NY Attorney General Let Clinton Charities Fail to Identify Foreign Donors

Hillary Clinton / AP
September 7, 2016

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman allowed the Clinton Foundation and one of its affiliates to fail to identify its foreign donors in charitable filings, a Scripps News investigation has found.

There is a $225 million discrepancy between what the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a Clinton Foundation subsidiary, told the state of New York it received in foreign government grants and what it reported to the IRS from 2010 to 2014, according to Scripps.

The impact means, experts say, details on the foreign government donations remain out of public view for anybody who might wish to know which governments gave what, and when. The charity did tell New York it received $8.2 million in domestic government grants over the same timeframe, signaling the vast majority of its government money comes from overseas.

New York’s state charity law says, "Organizations that received a contribution or grant from a government agency during the reporting period shall include the name of each agency from which contributions were received and the amount of each contribution," the New York Post reported Tuesday night, adding:

But both the foundation and the [health initiative] failed to do that, and Schneiderman, a member of Clinton’s "leadership council" in New York and a fierce critic of Donald Trump, did nothing about it.

Other charities complied, including the George W. Bush foundation, which reported receiving $5 million from Saudi Arabia and $500,000 from Kuwait.

Scripps also said in its report that Schneiderman, who donated the maximum $2,700 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign this cycle, is not enforcing state law.

Schneiderman’s failure to require compliance with New York law and written instructions from his own office keeps the public in the dark about whether the foreign governments that gave money to the Clinton charities also had special access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, experts in private foundation law say. New York state has long required more transparency from non-profits operating within its borders than many other regulators.

In 2009, the year Hillary Clinton took office as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation disclosed a lump sum of $122 million from foreign governments, but according to the New York charity law, each government donor needs to be listed separately.

Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin dismissed the report’s findings, saying, "This is a ridiculous accusation. The Clinton Foundation goes above and beyond the disclosure requirements by listing every donor on their website and updating the list quarterly."

The Clinton Foundation has been accused multiple times of skirting the law, with critics charging that foundation donors were given special access to the State Department while Clinton was secretary of state.