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Clinton Foundation Took Millions in Foreign Cash Before Hillary Left State Dept.

Hillary Clinton
AP
• February 26, 2015 10:55 am

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The Clinton Foundation started taking in millions of dollars worth of contributions from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was still at the State Department, according to a Washington Post report.

The foundation agreed in 2008 that it would not take foreign donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, but an exemption written into the ethics agreement allowed for continued donations from some foreign donors.

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.

Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations.

The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.

Among the countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation in the years that Clinton was at State are Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.

In one instance, foundation officials acknowledged they should have sought approval in 2010 from the State Department ethics office, as required by the agreement for new government donors, before accepting a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.

The money was given to assist with earthquake relief in Haiti, the foundation said. At the time, Algeria, which has sought a closer relationship with Washington, was spending heavily to lobby the State Department on human rights issues. […]

Some of the donations came from countries with complicated diplomatic, military and financial relationships with the U.S. government, including Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.

Qatar was making big donations to the Clinton Foundation while simultaneously spending millions lobbying the U.S. government.

Qatar, for instance, spent more than $5.3 million on registered lobbyists while Clinton was secretary of state, according to the Sunlight Foundation. The country’s lobbyists were reported monitoring anti-terrorism activities and efforts to combat violence in Sudan’s Darfur region. Qatar has also come under criticism from some U.S. allies in the region that have accused it of supporting Hamas and other militant groups. Qatar has denied the allegations.