Wikileaks has issued new and troubling emails from its hacking of Democratic accounts. Top Clinton aide Doug Band sent emails that raised objections to the use of the Foundation by Bill Clinton over alleged conflicts of interest. He specifically mentions the giving of “expensive gifts” and other conduct from sponsors. At the same time, top Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, is found complaining about a “mess” created by Hillary Clinton in securing a massive contribution from the King of Morocco of $12 million allegedly in exchange (or with the expectation) for a meeting with her as part of an event for the Clinton Global Initiative May 2015.
The Band disclosure concerns the Clinton Global Initiative and a new business started by top Clinton aide Doug Band called Teneo Holdings. Both Band and Clinton’s held dual positions with Teneo and CGI. Bond wrote a November 17th email to John Podesta, Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and long-time Clinton confidant. He objected to Pedestal that “I signed a conflict of interest policy as a board member of cgi . . . Oddly, [Bill Clinton] does not have to sign such a document even though he is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors, gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc. . . I could add 500 different examples of things like this.” Band was on the Clinton Foundation payroll through 2011, but, in June 2011, he and co-founder Declan Kelly, a former economic envoy for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, started Teneo in June 2011. They then made Bill Clinton a paid adviser. Chelsea Clinton was then appointed to the CGI board. Teneo then accepted money from groups like MF Global, a controversial brokerage firm that reportedly lost $600 million of investors’ money and had business deals that could be benefited by an association with the Secretary of State.
At the time of the emails, the Clinton campaign staff were worried that there were questions being asked abut the relationship between CGI and Teneo. Band comes across as defensive and accusatory. He indicated that he knew of far worse conflicts by Bill Clinton and demanded “How then do we go through an exercise like this and [Bill Clinton] doesn’t as he is far more conflicted every single day in what he does?” Band later raised a Hillary Clinton with even worse “issues.”
In the meantime, Abedin (who is generally viewed as Hillary Clinton’s closest aide) authored a startling email that suggested a type of quid pro quo by Hillary Clinton in a foundation trade-off with Morocco for $12 million commitment to meet with the King of Morocco. The critical memo came in January 2015 with two top advisers Podesta and Robby Mook. It appeared that after cutting the deal for the money, Clinton had gotten cold feet due to the election. Abedin wrote that “this was HRC’s idea” and “she created this mess and she knows it.” It was decided that Hillary Clinton who go to campaign in Nevada and California while they had Bill and Chelsea meet with the Moroccans. Morocco at the time was under great pressure for what the U.S. government denounced as “arbitrary arrests and corruption.”
The last presidential debate with moderator Chris Wallace was the first to seriously probe allegations of a “pay to play” scheme associated with the Foundation. Clinton did not respond directly to the allegations but these emails are likely to magnify the concerns in the final weeks of the campaign.