New Emails Highlight Ties Between Clinton Foundation, State Department

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP

Newly released State Department emails published Tuesday underlined overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The 296 pages of emails, released by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, detailed instances of top Clinton Foundation officials rewarding their donors with access to the State Department.

In an April 2009 exchange, a top associate at the foundation pushed to set up a meeting between a billionaire donor and the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s affairs in the region.

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Another email showed an associate thanking a longtime Clinton aide for the opportunity to go on an "eye-opening" trip with the foundation to Haiti and appeared to be seeking work at the State Department. The agency redacted the person’s name from the email.

Douglas Band, who headed the Clinton Global Initiative, wrote to top Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills that it was "important to take care of" the associate’s request.

"We have all had him on our radar. Personnel has been sending him options," Abedin replied.

Judicial Watch said that the newly released documents included 44 emails that Clinton had not previously handed over to the State Department. Clinton gave roughly 55,000 pages of emails to the agency, which she said comprised all of her "work-related" emails. Judicial Watch obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, accused Clinton of withholding the documents because they contradicted her 2009 vow to sever ties with the Clinton Foundation during her time as secretary of state.

Fitton told the New York Times that the documents showed "the State Department and Clinton Foundation worked hand in hand in terms of policy and donor effort."

The Clinton campaign said the exchanges between Band and Clinton’s aides regarding foundation donors did not "involve the secretary or relate to the foundation’s work."

"They are communications between her aides and the President’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the Secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the Foundation," the campaign said in a statement.

Donald Trump’s national policy director told CNN that the newly released emails showed that Clinton "views public office as nothing more than a means to personal enrichment."