While many in the media have declared the presidential election all but over, damning accusations of pay to play at the Clinton Foundation and reports that the FBI found 15,000 work-related documents that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over represent the political land mines that still lie between her and the presidency. Multiple ongoing Freedom of Information Act civil suits, perjury allegations, an IRS probe and alleged joint U.S. Attorney-FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation represent the inescapable cloud of corruption that could be the Democratic nominee's undoing.
As the drip, drip, drip of information highlighting the intersection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department surfaces, the political fallout for Hillary Clinton is unavoidable. The newly exposed emails demonstrate another lie told by the Clinton campaign. Despite her lawyers stating that only 30,000 emails on her server were related to work, the 15,000 puts that number closer to 45,000. But more importantly, it paints a clearer picture of what Hillary Clinton was attempting to hide by setting up private servers in the first place and attempting to wipe them clean.
What is particularly troubling for Clinton is that liberal publications like the Huffington Post and Boston Globe are calling for the Clinton Foundation to shut down. The calls will undoubtedly grow louder as reports continue to expose the overlap between top foreign donors to the foundation and the access it gained them to Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. That access puts into question the impartiality of the decisions Secretary Clinton made while in office and the potential conflicts of interest she would be confronted with as commander in chief. The Wall Street Journal has reported that "At least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation." And according to the Associated Press, 55 percent of Clinton's meetings and calls with people outside of the government were donors to the Clinton Foundation.
More than 40 percent of the Clinton Foundation's top donors are based in foreign countries, prompting the Washington Post to write, "Rarely, if ever, has a potential commander in chief been so closely associated with an organization that has solicited financial support from foreign governments." Many of those foreign governments have a history of human rights abuses. It is estimated the Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars from Middle Eastern countries.
Emails recently released by Judicial Watch and reports by Fox News demonstrate the close level of communication between State Department and Clinton Foundation officials. Judicial Watch recently released 725 pages of State Department documents showing coordination between Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin and Douglas Band, a former longtime aide of President Bill Clinton and employee of the Clinton Foundation, who worked together to grant access to then-Secretary Clinton for high-dollar donors like Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain.
After failing to set up a meeting with the secretary of state through State Department channels, Salman, who contributed $32 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, went through the Clinton Foundation and successfully set up a meeting 48 hours later. Fox News has also reported on the close ties between the two entities. State Department call logs for Cheryl Mills, who served as chief of staff for Hillary Clinton at the State Department, show at least 148 messages from Laura Graham, the Clinton Foundation's chief operating officer. It was also discovered that Mills traveled to New York to interview job applicants for the foundation. Whether taxpayers footed the bill or not is still in question.
The New York Times has reported on other sketchy donors like "the son-in-law of a former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists" as well as a "Lebanese-Nigerian developer with vast business interests." But it is donor Rajiv Fernando who illustrates the kind of favors donors were able to curry with the secretary of state.
Fernando, who served as a bundler for the Democratic Party and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, was appointed to the International Security Board at the Department of State even though he didn't have any national security credentials. The board, which advised the State Department on nuclear weapons, consisted of nuclear scientists, former cabinet officials and members of Congress. The State Department reportedly worked overtime to get Rajiv Fernando a high-level security clearance.
In the article titled "Cash Flowed To Clinton Foundation As Russians Pressed For Control Of Uranium Company," the New York Times also documented the details of a deal Hillary Clinton approved as secretary of state that "gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States." Several of the individuals with ties to the company, Uranium One, contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation initially failed to publicly disclose those donations.
With so much information still left to unravel, Hillary Clinton's campaign will continue to be dogged by corruption and scandal. But one question remains: If this is how she conducted herself as the nation's top diplomat, what kind of damage could she do in the White House?
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for the Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.