Staff fumed over use of private email
WikiLeaks trove a vulnerability to Clinton
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.”