The Washington Free Beacon found that some of the companies that directly paid Clinton in speaking fees also donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Together, nine companies paid Clinton $2,487,500 for her speeches and donated up to $6.7 million to the Clinton Foundation.
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The corporations include Qualcomm, Cisco, eBay, Corning, Deutsche Bank, and Salesforce, which all have business before the federal government. Congressional records indicate all of the aforementioned businesses lobbied Congress to the tune of $17,334,325 in 2014 alone.
The list of companies makes up nearly a quarter of all of Clinton’s speaking engagements. Two-thirds of those on the list lobbied Congress.
In total, 20 companies and associations that paid Clinton spent at least $350,000 in their lobbying efforts for a combined $72.5 million.
Corning, through its joint venture with Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, lobbied the State Department while Clinton was at the State Department. The company spent $620,000 on lobbying during the Clinton years. Dow Chemical has lobbied the State Department through a number of subsidiaries, and both Dow and Corning have donated large sums to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton and her team have spent most of 2015 fighting allegations she and Bill Clinton used their positions in government to personally and politically benefit from millions of dollars given directly to them and their foundation.
Clinton aides have defended the Clinton Foundation accepting millions of dollars from foreign countries with questionable human rights records, which may have sought to influence Clinton while she was secretary of state.
More than 180 of the companies that donated to the family foundation also lobbied the State Department during Clinton’s years as secretary of state. Similarly, corporations paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in speaking fees while lobbying Hillary on policies beneficial to their interests. Clinton defended both the foundation and his paid speeches: "I gotta pay our bills."
The Clinton Foundation on Thursday night reported up to $26 million in previously undisclosed donations from corporations, universities, foreign entities, and associations. The donations came as a result of numerous paid speeches the Clintons delivered on behalf of the foundation.
After Hillary Clinton left Foggy Bottom, she booked more than 40 speaking appearances for which she commanded six figures. The paid speeches were mostly for large corporations and associations.
"It’s big money. They’re spending it because they have far greater sums riding on those decisions that they’re trying to shape," Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told Time. "Corporations or associations must justifiably make these investments because everyone knew for many years that Clinton would always remain a power broker. Every man or woman on the street thought Hillary Clinton would run again."
The donations and speaking fees have drawn the scorn of many transparency groups and has even landed them on CN Navigator’s Watch List. The series of allegations from The New York Times and The Washington Post has negatively affected her poll numbers. NBC and The Wall Street Journal found only 25 percent of voters believe she is "honest and straightforward."
Political experts, including one who donated to the Clinton Foundation, have said there is no doubt that companies who donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid for the Clintons to speak at their event sought access to the elite government figures.
"But everybody also knows, when those donors give that money and President Clinton or someone, they get a picture with him, there’s a hope that that’s going to lead to something, and that’s what you have to be careful of," George Stephanopolous, ABC chief Washington correspondent and former Clinton press secretary, said.
In regards to the companies that also lobby Congress, their interest in Hillary Clinton is not based on positions she once held but the position they believe she will hold. The Clinton campaign, barely one month old, has combatted the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The Washington Post’s Matea Gold described the Clintons’ decision to charge large speaking fees as a "blurred line between personal and political."
"She's put herself in the position where people are going to question whether she was influenced by the money she was paid if she supports the trade agreements," Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told CBS. "One of the problems with these situations is even if she reaches her decision for reasons she truly believes in, people are going to question it. It undermines her credibility."
Neither the Clinton Foundation nor the Clinton campaign responded to requests for comment.
The candidate who once said she and Bill Clinton were "dead broke" are now worth well over $100 million, hundreds of times more than the average American.
In the last two years alone, the Clintons have made at least $30 million, primarily from speaking fees.