navy Pier: Raj Fernando, David Rosen and Bill Singer. Among those in the crowd of 220: Illinois Senate nominee Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who, I am told, got a shoutout from Clinton." (Lynn Sweet, "Hillary Clinton In Chicago For Fundraiser Today," The Chicago Sun Times, 3/28/16)

Rajiv Fernando Is A 2016 Democrat Superdelegate Supporting Clinton. "Meanwhile, Clinton's reports indicate that she reimbursed three superdelegates for expenses connected to fundraisers they held: Maria Cuomo Cole for $865, Jay Jacobs for $5,507 and Rajiv Fernando for $1,368. While the reimbursements were slim, the amounts raised were not. Each event had an admission fee of $2,700, and Fernando and Jacobs raised $450,000 and a little over $300,000, respectively, they each told OpenSecrets Blog." (Alex Gliorioso, "The Battle For Superdelegates-This Time, It's Not About The Money," The Center For Responsive Politics, 3/10/16)

Rajiv Was A Fundraiser And "Early Supporter" Of Clinton During Her First Attempt To Run For President

In 2008 And 2007 Fernando "Was An Early Supporter Of Hillary Clinton's Bid For President, Giving Maximum Contributions To Her Campaign, And To HillPAC…." "Another area of interest is politics. Fernando's history of campaign giving dates back at least to 2003 and it is prolific -- and almost exclusively to Democrats. He was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton's bid for president, giving maximum contributions to her campaign, and to HillPAC, in 2007 and 2008." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,ABC News , 9/5/12)

  • "He Also Served As A Clinton Bundler, Gathering More Than $100,000 From Others For Her White House Bid." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel, ABC News , 9/5/12)

Fernando Contributed $30,000 To A Group That Helped Clinton Retire Her 2008 Campaign Debts. "Fernando, president of Chopper Trading, has distinguished himself in one way, though. He is one of the most prolific bundlers of campaign contributions for President Obama's reelection, raising more than $500,000 this cycle. Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando gave between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that has indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering campaign debts." (Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Megan Chuchmach, "Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Appointed To National Security Panel,ABC News , 9/5/12)

Rajiv Has Contributed Millions To The Clinton Foundation

Fernando Has Contributed Between $1,000,000 And $5,000,000 To The Clinton Foundation. (The Clinton Foundation, Accessed 6/10/16)


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