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Report: Clinton Charities Ignore Laws Requiring IDs of Foreign Donors

Report: Clinton Charities Ignore Laws Requiring IDs of Foreign Donors

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 September 2016 09:08 PM

The Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative have ignored New York laws requiring them to disclose the names of foreign donors, and the state attorney general has refused to use his power to force them to do so, according to a Scripps News investigation.

Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a Clinton donor and a member of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign "leadership council" in New York.

Scheiderman donated the maximum $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's campaign this cycle.

The Scripps report comes just as Clinton is attacking her Republican rival Donald Trump's own charity's gift of $25,000 to a political group affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi at the time was considering an investigation into Trump University, but ended up not doing so. 

Trump has said the Trump Foundation donation had nothing to do with a possible probe. He reimbursed the foundation from personal funds and paid a fine to the IRS since charities are prohibited to contributing to political campaigns.

But that is all chump change compared to the Clinton charity issues, Chris White wrote at Law Newz.

The Scripps report noted the IRS requires charities to disclose the total amount of contributions from all governments, including foreign governments. But they are not required to identify the governments.

The State of New York, on the other hand, actually does require all donors to be specified, along with amounts donated by each, on its forms.

But the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) never did that, according to the report, instead filing the same lump sum numbers given to the IRS.

But CHAI also reported different numbers to the IRS and to the state, the investigation found.

In 2010, CHAI reported $242,099 in "Total Government Contributions" to the state, and said all donations were domestic. It told the IRS it took in $26.7 million from both foreign and domestic sources.

CHAI spokesperson Regan Lachapelle told Scripps the organization will be happy to provide more detail to Schneiderman's office if requested.

"We believe that we are following instructions by recording the (domestic government grants) we receive on the New York form and indicating that we will provide them with foreign government donor information if they would like it," Lachapelle said. "We clearly state in our cover letter that we would provide details on funding from international governments upon request."

The Clinton Foundation, a separate charity, has done the same in some years. It reported lump sums of foreign donations in 2008 of $97 million and in 2009 of $122 million to New York authorities. And from 2010 to 2013 didn't list any foreign contributions at all.

But this past January, it amended its reports to say it had received $17.8 million in foreign donations, but did not specify when or from whom they were received.

Schneiderman was attorney general the entire time, but has done nothing to require the Clinton charities to follow his office's rules, Scripps reported, even though his own website notes on his bio page, "Eric has taken on the tough fights to protect New Yorkers – because he believes there has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful."

Critics say he is not doing that.

“The law requires foreign donors to be disclosed and the [New York] attorney general, the [New York] attorney general’s office is permitting them to go undisclosed," John Wonderlich of the Washington, D.C.-based Sunlight Foundation said. "Voters deserve to have a full picture of what Secretary Clinton, and the Clintons together have created, and all the ways that that might be entangled in a presidency."

Clinton has been under scrutiny for foreign donations the family charity received during her tenure as secretary of state. Republicans have questioned whether some donations were intended to buy access to the secretary of state — or to the White House should she be elected.

Emails uncovered through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits have found possible links, but analysts say no outright quid pro quo can be proved.

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The Clinton Foundation's Clinton Health Access Initiative have ignored New York laws requiring them to disclose the names of foreign donors, and the state attorney general has refused to use his power to force them to do so, according to a Scripps News investigation.
hillary, clinton, foundation, charity, donors, pay for play
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2016-08-06
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 09:08 PM
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