Shut Down the Clinton Foundation Already

August 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in many respects a machine. It relentlessly raises money, methodically runs the ground game and ceaselessly moves her from venue to venue, each event indistinguishable from the next except for Mrs. Clinton’s rotating palette of pantsuits.

When it comes to messaging, however, the campaign and its principal operate with crafty prevarication. Consider the report last week about what Mrs. Clinton told the FBI when pressed about her private email: that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised her to use it.

Mr. Powell disputes Mrs. Clinton’s account, telling People magazine that she had been using private email “for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.” And he didn’t set up a server in his basement, use his private account to send classified information, or hide his emails from investigators—all of which Mrs. Clinton did. Little wonder Gen. Powell said that “her people have been trying to pin it on me.”

This is merely one of Mrs. Clinton’s latest difficulties. She told CNN last year that when she left government service, “I turned over everything I was obligated to turn over.” But news broke this week that the FBI found nearly 15,000 more work-related emails.

In response, her campaign spokesman claimed that she “provided the State Department with all the work-related emails she had in her possession in 2014.” This was misleading. By then she had already destroyed thousands of emails. FBI specialists recovered this latest batch from other people’s accounts or from the server that she had scrubbed.

A federal judge has pushed the state department to finish its review of these emails by Sept. 22, meaning they could be released only weeks before the election. When Mrs. Clinton appeared Monday on “ Jimmy Kimmel Live,” she was nonchalant. “My emails are so boring,” she said. “We’ve already released, I don’t know, 30,000 plus, so what’s a few more?”

Yet every new batch reminds voters that Mrs. Clinton routinely lied, highlights why FBI director James Comey called her “extremely careless” in handling sensitive information, and reveals additional special treatment given to Clinton Foundation donors.

The foundation received many millions of dollars from foreign governments and nationals while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, including via a Canadian front group set up to shield donors’ identities. This despite Mrs. Clinton’s promise at her January 2009 confirmation to provide “the transparency and disclosure that is needed” and “address even the appearance of conflict.”

Newly released emails show foundation staff intervened with the State Department on behalf of donors, foreign and domestic. On Tuesday the Associated Press released an analysis of official calendars for the first half of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. At least 85 of the 154 private persons with whom she had scheduled meetings or phone calls were also Clinton Foundation donors, having contributed as much as $156 million. The AP had to sue to obtain this information, yet Mrs. Clinton’s campaign responded by complaining that the report looked at only half of her tenure.

The Clinton Foundation has long been criticized for spending too little on programs and too much on overhead—including flying the Clintons around in private planes and employing lackeys like Sidney Blumenthal. The Clintons justified their practices by saying that the foundation performed good work.

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