Clinton’s Filthy Lucre

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, February 01, 2008 4:20 PM PT

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Ethics: Is it just us, or is there something off about ex-president Bill
using his influence overseas to enrich a pal and then accepting the
pal’s big donation to his foundation? This looks like a bribery racket.

Strong words, yes, but a New York Times report details a 2005 incident of
Clinton and a minor Canadian mining financier jetting into Kazakhstan, where
the two met with the local strongman. Shortly afterward, Clinton’s pal won a
huge uranium-mining contract that left competing mining companies astounded.

Anything untoward? Clinton says of course not. After all, doesn’t every
ex-president jet in to Central Asia from time to time to check up on his
charity projects and sample the gourmet cuisine? Nothing to see here, move

But the story doesn’t end there. Clinton’s friend, Frank Giustra, eventually
ended up a billionaire from that “lucky” trip. He then donated $31.3 million
to Clinton’s $208 million foundation as its largest donor in 2006. Any
connection? Nada, Clinton’s defenders say.

Who doesn’t think something fishy is going on?

It’s the tip of a larger problem with Clinton and his global foundation that
was launched in 1997 to “make a difference.”

Besides ending global warming and doling out AIDS medicine, it appears to
have another purpose – as a vehicle for extending Clinton’s global power
reach. The foundation’s potential to draw “thank you” donations for helpful
acts like showing up in Almaty is just one part of it. It could go even
further than that.

Another Clinton pal, Denise Rich, donated $450,000 to Clinton’s library
around the time that Clinton pardoned her ex-husband, Marc Rich, the
fugitive financier on the lam for tax evasion and trading with the enemy.
Any connection? Of course not.

It gets downright dangerous when one considers that Clinton’s wife is now a
front-runner for the Oval Office in 2009. With Hillary in high office,
Clinton will be free to do as he pleases with his foundation but his
proximity to real power will be far greater.

In a Dec. 20 report, the Times asked whether Clinton’s foundation donations
could be misused to “circumvent campaign finance laws intended to limit
political influence.”

That’s worth paying attention to, because Clinton Foundation records show
that one of the few projects it has funded is a group called Acorn, which
had employees convicted of voter fraud.

So if Bill Clinton can and is willing to sway, even implicitly by his
presence, a distant satrap such as Kazakhstan’s leader to help a crony, then
the potential for him to sway a U.S. president who may have interest in
perpetuating herself and her pals in power is even greater.

Meanwhile, there’s been a mysterious rise in donations that have been
washing into the William J. Clinton Foundation’s coffers. Mysterious,
because most of the donors are anonymous.

A look at the foundation’s 2006 donors from its most recent Form 990 IRS
return shows that not one of the top 13 donors are identified. Clinton says
he won’t disclose them because he promised anonymity but for future donors,
if his wife becomes president, he will.

Even that isn’t as magnanimous as it looks. To all who would like to have
Bill on their string, it’s tantamount to a dinner call to get their
donations in now. Not surprisingly, donations rose most sharply in 2006, the
last published year, by almost 50% to $138.5 million.

The Washington Post reported last month that 10% of Clinton’s donations for
his presidential library were from overseas sources – not just wealthy
businessmen, but foreign governments, too. The Saudis gave $10 million, and
Kuwait and Brunei also chipped in.

It all shows that if there is a loophole, Clinton will take it. Appearances
of impropriety mean nothing to him. But with a new Clinton in the White
, the stakes rise. As money rolls in and the Clintons take power, this
specter of an ex-president sitting on a cash-hungry foundation and his wife
in a position to dole out favors bears potential for Marcos-like corruption
and a sellout of American interests on a scale unknown in the U.S. Who is
going to stop them?


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