Report: Clinton Foundation Tried to 'Strong-Arm' Leading Charity Watchdog

May 11, 2015

A month before Hillary Clinton called for more transparency as an official candidate for president, her foundation tried to "strong-arm" a charity watchdog group that placed them on its watchlist, a report alleges.

On March 13, Charity Navigator, a watchdog group focused on providing transparency into charity organizations, placed the Clinton Foundation on its CN Watchlist for not answering questions about foreign donations from questionable governments, accepting donations from at least 60 companies that also lobbied the State Department, and violating their Memorandum of Understanding with the White House to disclose their donors all while Clinton was Secretary of State.

The Clinton Foundation engaged in an aggressive behind-the-scenes effort to disqualify and pressure Charity Navigator to take them off their list.

"They felt they were of such importance that we should deviate from our normal process. They were irritated by that," Ken Berger, former CEO of Charity Navigator, said.

Maura Pally, CEO of the Clinton Foundation, argued with Berger over the phone multiple times. The foundation suggested the Charity Navigator add a Republican as a co-chair so that the Clintons could shield themselves politically by claiming they were under a partisan attack.

The Clinton Foundation will remain on the CN Watchlist for at least six months.