Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Latest Batch of Clinton Emails Sheds Light on Relationship with Donors

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Latest Batch of Clinton Emails Sheds Light on Relationship with Donors

Article excerpt

The US State Department released another batch of 14,900 emails from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of State, causing some observers to conclude that the Clinton Foundation donors received extra government "access" although not necessarily favors.

The debate over this batch of emails hinges on whether, as the conservative group Judicial Watch alleges, the emails reveal State Department "special favors" for Clinton Foundation donors or merely the technically legal practice of paying for "access."

"These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release.

The Clinton campaign insists the emails reveal that Mrs. Clinton granted the donors no favors, even though they made requests, USA Today reported.

"No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation," Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin said.

Non-partisan groups told USA Today that "access" is a more accurate description of what Clinton Foundation donors obtained from the Secretary of State. But in Washington, where time really is money, meetings with top officials are a valuable premium even if, as Clinton's campaign insists and the evidence so far suggests, no direct action followed.

One email series, for example, showed the Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain tried to schedule a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton but had no success until he set up a scholarship fund under the Clinton Foundation to gain intervention from the charity's president Doug Band. The Clinton campaign responded by saying the prince received a meeting with Clinton through normal diplomatic channels.

"These emails show that there was a long line of Clinton Foundation friends who had no qualms about asking the Clinton State Department for meetings, favors, and special treatment," Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), told USA Today. "Not shocking, but it is disappointing that there were such blurred lines between State Department officials and outsiders. …

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