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April 29, 2015

You're Not Quite Going to Believe This, But Hillary Clinton Is, Get This, Refusing to Disclose 1,100 of Her Big Money Foreign Donors

@benk84 already covered this, but Sean Davis has a little more, so first, the news report. Bloomberg's Green and Rubin:

Hillary Clintonís presidential run is prompting new scrutiny of the Clintons' financial and charitable affairs--something thatís already proved problematic for the Democratic frontrunner, given how closely these two worlds overlap. Last week, the New York Times examined Bill Clintonís relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra's company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received "a flow of cash" to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company's chairman totaling $2.35 million.

Giustra strenuously objects to how he was portrayed....

"We're not trying to hide anything," he says. There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP. "All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation--every penny--and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified," he says.

"We're not trying to hide anything."

We're not trying to hide anything, he says, about the hiding of the names of 1,100 wealthy foreign donors to a presidential candidate.

The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the "Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative" (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow "the same protocols."

It hasn't.

Giustra says thatís because Canadaís federal privacy law forbids CGEP, a Canadian-registered charity, from revealing its donors.

Hillary and Giustra claim Canadian law forbids disclosing the donors-- but Sean Davis has contacted some experts in Canadian law, and they say that's just not true.

BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.

If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, thatís because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization....


Multiple Canadian tax and privacy law experts contacted by The Federalist, the Washington Post, and BloombergPolitics said there was no such blanket prohibition on public disclosure of charitable donor identities. While Canada does include a ban on the release of donor information in the course of commercial activity, it specifically exempts fundraising from that definition. And because the public disclosure of a donor's name doesn't include any transaction or consideration, it's not considered to be commercial activity.

"Federal law prohibits disclosure related to commercial activity: things like selling, renting, or bartering of a list. Fundraising is not a covered activity under PIPEDA, the federal privacy law," Adam Aptowitzer, a Canadian charitable organization attorney, told The Federalist.

...

The Clinton Foundationís deliberate misinterpretation of Canadian privacy law in order to rationalize its secrecy raises several questions, chief among them: why?

I think Hillary's question would be, "Why not?"


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posted by Ace at 11:44 AM

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