Whiter, the Clinton Foundation

So here is another popular topic that isn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon, given Hillary Clinton’s inevitable victory on November 8th.  So perhaps we should talk a little bit about the Clinton Foundation.  What it is.  What it is not.  Why should you care.

So what is the Clinton Foundation?  It is a 501(c)3 charity.   I’ll do a post that goes into various tax statuses at some point.  But 501(c)3 charities are tax exempt charities in which donations to the charity are not only exempt from taxes for the charity but are also tax deductible for the donor.  Notable 501(c)3 charities include the Red Cross and St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital.  501(c)3 are prohibited from engaging in political activities and have significant limitations on lobbying.

What the Clinton Foundation does specifically is raise money and do various charitable works.   It is a little bit unique in that the Clinton Foundation is broken into numerous smaller organizations that do the work while the CF itself is primarily a grant issuing group that gives most of its money to the subgroups. While their focus is on charitable works outside of the United States, they do some work in the United States as well.    If you want to know more about that you can go here and see.

So what is all the fuss about with regards to the Clinton Foundation(CF)?  Well, there are some that claim that the CF is a slush fund for the Clinton Family.  That claim, on its face, has no evidence in support.  The Clintons have publicly stated that they received no financial gain from the CF and they have the public tax records to prove it.  Now it is possible that the tax records are fraudulent but that would require a trip down tin foil hat lane to believe it as it would require a massive coverup from two different administrations for that to be the case.

Now there is another aspect to this that is a problem for Hillary Clinton.  During the confirmation process for Secretary of State, Hillary sent a Memorandum of Understanding stating that she would not be involved in the CF or her husbands for profit works and that the CF would not accept money from foreign nations.

At the very least, she violated the spirit of that agreement.  While there aren’t any legal ramifications for violating that agreement it is a valid criticism of her and anyone who uses that as a justification for opposing her is completely justified.

But of course very few leave it at that.  Instead they choose to claim that a Pay to Play system was at work.   Pay to Play is a form of corruption in which a politician is given financial compensation in order to allow someone to do something.

The problem is that there is no evidence of actual Pay to Play corruption at work.  As shown above, there is no evidence that the Clintons have received any compensation from the CF.   So how can donations to the CF lead to corruption?  The Pay part of Pay to Play didn’t happen.

Instead what is usually peddled as corruption is Hillary Clinton agreeing to see someone after that person gave a large chunk of money to the CF.  That isn’t corruption.  That’s how things work.  Politicians do this ALL THE TIME. The whole reason why wealthy people give money to political campaigns is to have meetings with the politicians.   In those cases there is CLEAR evidence of financial gain by the politician, although evidence giving something to the donor isn’t nearly as common.  And yet not only does that go unprosecuted, it is how the system is supposed to work.

Did Hillary Clinton do things that make her look bad?  Certainly.  Did Hillary Clinton engage in Pay to Play?  There is zero evidence to support this claim despite the incessant din of conservatives insinuating it.

 

 

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