Wik­iLeaks: Aide touted Bill Clin­ton busi­ness deals

Doug Band memo: Clients urged to give to Foun­da­tion

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Joseph Tan­fani Associated Press con­trib­uted.

WASH­ING­TON — A close aide to Bill Clin­ton said he ar­ranged for $50 mil­lion in pay­ments for the for­mer pres­i­dent, part of a com­pli­cated min­gling of lu­cra­tive busi­ness deals and char­ity work of the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion mapped out in a memo re­leased by Wik­iLeaks on Wed­nes­day.

The report was writ­ten by Doug Band, who has tran­si­tioned from his job as a Clin­ton aide to a part­ner in Te­neo Con­sult­ing, a com­pany whose client ros­ter in­cludes some of the big­gest com­pa­nies in the world. Along the way, Band wrote, he also pushed his clients and con­tacts to do­nate mil­lions of dol­lars to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion, and to help win busi­ness deals for Bill Clin­ton.

Band wrote the memo in Novem­ber 2011 to John Podesta, now chair­man of the Hil­lary Clin­ton cam­paign, and sent copies to other key Clin­ton aides, ap­par­ently to ex­plain and jus­tify his work in the face of crit­i­cism from oth­ers in the Clin­ton or­bit — no­tably the Clin­tons’ daugh­ter Chelsea.

Wik­iLeaks has been re­leas­ing thou­sands of hacked emails from Podesta’s ac­count in re­cent weeks, re­veal­ing the ri­val­ries and con­tro­ver­sies roil­ing in­side the Clin­ton fam­ily net­work as Hil­lary Clin­ton pre­pared to run for pres­i­dent.

Ear­lier that month in 2011, an­other hacked email shows, Chelsea Clin­ton had writ­ten Podesta, say­ing it was time to pro­fes­sion­al­ize the foun­da­tion’s op­er­a­tions and com­plain­ing that her fa­ther had heard of “mul­ti­ple ex­am­ples of Te­neo ‘hus­tling’ busi­ness” at Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive meet­ings.

In the memo, Band de­picts him­self as the in­dis­pens­able linch­pin of the Clin­ton fam­ily’s fi­nances even as he ac­knowl­edges that the ar­range­ment is un­usual: “We ap­pre­ci­ate the un­ortho­dox na­ture of our roles,” Band wrote.

A spokesman for the Clin­ton cam­paign de­clined to com­ment; the cam­paign has re­fused to con­firm whether the emails are authen­tic. Band did not im- me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

In the Novem­ber 2011 memo, Band lays out howhe founded Te­neo five months ear­lier with De­clan Kelly, one of Hil­lary Clin­ton’s top fundrais­ers dur­ing her 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. When Clin­ton be­came sec­re­tary of state, Kelly was named an en­voy to North­ern Ire­land, hold­ing the post even as he con­tin­ued to rep­re­sent sev­eral clients.

“Rightly or wrongly,” Band said, be­cause other fundrais­ers couldn’t de­liver, he and Kelly pushed their clients to do­nate to the foun­da­tion; he also lined up speak­ing and con­sult­ing deals for Bill Clin­ton. In some cases, it worked the other way, with Te­neo win­ning con­sult­ing con­tracts from foun­da­tion donors.

One ex­am­ple, he said, was Lau­re­ate In­ter­na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties, the for-profit in­ter­na­tional school that do­nated more than $1.4 mil­lion to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion and was pay­ing Bill Clin­ton $3.5 mil­lion a year to serve as “honorary chan­cel­lor.”

The com­pany paid Clin­ton more than $17 mil­lion be­fore the re­la­tion­ship ended last year, as Hil­lary For­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton re­ceived $50 mil­lion in pay­ments ar­ranged through close aide Doug Band, ac­cord­ing to a Band memo re­leased Wed­nes­day by Wik­iLeaks. Clin­ton was launch­ing her pres­i­den­tial bid.

Band said han­dling the Lau­re­ate re­la­tion­ship was “very time-con­sum­ing,” not to men­tion all the other tasks he han­dled for Bill Clin­ton.

“We have in ef­fect served as agents, lawyers, man­agers and im­ple­menters,” he said, haul­ing in $50 mil­lion in per­sonal work for Clin­ton and lin­ing up $66 mil­lion more. “Nei­ther Justin nor I are sep­a­rately com­pen­sated for th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties,” he wrote, re­fer­ring to Justin Cooper, an­other Clin­ton aide who had joined him in Te­neo.

The dis­putes con­tin­ued through that year, emails show, with Band carp­ing about Chelsea Clin­ton’s in­volve­ment — at one point he called her a “spoiled brat” — and push­ing back against pro­pos­als to sep­a­rate the foun­da­tion’s ac­tiv­i­ties from busi­ness deal­ings. Band fi­nally re­signed from the foun­da­tion last year.

Emails re­leased Wed­nes­day also in­di­cated that al­lies of Hil­lary Clin­ton felt threat­ened by the power of Sen. Bernie San­ders’ can­di­dacy and won­dered about get­ting some sig­nal of sup­port from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in the heat of the Demo­cratic pri­maries.

Ahead of the Illi­nois pri- mary in March, lib­eral op­er­a­tive Neera Tan­den asked Podesta, who worked on Obama’s tran­si­tion in 2008, if the pres­i­dent could give any kind of in­di­ca­tion that he was sup­port­ing Clin­ton over San­ders.

Obama stayed of­fi­cially neu­tral in the pri­maries un­til Clin­ton clinched the nom­i­na­tion in June.

Tan­den wrote: “Maybe they don’t want to do this, but the stakes are pretty damn high in this elec­tion for him.”

AN­DREW GOMBERT/EPA

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