The PJ Tatler

Say, the Clintons' 'Speaking Fees' Sure Look Like Hefty Foreign Bribes

So check this out. Hillary Clinton claims that when she and Bill left the White House, they were “dead broke.”

Well, what’s One Broke Girl to do with a youthful yet retired husband and lots of legal bills to pay?

Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. Bill Clinton set up a foundation, which is tax-exempt. Through that foundation, Bill booked a pile of extremely lucrative speaking engagements all over the world. Hillary’s State Department approved all of them, according to documents FOIA’d into the light by Judicial Watch and the Washington Examiner.

How lucrative was this effort? Well, let’s just say that Hillary ain’t no ways tired, and she ain’t no ways broke either.

A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clintongave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released Wednesday in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act case, State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one.

Not a single one.

We’re not talking about speeches delivered to the Des Moines Toastmasters. They couldn’t afford to buy a former American president’s time at the rates the Clintons were charging.

State Department legal advisers, serving as “designated agency ethics officials,” approved Bill Clinton’s speeches in ChinaRussiaSaudi ArabiaEgypt, the United Arab EmiratesPanama,TurkeyTaiwanIndia, the Cayman Islands and other countries.

The memos approving Mr. Clinton’s speeches were routinely copied to Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s senior counsel and chief of staff.

That would be Hillary’s longtime loyalist and fixer, Cheryl Mills.

Did the Clintons use Hillary’s position atop the United States Department of State to line their own pockets, while accepting whopping amounts of cash from countries over which Hillary had serious policy power?

By a plain reading of the facts, that’s exactly what they did. They set the system up even before Hillary became Secretary of State.

Under State Department protocols, a “designated agency ethics official” is assigned to advise the secretary of state about “potential or actual conflicts of interest.”

In a December 2008 memorandum of understanding, the protocols were expanded to Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and related initiatives — specifically, to reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches and consulting deals.

In an accompanying letter to the State Department legal adviser, Clinton lawyer David Kendall noted that Bill Clinton would disclose proposed consulting deals and, for speeches, provide “the identities of the host(s) (the entity that pay the speaker’s fee)” so that the State Department “in consultation with the White House as appropriate, may conduct a review for any real or apparent conflicts of interest with the duties of the Secretary of State.”

In all her years atop State, the department only found one such conflict, and that wasn’t in regard to any of Bill Clinton’s overseas speaking gigs. Hillary Clinton’s State Department got Bill Clinton greenlit every single time a foreign government wanted to pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars for an hour of his precious time.

Speeches weren’t the Clintons’ only means of hauling in foreign wealth while Hillary was America’s top diplomat. There’s more at the link above. Saudis alone have handed the Clintons somewhere between $18 million and $50 million, albeit not directly — to the tax-exempt Clinton Foundation.

What are these benefactors getting for their sizable investments?

One wonders, do the Clintons ever donate any of their earnings from “speaking fees” to any political candidates?

In the wrong light, that could look like laundering money from foreign sources.