Move along, nothing to see here. None of this is unethical or criminal and besides they’ve answered all the question so shut up.
State Department officials under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moved quickly when aides to Bill Clinton asked them in March 2010 to approve plans for the former president to address clients of a multinational British bank, Barclays. Within four days, the department’s ethics office signed off on the request — as it did for hundreds of others from the former president during his wife’s four-year tenure leading the agency.
Its standard response, fired off in a short memo: “We have no objection.”
Within four days. Meanwhile we still have no answers about her role in the Benghazi massacre or any access to her secret emails. But a fat payday for Bill and she’s tripping over herself to sign off on it.
That decision remained unchanged even after the Justice Department announced just months later, in August 2010, that Barclays Bank agreed to pay nearly $300 million in penalties for violating financial sanctions against Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Libya and Burma. The long-running case had hardly been a secret: Barclays had openly acknowledged in its annual reports — as recently as the same month as Clinton’s 2010 request — that it was under investigation by the Justice Department and others for sanctions violations, and it cautioned that the impact on its profits “could be substantial.”
In November, the former president mingled with top Barclays executives and clients at a bank-sponsored question session in Singapore. A little more than two months later, he again joined Barclays officers and clients at an exclusive dinner in Davos, Switzerland. The two appearances for Barclays netted Bill Clinton $650,000.
During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as the top U.S. diplomat, lawyers and other ethics officials in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser gave near-blanket approval to at least 330 requests for Bill Clinton’s appearance at speeches, dinners and events both in the U.S. and around the globe. More than 220 paid events earned the family nearly $50 million, according to a review of State Department documents and Hillary Clinton’s financial disclosure forms by The Associated Press.
Now, as Hillary Clinton moves forward with her presidential campaign, the ease with which her husband was repeatedly cleared to address companies and governments around the world highlights potential ethical complications that are likely to intensify if she becomes the country’s next president.
Gee, this might be a good time to hold a press conference to dispel all this “old news,” but she’s in hiding from the media. Funny, that.
“It’s politically going to be very treacherous,” said Jan Baran, head of the government ethics group at Washington law firm Wiley Rein LLP, who served as general counsel to the Republican National Committee. “It just becomes controversy all the time.”