In Wake of Hillary's Loss, the Clinton Foundation Collapse Continues
Apparently, all good money-laundering schemes must eventually come to an end. Especially when your big donors figure out they were played for suckers all along, and your partners in crime realize that further bribery is essentially pointless:
The Clinton Foundation is shedding two of its most politically problematic programs, while Bill Clinton is asking for supporters' advice on where to take his family's charity arm next. Being spun into separate entities are the foundation's initiatives in the country of Haiti, along with the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, named after a billionaire backer of the couple.
Additionally, the Clinton Global Initiative, the annual meet-and-greet in New York City between celebrities, rock stars, activists, dignitaries and Clintons, officially closed up shop in recent weeks. In an interview with the New York Times, Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala admitted that donations dropped thanks to the political climate of last year.
'Last year was a tough year,' she admitted, 'because people were beating on us with nonsense.'
Does that "nonsense" include a stinging defeat in the Electoral College, charges of rampant corruption, an FBI investigation, hacked emails, face-planting into a van, forgetting to campaign in Wisconsin, and general incompetence by the Smartest Woman in the World?
Bill Clinton's letter, which was included in the foundation's annual report this week, struck a defiant tone. The Clinton Foundation's president said one of the reasons revenue was down was because top Clinton talent, like daughter Chelsea (center) didn't have time to fund-raise.
'In 2016, despite the political season and unprecedented attacks that were misleading or outright false, the Clinton Foundation continued its good work in the United States and around the world,' Bill Clinton wrote at one point. In another he said, 'he attacks on our efforts have not come from people and organizations who understand or care about the work we do.'
The ex-president articulated that 'two of our most successful programs' would transition outside the Clinton Foundation umbrella. The couple's relationship with Haiti was complicated as some blamed their efforts for the island nation's sluggish recovery after the 2010 earthquake, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and her husband served as a U.N. envoy.
Like the broader pay-to-play attacks on the Clinton Foundation opponents accused the Hillary Clinton's State Department with giving Clinton Foundation donors first dibs on Haitian relief projects.
Do the Clintons sense further trouble coming? Their relationship with Frank Giustra has a certain familiar redolence about it:
Giustra has since committed more than $100 million to the work of the Clinton Foundation, becoming one of the largest individual donors to the family’s charities.
Clinton has also gained regular transportation, borrowing Giustra’s plane 26 times for foundation business since 2005, including 13 trips in which the two men traveled together. The numbers on Clinton’s use of the plane, never previously reported, were provided by a spokeswoman for Giustra.
Giustra, 57, a Vancouver, B.C.-based mogul whose eclectic business interests include founding Lionsgate Entertainment and investing in gold mines and an olive oil company, has come to symbolize a relatively new but substantial category of Clinton backers: foreign donors who are not legally eligible to contribute to U.S. political candidates but grew close to the Clintons through the charity.