Documents released on Tuesday reveal that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's staff at the State Department coordinated with staff at the Clinton Global Initiative to help her thank the nonprofit's donors for their "commitments." The information, obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes emails from 2009 that were exchanged between prominent staff members at both organizations.
"We can arrange it however HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] prefers," says one Aug. 24 email from Amitabh Desai, CGI's director of policy planning, in reference to the agenda that would be in place for one of the organization's events. "Ordinarily, WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] announces these and then either introduces a guest or a panel discussion."
That message was addressed to Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, who proceeded to include three additional recipients on the email chain. They included deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, Clinton's director of policy planning Jacob Sullivan and Caitlin Klevorick, a senior Clinton advisor who previously worked for Clinton's nonprofit.
After clarifying how Clinton had structured a similar event the previous year, Klevorick noted, "One question is if we want to see if there is a decent mass of fs [funds] related commitments to announce together at closing as a 'mega' commitment."
That coordination between staff at the State Department and staff at the Clintons' charitable fund could breathe new life into a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that reportedly began in January. The agency reportedly began that investigation as a result of findings that resulted from looking at Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state.
Some of the charges that could result from the probe, experts have said, include criminal conflict of interest, criminal conspiracy and conversion, or the use of public funds for private purposes.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton blasted Clinton for the findings in a statement. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hand in glove with the Clinton Foundation on fundraising and foreign policy," Fitton said. "Despite the law and her promises to the contrary, Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into the D.C. office of the Clinton Foundation."
A transcript of Clinton's speech suggests she ultimately did make a vague expression of gratitude to those making "exceptional commitments," but also to track down those whose commitments didn't quite measure up "as we do."
"This is an exceptional gathering of people who have made exceptional commitments to bettering our world," Clinton said. She later added, "We're going to track commitments, just as we do here at CGI, to make sure pledges are fulfilled, and to gather data and publicly track our progress and results."
"That way, we are all accountable, and we'll know if we're falling short and need to change strategies," the transcript recounts Clinton telling the audience.