Hillary Clinton's paid speeches to Goldman Sachs have become a liability on the campaign trail, with her chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, using them to illustrate her close ties to Wall Street.
Critics contend the dozens of special interest groups and corporations that paid Clinton hefty fees to appear at their events did so in an effort to buy access with the candidate before her White House bid, a suggestion Clinton denies.
But a Washington Examiner review of Clinton's financial disclosure forms reveals most of the groups that paid Clinton for speeches in 2013 and 2014 were also lobbying the government at the same time, raising questions about their motives for paying such generous sums directly to a former secretary of state and future presidential candidate.
For example, at least 22 of the 39 groups that paid Clinton for speeches in 2013 lobbied the government that year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
When asked Friday by a reporter in New Hampshire if she would release the transcripts from her speeches to Goldman Sachs, Clinton simply laughed and declined to address the issue.
However, Clinton defended those speeches Sunday, arguing Goldman Sachs was among a "wide array of groups" that invited her to events in order to hear her "thoughts" about the "complicated world."
Clinton said a large share of the interest of Goldman Sachs and other groups was in the 2011 Osama bin Laden raid, which occurred while she served as secretary of state.
It is unclear how some of the entities that paid her six-figure sums for speeches could have benefited from a recounting of the bin Laden raid, however.
For example, Clinton netted $225,000 each in June 2014 from the International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association and the United Fresh Produce Association, two niche special interest groups that would presumably need little in the way of national security advice.
Neither group returned a request for comment.
Goldman Sachs is not the only Wall Street giant that wrote big checks to Clinton in the two years between her time at the State Department and the launch of her presidential campaign.
Morgan Stanley and Bank of America also shelled out $225,000 each for speeches in 2013 alone.
Between Clinton and her husband, the pair took in $1.5 million in speaking fees in 2013 from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Clinton also accepted heavy speaking fees from several corporations and special interest groups in the pharmaceutical industry, which she consistently touts as an enemy on the campaign trail.
She has repeatedly dismissed Sanders' suggestion that she cannot be expected to crack down on Wall Street's excesses if she has pocketed so much money from its top executives, who are also among her most generous campaign donors.
The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment as to whether Clinton plans to publish transcripts from her speeches to Goldman Sachs.