Charisma Caucus

WikiLeaks: The Clinton Foundation Had Its Fingers in Everything the State Department Was Doing

President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton had become concerned about for-profit endeavors of her father, President Bill Clitnon, and how they might impact the Clinton Foundation's charity status. (Reuters photo)

In a Nov. 16, 2011, memo to high-ranking members of the Clinton Foundation leadership, longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band detailed the many twisted dealings that intertwined his Teneo Holdings, the foundation, and the State Department.

The memo was the result of a longstanding rift that had grown between Band and Chelsea Clinton, who served as a member of the foundation's Board of Directors and was concerned about the impact certain activities would have on the foundation's status as a tax-exempt charity. She had even gone so far as to hire attorneys to investigate those dealings and their potential impact.

In the memo, Band wrote:

"Given concerns that have been expressed about the role of Teneo in the Foundation's and the President's activities, as well as regarding support I provide for President's for-profit business activities, I wanted to take this opportunity to share information and help clarify my activities on behalf of the President –both on behalf of non-profit Foundation activities and the management of the his for-profit business opportunities.

"Throughout the past almost 11 years since President Clinton left office, I have sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the Foundation. This memorandum strives to set forth how I have endeavored to support the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton personally."

Then, Band went into great detail about the intertwined financial dealings of Teneo Holdings, the Clinton Foundation, and the U.S. State Department under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He broke it all down under the following headings in the 13-page memo:

  • Foundation Fundraising
  • Teneo
  • For-Profit Activity of President Clinton
  • President Clinton Paid Speeches
  • Other Matters

"Justin Cooper and I have, for the past ten years, served as the primary contact and point of management for President Clinton's activities—which span from political activity (e.g., campaigning on behalf of candidates for elected office), to business activity (e.g., providing advisory services to business entities with which he has a consulting arrangement), to Foundation activity (e.g., supporting his engagement on behalf of the initiatives and affiliated entities of the Foundation), to his speech activity (e.g., soliciting speeches and staffing and supporting him on speech travel) to his book activity (e.g., editing his books and arranging and supporting him on book tours) to supporting family/personal needs (e.g., securing in-kind private airplane travel, in-kind vacation stays, and supporting family business and personal needs)," Band wrote. "In the unique roles in which we have had the opportunity to serve, we have been able to help balance the multiplicity of activities that demand his time and engagement to best fulfill his personal, political, business, official former President, and Foundation/non-profit goals.

"We appreciate the unorthodox nature of our roles, and the goal of seeking ways to ensure we are implementing best practices to protect the 501(c)3 status of the Foundation.[1] As we go forward, we welcome the opportunity to identify better strategies for serving the President, the Foundation and its affiliated entities."

Donald Trump's campaign pounced on the newly released information. Spokesman Jason Miller wondered why, if the board of the Clinton Foundation was concerned that activities could put the foundation's status as a charity in jeopardy, did they continue to engage in those activities.

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