Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Network

Something is definitely rotten in Washington, DC when a politician is not charged for crimes committed during their tenure in office.  Such is the case of Hillary Clinton who among other things has lied to Congress on more than one occasion.  Some years ago Rita Lavelle served time and was fined for lying to Congress (she had something to do with the EPA).  Now probably no one remembers Rita Lavelle but the point I would like to make is that if you're a notable somebody with lots of connections  chances of you going to jail are pretty slim.  Hillary Clinton has lots of connections...and she is very adept at using them.  And she fears not the Congress who has the power (ever since 1857) to arrest her but won't.  Just who are some of her connections is probably a nightmare to figure out but Sarah Westwood has made it much simpler for us with her depiction (below) of the Clinton Network.  The only thing that I will add to this is the Clinton Global Inititive (CGI) or the so-called Clinton Foundation is a well known front for the New World Order and all these connections must be part and parcel to the conspiracy to undermine the United States of America. ~ Norman E. Hooben

Interactive graphic: Hillary Clinton's insider network
by Sarah Westwood
The Clinton network - a who's who
Hover over a line to see past, current and future relationships, drag dots to rearrange. (If the interactive function does not load click  here. )
 ↑ For Interactive Chart Click Here 
Photo - Questions abound about the ethically ambiguous blend of money, access and power at the nexus of the Clinton Foundation. (AP Photo) Questions abound about the ethically ambiguous blend of money, access and power at the nexus of...
Hillary Clinton is poised to announce her second presidential bid but questions about her ethically ambiguous blend of money, access and power will dog her through the campaign.
The links between her Clinton Foundation charity, her work as secretary of state, and her political ambitions are multitudinous and tangled.
Lurking behind the campaign launch is last month's stunning news that Clinton set up a secret email account and server to use for official business and has since destroyed emails on it that were wanted by congressional investigators.
Her campaign launch will refocus attention on the protective group of insiders surrounding the former first lady and New York senator, many of whom would likely win senior jobs in her administration if she wins.
The complicated network has prompted concerns over the conflicts of interest when this cadre of aides — many of them veterans of her husband's two terms in the Oval Office — are dispatched to the family foundation, the upper echelons of the State Department and past and present presidential campaigns
Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the Public Citizen nonprofit activist group, said the overlapping priorities of the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's cabinet position likely spawned a host of conflicts of interest.
"That is inherent when a candidate or lawmaker sets up a 501(c)(3) that they control," Holman said. "Corporations and foreign governments that have business pending before the federal government — and the State Department in particular — will find ways to throw a lot of money at the foundation just as a means of buying access."
Lurking around, behind and within it all is an obscure consulting firm whose most notable commodity is privileged access to that insular world, Teneo Holdings.
Douglas Band, who became Bill Clinton's closest aide after he left the White House, was both a leading architect of the first family's philanthropic machine and a Teneo founder. His decade-long proximity to the president put him in contact with political and corporate leaders around the world, affording him powerful connections he monetized by creating Teneo.
Similarly, Teneo's co-founder, Declan Kelly, embarked on the lucrative endeavor with Band in 2011 fresh from a stint as the Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for the State Department.
Hillary hand-picked Kelly for the position, which her husband had created in 1995 for former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. A consummate Washington power player, Mitchell has since joined Kelly and Band at Teneo as a senior adviser.
Teneo first attracted public notice in 2011 when the State Department approved a "consultancy arrangement" in which the former president became a partner in the firm, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
But the deal was scrapped just eight months later following the collapse of Teneo client MF Global, an ill-fated financial management firm run by Jon Corzine, the former Democratic senator and governor from New Jersey.
The former president's presence on the Teneo board raised eyebrows when MF Global disintegrated in spectacular fashion with Corzine at the helm. The firm's disgraced leader told Congress in 2011 he "simply did not know" how more than $1 billion disappeared from MF Global's books before it folded that year.
Clinton publicly distanced himself from Teneo in 2012 by eschewing his paid status for that of a "friend and an unpaid adviser." Band's biography on the Teneo web site still features effusive praise from the former chief executive saying he "couldn't have achieved half of what I have in my post presidency without Doug Band. Doug is my counselor and a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was created at his suggestion."
Corzine's short-lived contract with Teneo wasn't his only entrée into Clinton-world, however. He has donated between $100,000-250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show. His wife, Sharon Corzine, gave $25,000 — the maximum legal donation — to the Ready for Hillary PAC in March 2014, according to
The former New Jersey senator and governor was also a major supporter of Hillary's first White House bid, endorsing her early in the 2008 campaign and bundling over $100,000 in contributions, the Center for Public Integrity reported.
Corzine's multi-faceted financial support isn't unique. Funneling money into the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's campaign coffers or allied political action committees is standard operating procedure among her inner circle.
Elizabeth Bagley — a longtime Clinton supporter who was appointed ambassador to Portugal by President Clinton in 1994 — gave between $1-5 million to the Clinton Foundation and $5,000 to Ready for Hillary, foundation records and show.
Bagley also enjoyed a plum State Department position under Hillary, who named her special representative for global partnerships in 2009. That position tasked her with drumming up donations and private partnerships, much as does the Clinton Global Initiative, a key arm of the Clinton Foundation.
Bagley's State Department successor, Kris Balderston, had served with the Clintons since their White House days and followed Hillary to the Senate as her legislative director and, later, her deputy chief of staff. Balderston has also served as a senior policy adviser to Mitchell at Teneo.
Balderston's communications with Band while at State are the focus of a lawsuit filed by Citizens United, as the Washington Examiner reported in March.
Dennis Cheng's extensive work for the foundation, at the State Department and on Hillary's past and future campaigns, has also made him a subject of records inquiries by outside groups.
Cheng won a Clinton appointment to deputy chief of protocol at State in 2009, a prestigious post that allowed him influence on contacts among President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton and foreign heads of state.
He departed the agency in 2011 to join the Clinton Foundation as its chief development officer, a position from which he cultivated donors from around the world while his former boss at the State Department continued as the nation's top diplomat.
Cheng has also worked simultaneously for both the Clinton Foundation and the unofficial 2016 campaign fundraising team in the months prior to its official launch, CNN reported.
But the most prominent embodiment of the inter-connectedness and potential conflicts of interest within the Clinton inner circle is Huma Abedin, whose stints at the foundation, the State Department, Teneo and Hillary's campaigns have put her at the center of a Senate Judiciary Committee probe led by the panel's chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
Abedin secured the rare designation as a special government employee in 2012, which allowed her to collect paychecks from Teneo and the Clinton Foundation, even as she received the $135,000 salary she drew from taxpayers as Hillary's deputy chief of staff, Politico reported in 2013.
Abedin is expected to wield substantial power in the upcoming campaign, having personally surveyed sites for its Brooklyn headquarters before Hillary signed the lease April 1.
Others, like Cheryl Mills and Terry McAuliffe, ascended to the upper ranks of the Clinton Foundation long before enlisting in Hillary's 2008 campaign.
McAuliffe, now the Democratic governor of Virginia, joined the foundation's board of directors in 2000, with Mills signing on four years later. A long-time Clinton fundraiser and former Democratic National Committee head, he also arranged the financing that enabled the Clintons to buy their Chappaqua, N.Y., mansion.
Mills, whose position as deputy White House counsel during President Clinton's administration put her at the forefront of his impeachment defense in 1998, remained on the board while working as a senior adviser to the 2008 campaign, then became Hillary Clinton's State Department chief of staff. She returned to the foundation in 2013.
The foundation's acting CEO, Maura Pally, joined the charity shortly after Hillary added her name to its masthead in 2013 and after serving as deputy counsel on the 2008 team. Pally spent the intervening years in the State Department as the deputy assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs. Her presence in the Clinton fold dates back to the Clinton presidency, where she was special assistant in the Office of White House Counsel.
The exact nature of former Obama senior counsel John Podesta's involvement with the Clinton Foundation is not entirely clear. Members of his family, including brother Tony Podesta and ex-sister-in-law Heather Podesta, have given heavily to the foundation.
John Podesta was also listed as a participant in high-level meetings about the foundation's operations during a corporate review of the charity in 2011 by consulting firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. But elsewhere, his precise position at the philanthropic organization remains vague.
Podesta, who served as Clinton's chief of staff in 1998, decamped the White House earlier this year to take a top position on Hillary's 2016 team. He will likely serve as campaign chairman, with Robby Mook, who ran McAuliffe's successful gubernatorial bid in 2013, slated to serve as campaign manager.
For their part, Clinton spokesmen Nick Merrill and Philippe Reines have spent much of 2015 fending off questions about the foundation's funding sources and, more recently, the Clinton inner circle's exclusive use of private emails. Both held positions at the State Department under Hillary.
Reines' frequently hostile interaction with journalists during his tenure as deputy assistant secretary of state is the focus of yet another transparency lawsuit pressing the agency for records of those emails, this one filed by Gawker Media.
Kathleen Clark, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis and a national expert on government ethics, said the foundation's foreign donors themselves likely broke no U.S. laws.
"If they're giving this money because they want to ingratiate themselves to someone who has an obligation to act in the public interest, that is problematic," Clark said. "I'm not saying it's illegal, just saying it's problematic."
She said the law prohibits government employees from working on matters that might enhance their personal interests or those of their employer — a potential problem in a case like Abedin's, who was both a State Department official and a consultant at Teneo and the Clinton Foundation.
But Abedin's exact job description is critical when weighing whether her arrangement with Hillary ran afoul of ethics standards, Clark noted. She said a consultancy would likely not fall under the authority of criminal conflict of interest laws.
Daniel Epstein, president of the nonprofit government watchdog Cause of Action, highlighted the implications of Hillary's email purge for future examinations of the presumed presidential candidate's inner circle.
"Due to Secretary Clinton's failure to preserve emails on an authorized system, and the State Department's failure to preserve any employee text messages at all, the full truth of whether Mrs. Clinton's associations improperly influenced her decisions will never be known," Epstein said. "Unfortunately, this lack of transparency has become the norm in Washington."

And one more reminder...

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