Family Matters: Eccentric Siblings Put Strain on Clinton Fortune

Bill Clintons half-brother, Roger Clinton, rallies a crowd. (AP)
July 7, 2015

The Washington Post and the New York Times have published new details this week about the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton and their wayward siblings. Bill's half-brother Roger Clinton, and Hillary's brothers Hugh and Tony Rodham, have all benefited from their ties to the most successful power couple in politics, yet have little to show for it.

The Times reports that Roger Clinton, who received a pardon from President Clinton for a 1985 cocaine conviction, is currently living in an $850,000 house in the Los Angeles suburbs purchased by the former president through a limited liability corporation while Rogers was in debt to the IRS to the tune of almost $60,000. He also tried to use his family ties to cash in on a business venture building houses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti:

More recently, Roger Clinton parlayed his family ties into a consulting arrangement with a group of builders hoping to sell houses in Haiti, where Bill Clinton’s private foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s State Department helped direct recovery efforts after the 2010 earthquake. Roger Clinton’s intended role, previously unreported, was to use his connections to help win approvals, said Wayne Coleman, a Houston businessman involved in the project, which ultimately went nowhere.

"I paid Roger $100,000," Mr. Coleman said. "Basically, he promised to get us a contract through the Clinton Foundation for a project over there. What he was really trying to do was sell the influence of his brother."

Roger, who is also an actor who starred in films such as Spy Hard, Bio Dome, and The Rugrats Movie, is not the only Clinton sibling who attempted to exploit family connections in order to cash in on the devastation in Haiti. (He is, however, the only one known to have performed in North Korea.)

Hillary's brother Tony also sought to facilitate construction contracts through the Clinton Foundation, and joined the advisory board of a U.S. company with gold-mining rights in Haiti after meeting the CEO at a Clinton Foundation event. Tony also got hooked-up with a job at current Virginia governor (and former Clinton campaign operative) Terry McAuliffe's electric car company after "complaining to my brother-in-law I didn't have any money," the Post reports. The Clintons have "given me money all the time," Rodham said during court proceedings in a lawsuit filed by his former attorney over unpaid legal bills. The former first couple, for example, has paid for Rodham's son's school tuition, including a weekly allowance.

Florida attorney Hugh Rodham is the most low-key of the siblings, although he did wage a failed campaign for Senate in 1994, beating a UFO conspiracy theorist to win the Democratic nomination before losing to Republican Connie Mack by 40 points. Hugh Rodham, like Roger Clinton, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby President Clinton for pardons on behalf of clients in the late 1990s.

"Their brothers have always been there for them, and they will always be there for their brothers," Clinton representatives told the Post in a joint statement.