The Clinton Foundation is planning to drop dozens of employees as it winds down most operations, according to a report by Politico, citing “two former Clinton Foundation officials who remain in communication with staff.”
The layoffs come after media investigations, led by Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer, whose 2015 book Clinton Cash alleged a pay-to-play pattern in which the Clintons courted donations from foreigners and businesses with matters pending before the State Department.
The Clintons say they are closing down much of the foundation’s work, and severing many — though not all — personal ties to the organization, in anticipation of Hillary Clinton’s victory in the November election.
Critics have suggested that the Clinton Foundation could create new conflicts of interest for a Clinton administration, an argument that the Clintons have grudgingly accepted — though without explaining why the same arguments would not have applied to her term as Secretary of State.
However, some of the cuts to the Clinton Foundation are apparently independent of the November election, and simply the result of the broader scandal surrounding the so-called “charity.”
Critics accuse the Clinton Foundation of being a tool for the self-enrichment of the Clinton family. Documents filed in 2015 suggest the foundation spent less than 6 percent of its budget on charitable grants in 2014, and “spent far more on overhead expenses like travel ($7.9 million),” the Federalist reports.
Politico notes that some friends of the foundation are upset with the way the Clintons are handling the spinoffs and layoffs:
Some foundation allies grumbled that the announcement … was handled in an insensitive manner, according to the former officials. Others predicted that retaining some staff to work with deep-pocketed government, corporate and nonprofit donors on existing programs would only feed criticism about … preferential treatment from Hillary Clinton’s State Department.