Staff fumed over use of pri­vate email

Wik­iLeaks trove a vul­ner­a­bil­ity to Clin­ton

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Stephen Braun and Eileen Sul­li­van

WASH­ING­TON — The lat­est batch of hacked emails from Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign high­lights her staff’s shock and anger after news broke that she used a pri­vate email server as sec­re­tary of state.

The emails were among those re­leased Thurs­day by Wik­iLeaks. The group has been re­leas­ing thou­sands of stolen emails from Clin­ton’s cam­paign chair­man, John Podesta.

In one email, Neera Tan­den, now a mem­ber of Clin- ton’s tran­si­tion team and a long­time con­fi­dante of Podesta, lashed out: “Do we ac­tu­ally know who told Hil­lary she could use a pri­vate email? And has that per­son been drawn and quar­tered?”

In an­other, Podesta asks cam­paign man­ager Robby Mook if he had “any idea of the depth of this story.” Mook replied: “Nope.” He said that email is­sue had been raised be­fore, but they “were told that ev­ery­thing was taken care of.”

Top State Depart­ment of­fi­cials have said no one in the agency pro­vided such per­mis­sion and they did not be­come aware un­til as late as 2014 that she had used a pri­vate server to con­duct all her gov­ern­ment busi­ness.

In ad­di­tion to the con­tro­versy over Hil­lary Clin­ton’s use of a home brew email server while she was sec­re­tary of state, the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion has been one of the big­gest vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in her cam­paign for the White House. Clin­ton cal­en­dars and emails re­leased by the State Depart­ment showed on­go­ing co­or­di­na­tion among her top aides and Bill Clin­ton’s top aides at the foun­da­tion and his pri­vate of­fice.

Her crit­ics have ac­cused her of pro­vid­ing fa­vors to foun­da­tion donors, though there has been no­ev­i­dence of this

2011 con­fi­den­tial memo in­cluded in the hacked emails that was writ­ten by a long­time Bill Clin­ton aide dur­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton’s State Depart­ment ten­ure de- scribes over­lap be­tween the for­mer pres­i­dent’s busi­ness ven­tures and fundrais­ing for the fam­ily’s char­i­ties. The for­mer aide also de­scribed free travel and va­ca­tions ar­ranged for the Clin­tons by cor­po­ra­tions, re­in­forc­ing ethics con­cerns about Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The 13-page memo, by Doug Band, de­scribed the for­mer pres­i­dent’s man­age­ment of “Bill Clin­ton Inc.,” laid out the “un­ortho­dox na­ture” of how he and other aides nav­i­gated be­tween Bill Clin­ton’s dual in­ter­ests in seek­ing out speak­ing and con­sult­ing ven­tures around the world while he raised funds for the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion.

Band wrote the memo to lawyers hired by the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion to au­dit the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s struc­ture and op­er­a­tions. It did not specif­i­cally cite ethics con­cerns, and in a new state­ment Thurs­day, Band said that his firm, Te­neo, “never re­ceived any fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit or ben­e­fit of any kind” for its work for the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion.

Hil­lary Clin­ton met with or spoke to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of at least 15 com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions that paid her hus­band for speak­ing en­gage­ments dur­ing her ten­ure as sec­re­tary of state, ac­cord­ing to a re­view of her plan­ning sched­ules from the State Depart­ment.

Band’s memo de­scribed how he and Justin Cooper, an­other long­time Bill Clin­ton aide, helped the for­mer pres­i­dent and his fam­ily ob­tain gifts of “per­sonal travel, hos­pi­tal­ity, va­ca­tion” and air travel ar­range­ments. Fi­nan­cial records Hil­lary Clin­ton filed be­tween 2009 and 2013 listed speeches and lim­ited busi­ness in­come that Bill Clin­ton earned dur­ing her gov­ern­ment ser­vice but did not list any travel, va­ca­tion or other gifts that Band cited in his memo.

Un­der fed­eral dis­clo­sure rules over­seen by the U.S. Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Ethics, fed­eral of­fi­cials and of­fice seek­ers are not re­quired to list gifts pro­vided to a spouse if the gifts are “in­de­pen­dent of their re­la­tion­ship to you.”

Nor­man Eisen, a Demo­crat whoover­saw ethics mat­ters for the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and in 2011 was also ap­pointed am­bas­sador to the Czech Repub­lic un­der Hil­lary Clin­ton, said the rules did not re­quire Hil­lary Clin­ton to di­vulge any gifts pro­vided to Bill Clin­ton by his busi­ness clients. .

“There’s no thereAthere,” Eisen said, adding that he was dis­turbed that “ethics be­come weaponized in the course of an elec­tion cam­paign.”

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