Top State and Clinton Foundation staffers tasked with boosting Clinton nonprofit around official trip to Ireland
Hillary Clinton mixed private and public business in discussions of an official State Department trip to Ireland in 2012, according to emails released Wednesday, and only days after four Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya.
Emails released on Wednesday by Citizens United show where Clinton’s head was at in mid-September of 2012: Much of her attention, as secretary of state, was firmly fixed on raising cash for a new nonprofit she wanted created.
According to emails unearthed by Citizens United, Clinton attorney Cheryl Mills and top aide Huma Abedin were brought into the loop after a staffer was “firmly instructed” to form a new nonprofit organization, Friends of the Clinton Centre, on Sept. 21, 2012 — only days after the Benghazi tragedy.
Mills and Abdein got information on the plan from a top Clinton Foundation official.
An email from Clinton Foundation Director of Foreign Policy Amitabh Desai to Mills and Abedin reads: “I also asked if the new org could be flexible so that any funding raised could be used in any manner WJC [Bill Clinton] and HRC [Hillary Clinton] wish in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and not restricted to support only the current iteration of the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen.”
The Clinton Centre was founded by Bill Clinton in 2002 as a tool to create peace in Northern Ireland. It was built on the site of a terrorist bombing, according to the emails.
Why Mills and Hillary Clinton wanted to create a fundraising organization, a 501(c)(3), is not clear — other than for the potential to raise money. And the opportunity to raise big money was coming soon: Clinton was to tour Dublin and Belfast. But the big opportunity was obviously the gathering of powerful leaders at the G8 summit on June 17 and 18, 2013 — at Enniskillen.
While Clinton would have been out of the office by then, emails began flying within the State Department from September 2012 through December 2012 about raising money for a “legacy project” in Ireland.
The emails are bound to raise fresh ethical and conflict-of-interest questions about just how much private fundraising Hillary Clinton was involved in for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Centre, all while conducting official business as secretary of state.