The Clinton Foundation has said it accepted a $1 million gift from the Qatari government without notifying the State Department that it had done so, an apparent violation of an ethics agreement Hillary Clinton signed when she became Secretary of State in 2009.
Under the terms of the agreement, Clinton promised the foundation would notify the State Department’s ethics official if a new foreign government wished to donate or if a current foreign donor wished to “increase materially” its contributions.
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark former President Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday. The following April, Amitabh Desai, the Clinton Foundation’s foreign policy director, emailed several of his colleagues to say that the Qataris wanted to meet Bill Clinton “‘for five minutes’ in NYC to present [the] check.” Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state until Feb. 1, 2013.
When contacted by Reuters, which first reported on the deal’s ethical ramifications, Clinton Foundation spokesman Brian Cookstra said the $1 million gift did not constitute a “material increase” in the Middle Eastern nation’s contributions.
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