Corruption: What is it about Democrats and the State Department?
Despite their repeated claims of transparency, it turns out that
both Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry
used their positions to enrich members of their own families --
at taxpayer expense.
As the murky ties between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's
State Department become clearer, a new report from the Daily
Caller notes that current Secretary of State Kerry's daughter
received money for her nonprofit group from State.
Indeed, the Daily Caller investigation shows that more than $9
million of State Department money made its way through the Peace
Corps to the nonprofit started by Dr. Vanessa Kerry, John
Kerry's daughter. And the money was handed out without
Kerry's nonprofit, Seed Global Health, got its first contract in
2012. Yes, that was when Hillary was still in office. But John
Kerry then was a senator who headed the Committee on Foreign
Relations, which is charged with overseeing both the State
Department and the Peace Corps.
There is a clear conflict of interest there.
That's bad enough. But last year, in September, the Seed group
got a four-year extension on its deal while John Kerry was
secretary of state.
Another conflict of interest. Crony capitalism, anyone? Whether
you think that what Seed does in Africa -- it helps train
doctors and nurses -- is valuable or not, this no-competition
grant to a nonprofit founded by a top official's daughter reeks
of rank favoritism at best, corruption at worst.
"Kerry and government officials colluded to launch the program
and ensure that Seed would get the contract," the Daily Caller
concluded, after reviewing the relevant memos and papers related
to the deal.
But it doesn't end there. Because, even as the Kerry deal was
being revealed, further strands of the heretofore hidden ties
between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton
Foundation and a mysterious Russian billionaire with close ties
to Vladimir Putin are coming to light.
The Washington Examiner got its hands on emails showing that the
Clinton Foundation sought ties with Russian billionaire Viktor
Vekselberg at a time when he was in charge of an important
element of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "Russian
Hillary helped create "a major technology transfer initiative"
that "may have substantially undermined U.S. national security,"
according to Peter Schweizer, president of the Government
Accountability Institute and the author of " Clinton Cash."
Part of the "reset" was the creation of "Skolkovo," an
industrial enclave near Moscow that was to become a kind of
Russian Silicon Valley. The idea was to encourage U.S. firms to
help out with both technology and investment, in exchange for
Despite warnings from both the FBI and her own State Department
about the possibility of Russia getting access to militarily
sensitive technologies, Hillary went ahead with the program. Why?
At the time, Vekselberg -- head of the Skolkovo Foundation and a
pal of Vladimir Putin -- was also a contributor to the Clinton
Foundation. These ties later proved quite lucrative, with 17 of
the 28 American companies that participated in the Skolkovo
project also being donors to the Clinton Foundation.
All the way back in 2010, as Skolkovo was getting underway,
former President Bill Clinton traveled to Russia to deliver a
speech for which he was paid $500,000 by a mysterious Russian
investment bank named "Renaissance Capital." While there he met
with a variety of movers and shakers, including Vekselberg.
With the Clintons, one hand always washes the other.
Now that it has been revealed that thousands of emails on
Hillary's unsecured home-brew server have been intentionally
destroyed, it is certainly fitting to wonder whether damning or
incriminating evidence about the Clinton Foundation and its ties
to Hillary's office at the State Department was destroyed.
The U.S. State Department used to be known for its high-toned
and principled stands in defense of U.S. foreign-policy goals
and interests. But today, after two Democratic leaders, it
appears to be more of a revolving door for crony capitalists.
We would hope Congress would continue to investigate the email
scandal and what appears to be rampant abuse of office that has
taken place at the State Department over the past eight years.
Such clear conflicts of interest used to raise political hackles.
Congress should, at minimum, make sure that future secretaries
of state no longer abuse their office to personally enrich their
families and friends. Anything less is to condone criminality.