Judicial Watch released 448 pages of newly discovered Department of State documents Friday that it says reveal new instances of "pay for play" in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's then-deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin provided special treatment to high-level Clinton Foundation donors.
The documents are heavily redacted and are part of the department's "slow walking" of documents it has been ordered to release by a federal court.
"The documents included six Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 439 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, 'as far as she knew,' all of her government emails had been turned over to the State Department," Judicial Watch wrote in a statement about the new document release. "A number of emails show the free flow of information and requests for favors between Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation."
Abedin—using her account on Clinton's personal email server—received one email in which the secretary's brother, Tony Rodham, told her he was acting as a representative for Richard Park, a major Clinton Foundation donor. That June 2009 email indicated Rodham was passing along a message to his sister on behalf of Park, who is listed as a donor in the $100,000 to $250,000 range by the Clinton Foundation.
In a July 2009, Clinton Global Initiative head Doug Band tells Abedin to "show love" to Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, another big-time donor who has given between $1 million and $5 million. He also asked to pass along a request that the secretary speak at a ceremony in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel was giving big-time donor Karlheinz Koegel a medal.
Band also pressed Abedin for help getting Clinton Foundation donor Michael Cohl, a Canadian concert promoter, help with a visa he was having difficulty getting processed. He passed along a request from someone who was seeking to become U.S. ambassador to Barbados, and another time, he discussed giving a "career post" in East Timor to someone—a request Abedin said the secretary's then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, was working on "under the radar."
"The emails show that the Clinton Foundation operative Band was involved in personnel matters at the Clinton State Department," the Judicial Watch statement reads. "The emails also show that Abedin received advice from her mother, Saleha Abedin (a controversial Islamist activist), on whom the Obama administration should appoint as the U.S. Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
"[Saleha Abedin] notes that she has obtained a recommendation from 'Hassan' (NFI), and that she'd reached out to 'Ishanoglu.' This is presumably Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish academic and the former Secretary-General of the OIC. Ihsanoglu famously called on the West to enact anti-Islamic blasphemy laws."
The new documents also demonstrate Clinton's lax approach to protecting matters of national security. A July 4, 2009, email from U.S. ambassador to Kenya Jonathan "Scott" Gration that the Department of State later redacted due to information about foreign governments, national defense and foreign policy was forwarded to Abedin's unsecured email account on Clinton's private server.
In the email, Gration discusses a meeting with Libyan president Muammar Qadafi in which he said he conveyed the U.S. government's "appreciation for Libya's role to improve relations between Chad and Sudan," and that the North African leader had promised to continue his "close collaboration" with the U.S. Qadafi was said to be "eager" to meet Clinton or Obama.
Ironically, Gration was later fired for, among other things, using personal email accounts to send sensitive government information. But, that wasn't the only incidence of inadequate internal controls over national security information.
"A document titled 'HRC PRIVATE LINE BLOCK' gives the planned whereabouts for President Obama for Thursday, June 4, 2009: 'Attend POTUS Foreign Policy Speech at Cairo University,'" Judicial Watch said in its statement. "In another example of lax concern for security, [Department of State aide Lona Valmoro] forwarded Clinton's detailed daily schedule for July 15, 2009, to officers of the Clinton Foundation, including Doug Band and Justin Cooper. Again, on July 26 Valmoro forwarded Hillary's detailed, sensitive daily schedule to numerous Clinton Foundation officials.
"In other examples of lax concern for security, on June 11, there is a reference to testing the 'federal preparedness and response for an international terrorist threat to the United States. [Principal-Level Exercise] will be a scenario-driven discussion for Cabinet secretaries, agency directors and administrators, senior officials in the executive office of the president or their approved representatives.' A document in Abedin's unsecure email account dated May 2009 titled 'The Secretary's Phone Call with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang' is marked sensitive but unclassified and fully redacted, as is a document titled 'The Secretary's Phone Call with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.'"
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said he is blown away by the overwhelming evidence of "pay for play" taking place during Clinton's tenure at the Department of State. He called on Congress and the White House to act upon it.
"I'm not sure how much more evidence of pay for play, classified information mishandling and influence peddling from Clinton's email server one would need to show a serious criminal investigation is required," he said.
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