August 24, 2016

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Hillary hosted dinner for foundation donors — including an alleged Iran-sanctions violator.

Ed Morrissey:

Remember Walter Pinchuk? His name came up last year in an ongoing series of exposés regarding influence-peddling at the State Department through the Clinton Foundation. The steel tycoon got some face time with a “top Clinton aide” to argue on behalf of the Moscow-backed Yanukovich government in Ukraine, the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reported last October. The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Nicholas did a deep dive on newly released e-mails from the State Department to discover that Pinchuk didn’t just get face time with an aide while donating big bucks to the Clinton Foundation — he got Hillary Clinton to host an official State Department dinner in June 2012 for Pinchuk and other foundation donors:

While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton hosted a dinner involving Clinton Foundation donors, including a Ukrainian businessman who had given money to the organization and who had retained a lobbyist to arrange State Department meetings.

The dinner attended by Victor Pinchuk four years ago was mentioned in a new batch of State Department emails obtained by the conservative group Citizens United through public records requests and released on Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign has tried to make hay of Donald Trump’s supposed sympathies for Vladimir Putin through the now-dismissed Paul Manafort. This shows a much more corrupt tie to Putin’s allies, and the danger is not just in regard to Russia. As Newsweek reported in April 2015, Pinchuk allegedly violated sanctions on Iran even while Hillary feted him.

THERE’S MORE: Emails Show Clinton Foundation Donor Reached Out To Hillary Clinton Before Arms Export Boost.

The email exchange about Bahrain shows the Clinton Foundation’s top executive Doug Band in 2009 asking Clinton’s State Department aide Huma Abedin to set up a meeting between Clinton and Crown Prince Salman, who had recently been named the deputy supreme commander of Bahrain’s armed forces. Band referred to Salman as a “good friend of ours.”

Abedin told Band that Clinton had initially rejected a previous request for a meeting with Salman because “she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel.” Soon after, though, Abedin told Band that the State Department was now offering Salman a meeting with Clinton.

Salman has directed $32 million to a Clinton Foundation program, and the Kingdom of Bahrain has donated up to $100,000 more. As Bahrain money flowed into the Clinton Foundation, State Department documents showed that between 2010 and 2012 the Clinton-led State Department approved $630 million worth of direct commercial arms sales to Salman’s military forces in Bahrain. That was a 187 percent increase from the period 2006 to 2008, and the increase came as Bahrain was violently suppressing uprisings.”

But don’t worry, because Hillary has promised to stop taking foreign money — after she’s won election.

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