While she’s largely remained out of the headlines since her humiliating defeat in the 2016 presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finds herself, once again, on the edge of scandal.
This time, according to the Daily Caller, it revolves around the Clinton Foundation. Ethics watchdogs have recently raised new red flags around the charitable organization as it has seen a drastic decrease in donations since the height of her power after being appointed to former President Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
Ethics experts say the steep decline in donations since she — and her husband — stepped out of the spotlight, suggests that the Clinton Foundation might not have been used as intended.
“For years, the Clinton Foundation raised ethical concerns and blurred lines between the foundation, private entities, and the State Department,” General Counsel for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) Scott Amey said.
The Clinton Foundation only brought in $16.3 million in donations in 2020, and while that might sound like a lot to the uninformed, it actually marks a staggering 93% decrease from the nearly quarter-billion the Clintons hauled in during her time as secretary of state in 2009.
Some ethics experts are suggesting that the foundation only existed as a legal — but super gray — avenue for various individuals and entities to buy access to the Clintons when they wielded the most power.
“Money was pouring in when Hillary Clinton was a senior official and a candidate for president,” Amey explained.
He added: “The fact that foundation donors received special access to the Secretary of State isn’t surprising, nor is the fall in foundation funding after her 2016 election loss. Many people thought people were supporting the former president, but it really looks like they were cozying up to who they thought was going to be the future president — a situation that can’t be repeated.”
Not surprisingly, officials with the Clinton Foundation have already attempted to downplay the obvious decrease in contributions, partly blaming COVID-19 and other external factors.
OpenSecrets investigator Anna Massoglia said that when her outfit contacted the Clinton Foundation for comment on the situation, they claimed the decrease was “due to a lack of events due to an inability to have conferences,” and “receiving less money from fundraising events, programs, and services.”
While that would certainly explain a small portion of the massive decrease in contributions, it certainly doesn’t take an expert analysis to understand what’s happening.
Hillary and Bill Clinton no longer hold the immense political power they once did, and as a result, fewer people are willing to contribute to their foundation for access or favors, bottom line.
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Author: Ryan Ledendecker
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