A memo from a top Bill Clinton aide, Douglas Band brings to light more information about the way the Clinton Foundation operated. The memo was gotten through hacked emails and was made public by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks this Wednesday. The information in the memo, that is 13 pages long, looks credible. Since Douglas Band was at time very much involved with the Clinton Foundation. He was a central player at the foundation. At the same time he was the president of Teneo, his corporate consulting firm. That’s where the problems seem to arise from, as there seem to be many intersections of private interests, charity and the Clintons’ personal income.
The Clinton Foundation and Teneo
Douglas Band wrote the memo himself. In it, he details the efforts that he had put in during his work with the Clinton Foundation. Band made use of the multiple roles he played at the foundation and at his corporate consulting firm to direct resources towards the Clinton family. Top-tier corporations and clients of his firm, like Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola, made donations to the Clinton Foundation. At the same time, those same corporations provided a personal income to Bill Clinton.
Republicans have used this opportunity to criticize the practices employed by Bill Clinton. They say that this system of charity donations and personal interests allowed corporations as well as wealthy supporters to pay for access to former president Bill Clinton. They are also implying that the donors may have gotten access to Hillary Clinton as well, who was at the time Secretary of State. Since Hillary Clinton is now the Democratic nominee for the White House and the front-runner in the presidential race, her critics are warning against a web of interests surrounding the Clinton family.
Memo talks about Financial Details
The hacked memo is from 2011. At the time, Chelsea Clinton wanted to take on a more high-profile role in the running of the foundation. She expressed her concerns regarding the way Band’s corporate consulting firm, Teneo, operated. That prompted Douglas Band to write a lengthy memo to the lawyers of the foundation. There, he went into detail about the crisscrossings of the foundation and Teneo.
Band had a strategy that meant the former president was never without a profitable deal. It involved consulting contracts and speaking engagements that totaled tens of millions of dollars in fees. Some of the contracts are from when Hillary Clinton was at the helm of the Department of State. Douglas Band goes into further detail and talks about deals that he brokered that didn’t specifically involve sums of money. Instead, the deals transactioned “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like”.
After the memo became public, Douglas Band and Teneo co-founder Declan Kelly, who was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, put out a statement. It says that Teneo “worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation”. Because they believed in the good work that the foundation does around the world. The statement stresses that Teneo didn’t receive any financial benefits from their efforts.
Glen Caplin, a spokesman for the Hillary Clinton campaign, did not comment on the memo. He stated that the material had been “hacked by the Russian government and weaponized by WikiLeaks”.
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