New Emails: Clinton’s State Department Gave Special Access to Foundation Donors  

This week Judicial Watch released another 725 pages of State Department documents that include email exchanges in which Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin helped provide Clinton Foundation donors  with access to the secretary of state which in some cases were not through “normal channels.”

This is the tenth set of records produced for Judicial Watch by the State Department from the non-state.gov email accounts of Huma Abedin.

The documents were produced under a court order in a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit  against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) requiring the agency to produce “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.”

The new documents include 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the total to date to 191 Clinton emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to the State Department.

Clinton  previously said that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.  In response to a court order in Judicial Watch litigation, she declared under penalty of perjury  that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”

The new Abedin emails reveal that, while Clinton served as secretary of state, Abedin assisted in securing access to Clinton for donors who contributed to her husband’s foundation.

Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band helped coordinate meetings with Abedin.

Some of the individuals Abedin assisted in arranging meetings with Clinton were:

  • Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain.  Salman established the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program for the Clinton Global Initiative. By 2010, it contributed $32 million to CGI.
  • Band asked Abedin to get the Clinton State Department to intervene in order to obtain a visa for members of the Wolverhampton (UK) Football Club on behalf of Casey Wasserman, a sports entertainment executive whose Wasserman Foundation is listed on the Clinton Foundation’s website as having donated between $5 million and $10 million.
  • Slimfast tycoon S. Daniel Abraham was granted access to then-Secretary of State Clinton, with Abedin serving as facilitator. Abraham donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.
  • On Friday, June 26, 2009, Clinton confidant Kevin O’Keefe  wrote to Clinton saying that “Kevin Conlon is trying to set up a meeting with you and a major client.” Clinton wrote to Abedin, “Can you help deliver these for Kevin?” Abedin responded, “I’ll look into it asap” O’Keefe donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Conlon is a Clinton presidential campaign “Hillblazer” who raised more than $100,000 for Hillary.
  • On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, Ben Ringel wrote to Abedin, “I’m on shuttle w Avigdor Liberman. I called u back yesterday. I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins.” Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • On Monday, July 6, 2009, Maureen White wrote to Abedin, “I am going to be in DC on Thursday. Would she have any time to spare?” Abedin responded, “Yes I’ll make it work.” White donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • In June 2009, prominent St. Louis political power broker Joyce Aboussie  exchanged a series of emails with Abedin concerning Aboussie’s efforts to set up a meeting between Clinton and Peabody Energy VP Cartan Sumner. Aboussie wrote, “Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s.” Abedin responded, “We are working on it and I hope we can make something work… we have to work through the beauracracy [sic] here.” Aboussie donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • On Saturday, May 16, 2009, mobile communications executive Jill Iscol wrote to Clinton, “Please advise to whom I should forward Jacqueline Novogratz’s request [for a meeting with the secretary of state]. I know you know her, but honestly, she is so far ahead of the curve and brilliant I believe she could be enormously helpful to your work.” Clinton sent an email to Abedin saying, “Pls print.” Jill and husband Ken Iscol donated between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton appointed Novogratz to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
  • The newly obtained Abedin emails also contain a memorandum sent to Cheryl Mills from State Department White House liaison Laura Pena revealing that Rajiv Fernando was proposed for his appointment to the International Security Advisory Board as early as June 2009. Fernando was not appointed until 2011. Fernando donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
  • Former Bill Clinton aide Ben Schwerin, who helped set up the Clinton Foundation, urged Abedin to help U2’s Bono broadcast from the international space station. In a May 27, 2009, email with the subject line “Bono/NASA,” Schwerin wrote, “Bono wants to do linkup with the international space station on every show during the tour this year.… Any ideas? Thks.” Bono has been a donor  to the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, he gathered top entertainers for “A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation.”  According to USA Today, “premium seats went for $1,000 to $5,000 on the Foundation website.”