- - Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Nobody has the talent for flying as close to the flame, and surviving intact if not undamaged, like Bill and Hillary Clinton. The revelation Wednesday in this newspaper, that the Clintons set up and kept hidden a foundation in Sweden to receive $26 million from Swedish government interests, writes a new chapter in the chronicles of greed and avarice. What the Clintons were up to is unusually outrageous, imaginatively unethical and probably criminal.

As secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton was in a position to protect Sweden from U.S. sanctions even as the U.S. embassy in Stockholm warned that Sweden was increasing its trade with the Iranian regime, much of it by the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson AB, which supplied Iran with telecommunications equipment and technology that Iran could not have bought elsewhere.

A State Department official tells John Solomon and Kelly Riddell of The Washington Times that the decisions made to add or eliminate companies on the sanctions list seemed “arbitrary.” Ericsson did not pass contributions directly to the foundation in Sweden, but on one rich occasion paid Mr. Clinton $750,000 for a speech he delivered in Hong Kong. That was just after she released the first list of sanctioned companies. Ericsson was not one of them. Some coincidences are more profitable than others.

Both Bill and Hillary signed ethics agreements with the State Department in 2009, when Hillary became secretary of State, that promised everything would be open and transparent. If a foreign government should “increase materially its commitment, or if a new contributor should contribute to the foundation’s charitable causes the family’s foundation would submit the changed circumstances for ethical review. That sounded like a foundation with nothing to hide. There’s little evidence that either Clinton did that.

A spokesman says only that the foundation has nothing to hide. But the William J. Clinton Foundation filed its incorporation papers in Stockholm, and the identities of its donors were put together with the donors of the Clinton family foundation in the United States, blurring the lines between the two foundations, which were incorporated under the differing laws of Sweden and the United States. Expensive lawyers are paid to write happy endings to fairy tales, after all.

The Clintons told The Times through a spokesman that the subsidiary foundation in Stockholm was set up to collect money for its good works fighting climate change, AIDS in Africa, cholera in Haiti and lots of other good stuff. Everything, they say, has been clean, pure, just, above board and fully accounted for. The foundations won’t say, however, who all the donors are, or what they expect to get for their money.

Revelations over the past few months have astonished even friends of the Clintons, who insist they went into politics, first in Arkansas and then in a bigger way in Washington, to do good. Perhaps. What we know for sure is that they have done well. Mrs. Clinton no doubt imagines that she can do even better with bigger opportunities as the president of the United States.



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