FBI has been investigating Clinton Foundation for months: report
2018-01-05 21:03 UTC by USA TODAY
The FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation and whether the former first couple offered any policy favors for charitable contributions.
WASHINGTON – The FBI has been investigating for months the Clinton Foundation and whether the former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered any policy favors for charitable contributions, according to a new report.
Agents in the FBI’s field office in Little Rock, Ark., are trying to determine if there is any relationship between donations to the charity and official acts when Clinton was the nation’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, the Hill newspaper first reported, citing law enforcement officials and a witness.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly accused Clinton, the Democratic Party’s nominee, of “pay to play.” Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon wrote a documentary alleging the Clintons got rich from their connections with big business and foreign governments.
Representatives for the foundation and Hillary Clinton strongly rejected the basis of the investigation, saying the Trump administration is abusing the Justice Department’s powers to punish political enemies and to deflect from a separate probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign.
“Let’s call this what it is: A sham,” Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman, said in an email. “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football.
“It began with a long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign,” Merrill continued. “It continues with (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently.”
The investigation may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were used for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws, according to The Hill.
The Washington Post reported that there is some skepticism inside both the Justice Department and the FBI that the case will lead to any charges.
In August of 2016 during the campaign, the State Department released emails from former Clinton aide Huma Abedin that conservative groups said showed evidence of “special expedited access to the secretary of State” for some donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Many of the exchanges involve former top Foundation executive Doug Band.
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