Clinton Foundation Official Requests State Lunch Invitation, Special Seating for Foundation Allies, Emails Show.

A series of newly released State Department emails obtained by ABC News offers fresh insight on direct contact between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton‘s inner circle while she was Secretary of State.

The emails -– released as part of a public records lawsuit by conservative group Citizens United and shared exclusively with ABC — reveal what the group claims is new evidence Foundation allies received special treatment. [Read the emails here.]


    In one December 2010 email chain with Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin, then-top Clinton Foundation official Doug Band offers names for a State Department lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao scheduled for January 2011.


    On the list were three executives from organizations that have donated millions to the Clinton Foundation: Bob McCann, the then-president of wealth management at UBS; Dr. Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Hikmet Ersek, the CEO of Western Union.

    According to the Foundation website, the UBS Wealth Management USA has contributed between $500,001 and $1 million to the Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation has given between $10 million and $25 million, while Western Union and its foundation has contributed between $1 million and $5 million.

    Nearly two weeks later, Band followed up on email, specifically requesting Rodin be seated at Vice President Joe Biden’s table. “I’ll ask,” Abedin replied.

    In a separate exchange, Abedin forwarded to Band — outside the State Department — an attachment entitled “Updated China RSVP Guest List 1-5-11.” The attachment was not included in the documents received by ABC, but suggests sharing of information ahead of a state visit by President Hu Jintao in late January 2011.


    “There Is A Steady Drip Of Revelations About Overlapping Connections Between The Foundation And The State Department While Clinton Was Secretary Of State That Undermine The Declaration Before She Took That Job That There Would Be Clear Lines.”  – Tampa Bay Times

    Clintons Should Make Clean Break From Foundation

    There is a steady drip of revelations about overlapping connections between the foundation and the State Department while Clinton was secretary of state that undermine the declaration before she took that job that there would be clear lines. State Department emails released to the conservative group Judicial Watch show there were often communications between the State Department and supporters and donors to the Clinton Foundation. Among the examples: Foundation donor and Slim-Fast billionaire S. Daniel Abraham apparently got a State Department meeting; a Clinton ally intervened on behalf of the crown prince of Bahrain for a meeting; and another foundation donor sought help for a British soccer player with a criminal record who wanted a visa.


    Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that 85 of 154 people not tied to government whom Clinton met with or had phone conversations scheduled with had given money to the Clinton Foundation. Those included Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and Estee Lauder executives. Clinton and her allies strongly criticized the report, noting it covered less than half of her tenure as secretary of state and did not take into account more than 1,700 meetings with world leaders.


    Yet, the newly disclosed emails and news reports of Clinton’s interactions reflect the potential for conflicts of interest that fuel Trump’s overheated rhetoric. They also reinforce the findings of opinion polls that show most voters don’t trust Clinton or believe she is honest. To help counter that perception, the Clinton Foundation announced last week that former President Bill Clinton will resign from the board and that the foundation would stop accepting foreign and corporate donations. That is good as far as it goes, but as always with the Clintons there is an asterisk.


    The pragmatic solution to this ethical morass is to do what should have been done long ago: If Clinton wins the presidency, there should be a clean break between the family and the foundation. And that includes the daughter as well as the husband.