Clinton Foundation Donors Given Access to Former Secretary of State

Emails show Abedin was go-between for donors who went on to bundle for the Clinton campagn

Hillary Clinton
August 22, 2016

Several Clinton Foundation donors who went on to become Hillary Clinton bundlers had quick access to Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, new State Department emails show.

The email exchanges, obtained and released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, show that top Clinton aide Huma Abedin was the go-between for donors who sought meetings with Clinton.

One of the individuals given access to Clinton was SlimFast businessman S. Daniel Abraham, who has contributed between $5 and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the charity’s public list of donors.

"Danny abraham called this morning. He is in dc today and tomorrow and asked for 15 min with you. Do u want me to try and fit him in tomorrow?" Abedin, now vice-chairwoman for Clinton’s presidential campaign, wrote in an email dated May 4, 2009. "Will the plane wait if I can’t get there before 7-8?" Clinton responded the same day. "Yes of course," Abedin wrote.

Abraham has since raised $100,000 or more for Hillary for America, landing himself on the campaign’s "Hillblazers" list of high-dollar donors and bundlers.

Abedin also coordinated communication between other Clinton Foundation donors, including Kevin O’Keefe, Maureen White, and Joyce Aboussie, all three of whom have raised $100,000 or more for Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Additionally, Jill Iscol, who with her husband Ken has contributed between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton in a May 16, 2009 email to meet with Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of the non-profit global venture capital fund Acumen. Clinton directed Abedin to print the email, according to the exchange. Novogratz was ultimately appointed to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, launched by Clinton in December 2011. Jill Iscol is now a top bundler for Hillary for America.

The newly released emails also show that Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain was given speedy access to Clinton through Clinton Foundation channels. According to one exchange, Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band helped Salman secure a meeting with Clinton within 48 hours when attempts through "normal channels" failed.

"He asked to see hrc thurs and fri thru normal channels. I asked and she said she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel. Also she says that she may want to go to ny and doesn’t want to be committed to stuff in ny," Abedin wrote to Band on June 23, 2009.

Two days later Abedin wrote, "Offering Bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for meeting woith [sic] hrc … We have reached out thru official channels."

Salman established the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program for the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, and the Kingdom of Bahrain has given between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Bahrain Petroleum Company, which is wholly owned by the government of Bahrain, has also contributed between $25,000 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

The emails were obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department over records of Abedin’s communications. Twenty of the email exchanges were not among those turned over to the State Department in 2014, though Clinton has insisted she handed the agency all of the work-related communications on her personal email. Judicial Watch has released other email exchanges showing Clinton Foundation donors getting access and other perks during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.