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Inside ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’: Hacked Memo Shows Intersection of Clinton Profits and Charity

Friday, October 28, 2016 12:18
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A 2011 memo from top Bill Clinton aide Douglas Band, published by Wikileaks, details “a circle of enrichment in which [Band] raised money for the Clinton Foundation from top-tier corporations such as Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola that were clients of his firm, Teneo, while pressing many of those same donors to provide personal income to the former president,” reports The Washington Post.

The Post continues:

The system has drawn scrutiny from Republicans [and progressives], who say it allowed corporations and other wealthy supporters to pay for entree to a popular former president and a onetime secretary of state who is now the Democratic presidential nominee. …

The memo, made public Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, lays out the aggressive strategy behind lining up the consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune, including during the years that Hillary Clinton led the State Department. It describes how Band helped run what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.,” obtaining “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”

Band grew close to Clinton during the 90s as his personal aide in the White House and became “the architect of his post-presidential activities,” the Post reports. In the memo, Band argues that his work and the work of his firm benefited the former president and his family’s foundation,

“We have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities,” Band wrote. He added that he had “sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the foundation.”

The Post continues:

Band’s memo provided data showing how much money each of Teneo’s 20 clients at the time had given to the Clinton Foundation, how much they had paid Bill Clinton and, in some cases, how he or Kelly had personally forged the relationships that resulted in the payments.

Band wrote that Teneo partners had raised in excess of $8 million for the foundation and $3 million in paid speaking fees for Bill Clinton. He said he had secured contracts for the former president that would pay out $66 million over the subsequent nine years if the deals remained in place.

For instance, Band wrote that Kelly arranged for the former president to meet the chief executive of Coca-Cola in January 2009 at the Clintons’ home in Washington. In all, according to Band’s memo, Coke had contributed $4.33 million to the foundation between 2004 and 2010. …

Band also described how Kelly helped expand a fruitful relationship with UBS Global Wealth Management, introducing Bill Clinton to a top executive at a 2009 charity dinner. In the ensuing years, UBS upped its giving to the foundation, signed on as a Teneo client and agreed to pay Bill Clinton for speeches, Band wrote.

Records show UBS paid Clinton about $2 million in speaking fees between 2011 and 2015 for a series of appearances, generally alongside former president George W. Bush. The company also paid Hillary Clinton $225,000 for a 2013 speech. …

Another achievement cited by Band: Laureate International Universities, a chain of for-profit international colleges, which donated to the foundation and agreed to pay Bill Clinton $3.5 million a year to serve as honorary chancellor.

Companies aligned with the Clinton Foundation paid several million dollars to Teneo for consulting services. The Post reports that a spike in payments from Dow “raised red flags for an internal company fraud investigator, who expressed alarm that it may be linked to Bill Clinton’s work with a charity founded by Liveris — a charge the company denied.” The investigator wrote: “It appears Dow is paying Teneo for connections with Clinton.”

Read more.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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