You only need to glance at the notes from her team planning day in January 2010 to see the potential conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton's responsibilities as US Secretary of State and the aggressive global solicitation of money by the Clinton Foundation.
In 2007/8 Clinton battled with Barack Obama for nomination as the Democrats presidential candidate.
As part of a murky agreement with the Obama camp, Clinton withdrew and was made US Secretary of State - with some strict conditions.
So allow the lady herself to explain the situation.
The United States Government is regulated by the "Committee for the Federal Register". It holds in writing a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority applying to government officials and their powers/responsibilities.
The is the Section that applied to Bill Clinton during Hillary's time as Secretary of State.
(a) Consideration of appearances by the employee.
Where an employee knows that a particular matter involving specific parties is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest of a member of his household, or knows that a person with whom he has a covered relationship is or represents a party to such matter, and where the employee determines that the circumstances would cause a reasonableperson with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the employee should not participate in the matter unless he has informed the agency designee of the appearance problem and received authorization from the agency designee in accordance withparagraph (d) of this section.
(1) In considering whether a relationship would cause a reasonable person to question his impartiality, an employee may seek the assistance of his supervisor, an agency ethics official or the agency designee.
(2) An employee who is concerned that circumstances other than those specifically described in this section would raise a question regarding his impartiality should use the process described in this section to determine whether he should or should not participate in a particular matter.
On 12 December 2008 the Clinton Foundation and President-elect Obama's "office" signed a memorandum of understanding - we discussed the document and in particular the ramifications for Rudd here.
The MOU obliged the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton to do a number of things:
- Publish the names and amounts given by donors
- Separately incorporate and spin off the Clinton Global Initiative - with Bill Clinton excluded from holding an officer or director role or any fiduciary connection with the new entity
- Bill Clinton not to solicit funds for the Foundation
- CGI not to accept funds from foreign governments
- Prior to any arm of the Foundation entering any paid contract with an entity from any foreign country, the details of the proposed transaction are to be given to the State Department Ethics Office for independent review. The State Department Ethics office will then send the matter for review to the White House Ethics Counsel. Both Clinton and the Clinton Foundation agree to be bound by the Ethics Office decisions.
That means that every single speech, every contract, every Sir Michael Somare hair-brained scheme had to be sent to the Ethicists for prior approval.
I have read every document supplied to Judicial Watch by the US State Department in compliance with a US Court order.
Sadly most of them are heavily redacted - most of the 3 pages in this "Saudi Entities" request for approval are whited out, redacted for the allowable reason B5 under the US FOI provisions:
For almost all of the requests the best case information is something like this:
After spending so much time with these documents I'm getting some feel for the way the process flowed.
As an example on 14 June, 2010 Hillary Clinton made a major policy announcement as US Secretary of State about sub-Saharan Africa.
Clinton's Remarks on Sub-Saharan Africa, June 2010
Speaker: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Published June 14, 2010
Secretary of State Clinton gave these remarks and press conference on June 14, 2010 in Washington, DC.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. Well, thank you all very much and welcome again. I know you’ve been welcomed over and over again, but it’s a delight to have you here in the State Department for this briefing on Sub-Saharan Africa and the issues that affect the countries in that region and our relationship with them.......
.......We’ve also made a major commitment to improving health in Africa. In addition to continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, and polio, the Obama Administration has pledged $63 billion over five years for all of our health programs. And we are paying particular attention to Africa and especially to the health of women and children.
And where was the Clinton Foundation?
Bill Clinton was in South Africa for the World Cup which started 11 June 2010. As his tour progressed something caused more than a ripple of concern for the US State Department's ethics people.
Many proud men and women have made wonderful contributions to the world through years of service as diplomats and other officers in the US State Department's embassies, missions and aid agencies.
I'm sure the good and sensible amongst their number would have been keen to avoid optics like this - compare and contrast the US Secretary of State's official arrival at Bogota Colombia representing the US Government with the grainy photo alongside Bill later that night.
In our next instalment we come back to PNG's Michael Somare and the illusory Port Moresby super-hospital.
Be warned - the grubbiness will leave you wanting a long hot shower.