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Political Editors / Aug. 24, 2016

Half of Sec. Clinton’s ‘Private Meetings’ Profited Foundation

Some of the most damning proof involves a Russian deal for uranium.

“More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation,” reports the Associated Press. “It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.” The details? “At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Mrs. Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs.”

As we noted yesterday, a campaign spokesman insisted, “Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

It might be tough to prove action was taken on behalf of donors, especially when she deleted tens of thousands of emails, but it’s pretty clear that access was given for donors. And action may not be hard to see, either. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta founded the Podesta Group, which his brother Tony still runs. The firm was paid $180,000 to lobby the Clinton State Department on behalf of Uranium One, a company Russia bought to control one-fifth of the uranium production in the U.S. Secretary Clinton approved the deal, while Uranium One donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation, which she did not honor her agreement to publicly disclose. And Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow. That looks suspiciously like Clinton took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto wonders, “Why are we learning about this now, 3½ years after Mrs. Clinton left the State Department, 16 months after she officially became a candidate for president, and just 11 weeks before the election?” He finds the answer from the Associated Press. “Don’t blame the AP, which has been stonewalled by John Kerry’s State Department: ‘The AP sought [Mrs.] Clinton’s calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records.’”

(Updated.)

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