Last fall, we spent a fair amount of time reading through John Podesta's emails, courtesy of Wikileaks, and grew increasingly astonished with each passing day at the number of apparent conflicts of interest created by the Clinton Foundation which seemed to be nothing more than a front created for the Clintons to peddle their influence around the world in return for staggering "charitable" donations.
Take, for example, our posts which questioned whether the CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris, made very sizable contributions to the Clinton Foundation just so he could get an audience with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss his failed $9 billion joint venture with Kuwait. Here are a couple of posts which provide some background:
Or, there was that time that Hillary was offered $12 million from Moroccan King Mohammed VI just to host her annual "Clinton Global Initiative" meeting in his country.
And don't even get us started on Doug Band who spent years with the Clintons before starting his own "consulting" practice called Teneo (see: Doug Band Exposes Foundation's "For-Profit Activity Of President Clinton (i.e., Bill Clinton, Inc.)")
Now, an exclusive report on the "McCain Institute" published earlier today from the Daily Caller (DC) has us wondering who else in Congress might just be running miniature Clinton Foundation-ish organizations and enriching their personal families in the process.
As the DC points out, the McCain Institute's donor list looks eerily similar to that of the Clinton Foundation.
In addition to the 'who's who' of massive corporate donors (Chevron, Cisco, FedEx, Wal-Mart...), many of which were also large contributors to the Clinton Foundation, the McCain Institute counts many other more 'questionable' donors, including Saudi Arabia, Teneo (Doug Band's firm) and George Soros, among its largest.
As the DC points out, one such 'questionable' donor that took interest in the McCain Institute was OCP, S.A., a Moroccan state-owned phosphate company. Ironically, OCP just happened to also be a "major sponsor" of the Clinton Global Initiative where Bill was a featured speaker.
It accepted more than $100,000 from OCP, S.A., a Moroccan state-owned phosphate company operating in the Western Sahara, territory which Morocco seized in 1975. The North African country has since occupied the region by force in defiance of U.N. resolutions and legal declarations by other international bodies.
Morocco has come under criticism from human rights groups that the government violates basic human rights and that its state-owned companies subject its workforce to gruesome conditions while exploiting the disputed territory’s natural resources.
The Western Sahara holds half of the world’s phosphate reserves. Used to make fertilizer, phosphate is called Morocco’s “white gold.”
OCP also was a major sponsor of the CGI meeting, and Bill Clinton was the featured speaker.
And then there is the Pivotal Foundation...
The McCain group has also accepted at least $100,000 from the Pivotal Foundation, which was created by Francis Najafi who owns the Pivotal Group, a private equity and real estate firm.
The Pivotal Foundation has in the last three years given $205,000 to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), which has been a vocal advocate for the Iranian nuclear deal the Obama administration negotiated.
The NIAC web site claims the group “is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.”
But NIAC President Trita Parsi has long been an advocate for Iran, including demanding in May 2017 that President Donald Trump and officials in his administration “cease questioning the integrity of a (nuclear) deal.”
The NIAC is “Iran’s lobbyists in Washington,” charged Aresh Salih, the Washington representative of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan. “People inside of Iran know them as their lobbyists in Washington, D.C.,” Salih told TheDCNF.
The NIAC does not file as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, nor does it register as a lobbyist with Congress.
...not to mention Soros and Teneo who apparently gave all their money to the Clintons and could only afford a $25,000-$99,999 donation to McCain.
Not surprisingly, pretty much everyone who understands these 'charitable fronts' think they're a bad idea...afterall, we sincerely doubt that random Moroccan fertilizer companies suddenly performed random searches for charities of interest and just happened to settle upon both the Clinton Foundation and the McCain Institute. No, we suspect they are looking for more from these organizations than just a tax deduction and a "warm and fuzzy" feeling in their hearts.
“This is a very real conflict of interest,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, told TheDCNF. “This is the similar type of pattern we received with the Clinton Foundation in which foreign governments and foreign interests were throwing a lot of money in the hopes of trying to buy influence.”
Lawrence Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told the DCNF that accepting contributions in the name of a sitting senator like McCain raises troubling issues.
“In terms of the ethics of it, it does raise a broad question of people trying to get good will with the elected official,” he said. “From a personal standpoint, I’d rather not see these entities exist.”
Of course, the real question is just how many congressional representatives have managed to setup similar organizations that we're not even aware of yet.