Thomas Gallatin / Jul. 25, 2016

Who Paid for Bill's Speeches?

Questions grow regarding Hillary Clinton's funding sources.

The old adage states, “follow the money.” Of the many scandals that have dogged politicians over the years, one of the most common has to do with funding — in other words, who’s paying them and why? As Hillary Clinton is poised to accept the Democrat presidential nomination this week, more scrutiny is being focused on her funding sources and her husband’s speaking fees.

What has started to come to light is how intertwined the Clintons are with various lobbyist groups supported by foreign countries and individuals. For example, Tony Podesta owner of the Podesta Group, is the brother of John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Podesta is a top bundler for Hillary for America, bundling over $267,835 in contributions. Podesta was hired to work on behalf of Saudi interests.

Saudi Arabia, which has an extensive lobbying presence in the U.S., has pumped millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation over the years. But the foreign lobbying influence doesn’t end there. Podesta is also registered to lobby for Sberbank CIB USA Inc., which is a subsidiary of Russia’s largest bank. There is also Manatos & Manatos, a DC based firm hired by the VTB Group, a Russian financial company that is majority owned by the Russian government. (And Democrats complain that Russia leaked DNC docs to help Republicans. Please.) Add Turkey and Japan to the list of countries with lobbying ties to the Clintons.

The funding sources for several of Bill Clinton’s speeches are not so clear. The Beacon reported, “Hillary Clinton often listed small foreign speaking firms as the sources of her husband’s lecture payments in her Senate and State Department disclosures, even though the actual paychecks came from undisclosed third parties.” The Beacon added that as many as 30 of these third-party funding sources remain a mystery. Clinton may respond with, “what difference, at this point, does it make”? Hopefully, to the majority of Americans, it does make a difference.

Speaking of the difference, Clinton typified the couple’s attitude toward Rule of Law, complaining in an interview, “I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else.” Indeed there is, but not quite how she intended to convey.

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