Apparently being a big time donor to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) carries a lot of weight, even enough to get you an audience with the Secretary of State.
The Daily Caller reported that “Newly released emails show that Hillary Clinton’s top State Department adviser, Huma Abedin, granted access to then-secretary of state during overseas diplomatic visits based upon Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) donor status.”
This news comes from a December 2012 emails obtained by Citizens United from Paul McElearney, a CGI executive, to Abedin. McElearney asked to see Clinton during a trip to Ireland. He also asked if he could bring others with him.
Abedin responded: “Are these legit cgi people? I know denis o brien but not the others. Everyone is asking to see her.”
Billionaire Denis O’Brien is a significant donor to the Clintons. The emails seem to suggest that if the “others” are “legit CGI donors” then that will have a direct impact on Abedin’s decision regarding access to Clinton.
Another email seems to reinforce this notion. Abedin was asked to include a top executive with Dow Chemical in a diplomatic session between Clinton and Japan’s prime minister.
“Dow Chemical had several connections to the Clintons. The company was a donor to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative,” Abedin says.
While Abedin’s favoritism towards donors is clear, her disdain for others has also become evident. Recently leaked emails showed that Abedin encouraged President Clinton to refuse an invitation to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Council, or AIPAC, meeting asking his assistant, do you “really want to consider sending him into that crowd.” Abedin has since some under fire for referring to Jewish leaders as “that crowd.”
In the wake of the WikiLeaks emails, the evidence of pay-to-play is beginning to grow. We are learning how time and time again, those who donated to Clinton or her family’s foundation were granted favors or access to Clinton when she was Secretary of State. It is frightening to consider the potential conflicts of interest or outright coercion that could have been happening behind the scenes in such a situation.