Report: Russian Government Initiative Gave Millions of Dollars to Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP
August 1, 2016

A Moscow-based technology initiative funded in part by the Russian government funneled tens of millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state, according to a new report released Monday.

As President Obama’s top diplomat, Clinton oversaw and facilitated the State Department’s failed five-year project to "reset" U.S.-Russia relations, which spurred the creation of Skolkovo, a research facility known as Russia’s version of Silicon Valley, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer wrote in a new report, titled "From Russia with Money."

Yet 17 of the 28 American, European, and Russian companies that participated in the Skolkovo initiative were Clinton Foundation donors or sponsored speeches for former President Bill Clinton.

The amount of money given to the foundation from "key" Skolkovo partners ranges from $6.5 to $23.5 million, according to Clinton Foundation data. The foundation only discloses donations in ranges, making it difficult to track the exact amount.

John Chambers, the head of Cisco and member of the Skolkovo Foundation, for example, donated between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the report. Intel Corporation–formerly headed by Craig Barrett, who served on the board of the Skolkovo Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative–has given between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton foundation.

The FBI and U.S. Army determined that Skolkovo had transformed into a "dangerous pathway" for Russian technological espionage and boosted the military’s technological capabilities.

Many Skolkovo research projects used "dual-use" technologies, meaning the operations have both civilian and military uses, the report said.

Among Skolkovo’s technological innovations were Russian hypersonic cruise missile engines, radar surveillance equipment, and vehicles built to deliver airborne Russian troops, Schweizer wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

The FBI in 2014 issued "an extraordinary warning" to U.S. tech companies against involvement in the Skolkovo initiative. The agency concluded that the "true motives" of the Russian partners, who were backed by President Vladimir Putin’s government, were to obtain "classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies."

"The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application," Lucia Ziobro, the assistant special agent at the FBI’s Boston office, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta sat on the executive board of Joule Energy, which claimed to pioneer technology based on harnessing energy from the sun and participated in the Skolkovo initiative.

During Podesta’s time on the board, a Putin-linked government fund gave $35 million to the company.

When Podesta became President Obama’s senior adviser, he failed to disclose his membership on the board in his federal financial disclosure forms as required by federal law.

"I think that everybody at the Russian reset table seems to walk away with something," Schweizer told the New York Post.

"The Clintons, they get their donations and speaking fees in the millions of dollars. The Russians get access to advanced US technology. The tech companies [that participated in the reset, including Cisco, Intel, Microsoft] get special access to the Russian market and workforce," Schweizer added. "At worst, [Russia gets] a more robust military, with technologies that we helped develop, and that can be sold to our enemies."