Revelations About The Clinton Foundation Continue To Dog The Clinton Campaign

The Clinton Foundation's foreign donations continue to be a problem for the Clinton campaign, and the story isn't likely to go away any time soon.

Hillary Bill Chelsea Clinton

Bloomberg News is reporting that the Clinton Foundation failed to disclose more than 1,100 donations from foreign sources received during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State despite having signed an agreement with the Obama Administration that those donations would be disclosed:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential run is prompting new scrutiny of the Clintons’ financial and charitable affairs—something that’s already proved problematic for the Democratic frontrunner, given how closely these two worlds overlap. Last week, the New York Timesexamined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra’s company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received “a flow of cash” to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company’s chairman totaling $2.35 million.

Giustra strenuously objects to how he was portrayed. “It’s frustrating,” he says. And because the donations came in through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP)—a Canadian affiliate of the Clinton Foundation he established with the former president—he feels doubly implicated by the insinuation of a dark alliance.

“We’re not trying to hide anything,” he says. There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP.  ”All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation—every penny—and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified,” he says.

The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow “the same protocols.”

It hasn’t.

The Washington Post has further details about this latest revelation regarding questionable and arguably unethical operations at the Clinton Foundation:

A charity affiliated with the Cl

inton Foundation failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors, creating a broad exception to the foundation’s promise to disclose funding sources as part of an ethics agreement with the Obama administration.

The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.

Details of the organization’s fundraising were disclosed this week by a spokeswoman for the Canadian group’s founder, mining magnate Frank Giustra.

The Canadian group has received attention in recent days as a potential avenue for anonymous Clinton Foundation donations from foreign business executives, including some who had interests before the U.S. government while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state.

The partnership, named in part for Bill Clinton, sends much of its money to the New York-based Clinton Foundation. Two of the partnership’s known donors — Giustra and another mining executive, Ian Telfer — are featured in the soon-to-be-released book “Clinton Cash” for their roles in a series of deals that resulted in Russia controlling many uranium deposits around the world and in the United States.

With the foundation’s finances emerging as an issue for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a foundation official this week defended the arrangement with the Giustra group, noting in a blog post that Canadian law prevents charities in that country from disclosing their donors without the donors’ permission.

The Canadian partnership has in recent days begun to reach out to its 28 largest donors, each of whom gave donations equivalent to at least $250,000 in U.S. dollars, to seek permission to release their names, said a person familiar with the foundation, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

The large number of undisclosed supporters of a Clinton-affiliated charity raises new questions about the foundation’s adherence to the 2008 ethics agreement it struck with the Obama administration, which was designed to avoid conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

Former senator Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), who as the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee quizzed Hillary Clinton during her 2009 confirmation hearings about potential conflicts stemming from foundation fundraising around the world, said Tuesday that he considered such undisclosed donations to violate the spirit of the ethics agreement.

“Clearly, there was an expectation and a commitment that large donations to the Clinton Foundation would be disclosed,” Lugar said via e-mail.

In other news, Jonathan Allen at Vox has identified at least 181 donors to the Clinton Foundation or one of its related charities who lobbied the State Department during the time that Clinton was Secretary of State. Even if it was the case that Clinton was not directly involved in any of these matters herself, the appearance of impropriety is quite palpable to the point that it led NBC’s Chuck Todd to openly wonder earlier today why it is that the Foundation continued to solicit any foreign contributions at all during the time that Clinton was at Foggy Bottom. Clinton herself may not have been involved in the day-to-day operations of the Foundation at that time, but her husband and many people close to her most certainly were, and the idea that she was ever really completely separated from what was going on at the Foundation is something that strains credulity. Had the Foundation at the very least refrained from accepting foreign donations at the time she was in office, or even better had refused to accept donations from entities or individuals involved in matters before the State Department, then there wouldn’t be any issue right now. They failed to do that, however, and more importantly they clearly failed to comply with the requirements set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding that was entered into before Clinton took office, a copy of which I have embedded below. While that may not have necessarily have been illegal, it certainly seems to be unethical and, at the very least, it raises legitimate questions about the operation of the Clinton Foundation, its operations during the time that Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, and Clinton’s own involvement in decisions made by the State Department involving donors to the Foundation.

In just over a week, issues regarding the Clinton Foundation have quickly become a story that it is going to be hard for the Clinton campaign to ignore. The New York Times first reported about the upcoming book detailing donations to the Clinton Foundation, and that was quickly followed by another report regarding Foundation donors involved in the business dealings of a Russian energy company. Soon after, the Foundation itself announced that it was filing amended tax returns for multiple years due to the fact that information regarding foreign donations was not correctly reported. Now, we learn that the Foundation and one of its related entities failed to disclose more than a thousand foreign donations as required by the agreement entered into with the Obama Administration. Throughout it all, both the campaign and the Foundation and their defenders have responded mostly by attacking the sources of the reports and dismissing the claims rather than providing anything approaching clear answers to the questions that these reports are raising. As Ron Chusid, a liberal blogger, puts it, this is clearly not working for them:

Clinton supporters have concentrated on trying to make it appear that they are dealing with attacks from the right. In reality, Clinton does not currently have Fox problem as much as she has a problem with The New York Times, Reuters, AP, The Guardian, media Fact Checker sites, and some liberal magazines. They have concentrated on claiming to debunk Peter Schwitzer’s book Clinton Cash by screaming that there is no smoking gun in the book. The reality is that Schwitzer’s book is only a small part of the evidence against Clinton, with other reports doing more to demonstrate her guilt than Schwitzer, who never claimed to prove the case in his book. Clinton supporters felt so threatened by the fact that Schwitzer has also been working a similar book on Jeb Bush, diminishing their claims of a right wing attack, that they have been repeating a false claim from a pro-Clinton blog that he is not writing the book on Bush. Their “evidence” consists of a statement that the conservative publisher of Clinton Cash is not publishing the book on Bush, but Schwitzer had said he is seeking a different publisher for that book.

While failing to respond to the real questions, Clinton supporters also demand deflect from the facts in demanding that a quid pro quo be demonstrated, but such evidence is rarely preserved in such cases. Nor is it considered necessary for proof, at least when people other than the Clintons are involved.  The standards in such a case are that the Clintons failed to abide by the regulations.  That is the key fact, but beyond this there is demonstrated transfers of unusual amounts of money, both in the form of contributions to the Foundation and unprecedented speaking fees paid to Bill. This was followed by those who made the payments receiving favors, sometimes including changes in position on the part of Hillary Clinton. Analogous cases in matters such as insider trading are based upon establishing such violations of rules and in patterns of the transfer of money, not in proving a quid pro quo.

To a large degree, of course, the Clinton’s are following the same strategy in responding to these revelations that they have followed in responding to so many of the other allegations made against them. The difference this time, though, is that the reports aren’t coming from Fox News, the conservative blogosphere, or talk radio, they are coming from some of the most well-respected institutions in the traditional media and, indeed, likely from reporters who lean in Hillary Clinton’s direction politically. Dismissing them as just another partisan attack isn’t likely to work, especially given the fact that the lack of a real race on the Democratic side in 2016 means that the journalists covering her are going to be looking for something to talk about, and there are few things juicier than stories about Bill, Hillary, and tons of money from foreign sources. It’s still far too early to tell where this story is going to go, but it’s not going away and the Clinton campaign will need to answer it with more than just denials and evasions eventually.

Here is the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding between Clinton and the White House:

Clinton Obama Memorandum of Understanding by Doug Mataconis

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. David M says:

    I really am having trouble understanding the problem here. The GOP candidates are basically entered in a contest to see who can best suck up to the 1% and are the party who wants no restrictions or transparency for any and all political donations. How do the allegations against the Clintons even come close to that level of blatant corruption? Even if everything is true, aren’t they still less preferable to the GOP?

  2. cd6 says:

    I look forward to hundreds of republican, dark-money-financed superPac ads telling me about how monetary donations to Clinton’s Foundation – not to her, not to her campaign, but to her charity – are disqualifying ethical breaches, while GOP candidates make pilgrimages to Vegas to literally kiss Sheldon Adelson’s ring and beg him to shower them with sweet, sweet, unlimited moolah, and that is totally kosher

  3. cd6 says:

    @David M:
    This guy had the same idea I did, but typed it faster.

    Damn you, David M.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    Boy who cried wolf. It’s not worth the effort to check into these allegations unless a very credible news organization finds something. Those of us who remember Whitewater, or The Foster murder, or the Arkansas Cocaine Planes or Benghanzi are worn out by this nonsense. And quite frankly Doug, people like you, people who don’t like Hillary and who have a platform will continue with the “I’m only asking questions!” rationalization. You know, just like the Obama birthers or the 911 Truthers do.

  5. Liberal With Attitude says:

    I’m with David M and cd6 here.

    What exactly is the conservative complaint here?

  6. Tony W says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    What exactly is the conservative complaint here?

    I believe Ms. Clinton is supposed to be baking cookies or something.

  7. Andy says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    What exactly is the conservative complaint here?

    How about an independent complaint?

    Yes, Republicans do it too but the argument that somehow excuses Clinton’s actions just doesn’t wash.

  8. edmond says:

    Grifters gotta grift.

    Poor Sarah Palin must be green with envy over the sheer scale of the con.

  9. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @Andy:
    OK if you are arguing that politicians shouldn’t accept secretive donations to their foundations and charities, I am completely on board.

    But unless this leads to a demand for transparency of all sources of political funding, its just a partisan sham.

  10. edmond says:

    It’s not just the income, it’s the “giving” that’s a problem too!

    “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout. …

    The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid. …

    On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.

  11. David M says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    Something to consider in that call to transparency, is which political party is more likely to support those reforms? So even if Clinton personally isn’t perfect, just being a Democrat is basically a trump card on this entire issue. In my view, voting in elections for national office shouldn’t be seen as choosing individual candidates, but marking a preference for which political party has the preferred positions overall.

  12. Tony W says:

    @edmond:

    None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.

    So the “corruption” here is that Ms. Clinton is not sitting middle seat in aisle 17? That’s pretty thin. How do you feel about exit-row seating?

  13. ElizaJane says:

    Edmond, There is something fishy about these numbers. According to Charity Watch, the most respected independent charity analyst, the Clinton Foundation receives an “A” rating. They use 89% of their income for programs, with only 11% going to overhead. So either Charity Watch is almost insanely wrong, or the person reading these tax returns is confused.

    I guess that the moral really is, if you are going to run for president, do not get involved in charitable organizations. Just take as much money as you can from casino magnates, an you’ll be OK.

  14. stonetools says:

    I think Doug really has to answer the question of why he considers this enough of a problem that he posts repeatedly on the issue, whereas he passes over in silence the billions of dollars of secret and not so secret money flowing directly to the Republican presidential candidates. I’d like him to answer that question now, because it seems like rank hypocrisy to me.
    Now the NYT is reporting on the issue because the editorial board sees the flow of secret big money into politics as inherently corrupting, whereas Doug sees this as simply an innocent exercise of the donors’ First Amendment rights. If Doug is being consistent here, he should see no problem at all with anything the Clintons did. So I think we need an answer from Doug here

  15. Dave D says:

    @stonetools: I usually really dislike when people bitch about what the authors here choose to write or not write about going on in the world because it’s their site, but what is this the fourth article on this in a couple weeks? All from an author who didn’t write about the nonviolent protests in Baltimore because he was busy with other things. Maybe it is just easier to write these because it is the same article as all the others.

    Scoop up the red phone politician takes money from wealthy people and chose not to disclose it. If only it was a SuperPac, then she could have had weekly phone calls with her donors without it viewed as improper.

    But even if her spouse was involved with this type of solicitation whilst she was at Foggy Bottom that isn’t a conflict of interest. It wasn’t when Clarence Thomas was ruling on Obamacare. Damn this might be a true both sides do it.

  16. stonetools says:

    @Dave D:

    I think the rule is IOKIYAR. I don’t notice the media hounding Republicans on the issue.
    But here’s the bottom line. Liberals and good government types can wring their hands about this ( and maybe even should) but the Republicans have opened the floodgates on this and they won’t be closed till Citizens United is overturned, hopefully soon. The Clintons have followed the law on this, as Doug’s source noted., and the fact that some liberal blogger think that the “Clinton’s conduct is scandalous” isn’t going to go very far, when it is “quite obvious” (as one person would put it) that the Republican presidential candidates are engaging in conduct far more scandalous. The choice isn’t between Hilary Clinton and Jesus, but between HRC and far worse. That ain’t gonna change, no matter what Schweitzer and the Republican BS machine dredges up.

  17. Andy says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    OK if you are arguing that politicians shouldn’t accept secretive donations to their foundations and charities, I am completely on board.

    Great, glad that you are on board.

    But unless this leads to a demand for transparency of all sources of political funding, its just a partisan sham.

    Correct, that was exactly my point. But, by your criteria,the comments here so far (including the first two in the thread which you seem to agree with) don’t argue for transparency – they argue for equivalency. If one is willing to excuse the Clintons’ actions because of similar GoP activity, then one isn’t interesting in transparency- quite the opposite. Hence my point the “GoP does it too” argument doesn’t wash.

    In short, one is either interested in transparency or not. People who claim to be interested in transparency and then selectively excuse or condemn it are part and parcel of the “partisan sham.”

  18. anjin-san says:

    @ElizaJane:

    There is something fishy about these numbers

    Yes. It’s made up crap from the right wing media that he regards as highly as if it were handed down by a burning bush.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    It’s still far too early to tell where this story is going to go, but it’s not going away

    At least not if Doug has anything to say about it.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @Dave D:

    Scoop up the red phone; politician takes money from wealthy people and choses not to disclose it.

    You are exactly right…4 posts in a week.
    What’s truly awe-inspiring, in terms of the hypocrisy, is that Doug thinks Citizens United and McCutcheon were proper decisions…and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with turning every corporate bank account into a top-secret political slush fund with zero transparency.
    What that means is that…even if everything conjectured about, without any substantiating evidence whatsoever, is true…it still doesn’t meet the test of political corruption as outlined in McCutcheon. Ipso facto…there is no story. Well…there is a story. The real story is that this is what politics is going to look like now…thanks to piss poor partisan decisions by the Fox News Nation SCOTUS Justices. Which Doug supports.

  21. stonetools says:

    OT, buit very relevant: HRC made her first major policy speech this week on the topic of criminal justice reform. Maybe we can discuss THAT, rather than the latest conservative attempt at scandalmongering:

    So I don’t want the discussion about criminal justice, smart policing, to be siloed and to permit discussions and arguments and debates about it to only talk about that. The conversation needs to be much broader. Because that is a symptom, not a cause, of what ails us today.

    The second area where we need to chart a new course is how we approach punishment and prison.

    It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.

    Of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today, a significant percentage are low-level offenders: people held for violating parole or minor drug crimes, or who are simply awaiting trial in backlogged courts.

    Keeping them behind bars does little to reduce crime. But it is does a lot to tear apart families and communities.

    Full speech at link.

  22. Facebones says:

    If anyone believes that Clinton Foundation donations or missing emails are going to sink Hillary Clinton (and sink her a full 18 months before the election and a full 14 months before anyone who is not a hardcore political junkie is paying attention), they are engaging in willful self-delusion.

    Unless there is a check in the foundation from Kim Jong-Un with “Love & Kisses, comrade!” in the memo line, or an email telling ISIS that she’d tell the army to stand down while they attacked in Benghazi, this will not amount to anything.

    Like Michael keeps saying on this site: Hillary has 100% name recognition. Minor scandals will not hurt her the way they would Chris Christie or Scott Walker.

  23. Boyd says:

    Despite the protestations of the liberal sycophants that this story is nothing, I’ve ordered in several cases of popcorn. When you guys start calling investigations by The New York Times “made up crap from the right wing media,” I know this is going to be fun.

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    If this was “The Koch Brothers Foundation,” we’d be hearing non-stop howls of money laundering. And that’s exactly what the Clinton Foundation was doing — laundering money through a network of non-profits and foreign entities to conceal how much was coming from who, and ending up in whose pockets.

    And to steal a line I’ve seen elsewhere, of course there’s no shred of evidence of actual wrongdoing — Hillary shredded it already. She learned that lesson from her tenure on the Watergate panel, when Nixon could have but didn’t destroy the key evidence.

  25. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If this was “The Koch Brothers Foundation,” we’d be hearing non-stop howls of money laundering. And that’s exactly what the Clinton Foundation was doing — laundering money through a network of non-profits and foreign entities to conceal how much was coming from who, and ending up in whose pockets.

    You are correct that both sides do it, which is why Hillary Clinton gets a pass on this issue, regardless of how distasteful her actions allegedly are. The GOP are still working to expand this system of legalized bribery, so supporting Democratic candidates is currently the obvious choice for people who want the 1% to have less influence.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Actually, I don’t see any GOP candidates who have this kind of record. And isn’t it remarkable how the Clintons went from “flat broke” in 2001 to comfortably in that 1% in just a little over a decade, while one of them was pulling in a low-six-figure annual salary?

    And it’s amusing how you say the Republicans are “working to expand this system of legalized bribery,” but can’t quite touch the Clintons for making beaucoup bank off it.

  27. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The SuperPAC / Adelson / Koch money is much more corrupting to the system, surely you’re aware of that every GOP candidate is currently grovelling to the 1% in the hopes of landing their own billionaire to fund their campaign.

  28. Pinky says:

    @David M:

    The SuperPAC / Adelson / Koch money is much more corrupting to the system

    Why?

  29. David M says:

    Shorter GOP: How dare the Clinton’s set up a well run and respected charity and allow people to donate to it. Don’t they know the currently accepted form of legalized corruption is through Super PACs? Donating to a charity totally defeats the purpose of the bribes, as the recipients can’t benefit directly from the money.

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If this was “The Koch Brothers Foundation,” we’d be hearing non-stop howls of money laundering.

    No…your reading comprehension problems are showing.
    The SCOTUS made this kind of money laundering legal.
    The question is what the fwck you are complaining about?

  31. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    If the money were being directed to political candidates or to enrich individuals then it would in essence be a SuperPAC. The thing is, as has been linked above, the money going to the Foundation is actually spent on charity at a rate considerably higher than most charities. If feeding starving children or distributing water filters or digging wells is what it takes to bribe Clinton that is rather telling, don’t you think?

  32. Dave D says:

    @Grewgills: And it actually being a charity it has to disclose more on it’s donors than a SuperPac would. Those non-profit 501 and 504 (c)3’s sure are acting in the public interest while this charity clearly is just a political slush fund for the Clintons.

  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Pinky:

    Why?

    Um, because the money goes to the candidate, not to a charity founded by the candidate? Because it gets spent on campaign stuff, rather than on charity stuff? Because there is less disclosure? Because the quid pro quo is direct? Is that enough, or should I keep going?

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Apparently some people are ignorant of the facts in the case of the Clinton Foundation. I suspect that a good chunk of it is deliberate.

    1) Hillary, when she became SecState, pledged to the Obama administration that the Foundation would stop taking money from foreign sources.

    2) The Foundation kept taking foreign money, a lot of it from nations that had a serious vested interest in currying Hillary’s favor.

    3) The Foundation lied on its tax forms to conceal the foreign origins of that money, and is now going back and refiling its tax forms to “correct the error.”

    4) A top charity rating service has refused to evaluate the Foundation, saying that its model simply doesn’t apply to all the other non-profits and charities they evaluate.

    5) The Foundation spends a huge amount of its funding on salaries, travel, and other expenses, and a very small percentage on actual charitable work.

    6) Hillary Clinton, from the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State, arranged that all of her e-mails — personal and official — would be handled by a private server that she and she alone controlled, out of reach of the government.

    7) When asked by Congress if she or anyone else was using a private e-mail address for official correspondence, Hillary stonewalled.

    8) When her use of private e-mail was discovered and investigators started talking about looking at those e-mails, Hillary destroyed all of them.

    Like I said… willful blindness.

  35. stonetools says:

    Links to evidence, please. To paraphrase Chris Hitchens, that which is asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and conservatives here (especially you) have a history of asserting claims that have been later debunked. Also you need to compare HRC not to some pure candidate who never takes secret donor money, but to the Republican candidates who have been unashamedly whoring after big donor money without even pretending to be concerned about transparency or corruption. “Wilful Blindness?” Your blindness towards the conduct of Republican presidential nominnees is a textbook case of “wilful blindness”.

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Here’s Charity Navigator saying they won’t be rating the Clinton Foundation any longer, saying “We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity’s atypical business model can not be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity.” Just what about the Foundation’s practices make it so far out of the norm that Charity Navigator can’t get a handle on how it works?

    And here’s PolitiFact saying that the criticisms of the Foundation contain “some element of truth,” while NOT noting that PolitiFact’s main funder is a major partner of and donor to the Clinton Foundation.

    Oh, and the Clinton Foundation? Two of their biggest donations were to the Clinton Global Initiative and the Bill Clinton Presidential Library

  37. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: Money you can see is always better than money you can’t see. If the ultimate point of campaign finance policy is to make matters transparent to the average voter on where contributions to a candidate’s campaign are coming from, a charity which is legally required to identify its donors is a far better deal than an organization the entire basis of which is to conceal donor identities. I thought that was self-evident.

    Now if you’re talking about how is superPAC money to influence an election worse than charitable contributions to influence State Department policy, which is the actual contention here, other commenters have pointed out what those contributions got at best: a small hand up in complex negotiations to execute a uranium deal. Multiple agencies outside what could be called the Clinton umbrella of influence participated in those negotiations, so the likelihood of actual corruption is incredibly small. (Still there, but small.) Jenos (and the political press) seems to be more annoyed that Clinton betrayed her promise to the White House and the Foundation screwed up their accounting, something bureaucracies do semi-regularly.