“A 2011 confidential memo written by a longtime Bill Clinton aide during Hillary Clinton’s State Department tenure describes the overlap between the former president’s business ventures and fundraising for the family’s charities. The former aide also described free travel and vacations arranged for the Clintons by corporations, reinforcing ethics concerns about the Democratic presidential nominee.
The 13-page memo, by Doug Band, was included in hacked emails from the private account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that were released by WikiLeaks. Band, describing the former president’s management of “Bill Clinton Inc.,” laid out the “unorthodox nature” of how he and other aides navigated between Bill Clinton’s dual interests in seeking out speaking and consulting ventures around the world while he raised funds for the Clinton Foundation.
In the November 2011 memo, Band described “more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date.”
(…) Band wrote the memo to lawyers hired by the Clinton Foundation to audit the organization’s structure and operations. It did not specifically cite ethics concerns, and in a new statement, Thursday Band told The Associated Press that his firm, Teneo, “never received any financial benefit or benefit of any kind” for its work for the Clinton Foundation. Band did not elaborate on what gifts Bill Clinton obtained from his speech and consulting clients.
Hillary Clinton met with or spoke to representatives of at least 15 companies and organizations that paid her husband for speaking engagements during her tenure as secretary of state, according to a review of her planning schedules from the State Department.
(…) Band’s memo described how he and Justin Cooper, another long-time Bill Clinton aide, helped the former president and his family obtain gifts of “personal travel, hospitality, vacation” and air travel arrangements. Financial records Hillary Clinton filed between 2009 and 2013 listed speeches and limited business income that Bill Clinton earned during her government service but did not list any travel, vacation or other gifts that Band cited in his memo.
(…) Under federal disclosure rules overseen by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, federal officials and office seekers are not required to list gifts provided to a spouse if the gifts are “independent of their relationship to you.”
(…) Richard Painter, the top ethics official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said he was concerned with Bill Clinton’s use of aides who dealt with his private business clients as well as Clinton Foundation donors. In cases Band outlined in the memo, Clinton’s speech clients ended up as donors to his family’s charity.
“The two should not be conflated because the Clinton Foundation cannot be used for the personal enrichment of anybody including the former president,” Painter said.
Critics have raised concerns about the multiple roles of Clinton aides.
Hillary Clinton’s top aides at the State Department – among them her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and long-time aide Huma Abedin – at times held multiple roles, according to congressional investigators and the State Department. Abedin worked for the foundation, Teneo and Hillary Clinton after stepping down from her full-time job at the State Department. Mills received permission in early 2009 to work as a “special government employee” for the State Department while she also held a position with the Clinton Foundation. Tech specialist Bryan Pagliano performed private tasks overseeing Hillary Clinton’s private computer server at the same time he worked for the State Department. (Read more: Washington Times, 10/28/2016) (Memo PDF) (Memo Archived Copy)