(National Sentinel) Pay-to-Play: Republicans have long suspected that foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation made during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as President Obama’s secretary of state and in her run-up to the 2016 election were likely tied to influence-peddling on the part of the former first couple, and now newly released tax records validate their suspicions.
The documents show a dramatic drop-off in donations to the Clinton Foundation after Hillary’s November 2016 loss to POTUS Donald Trump, a race most political analysts had predicted she would win in a landslide.
The document release comes amid an ongoing probe by the Justice Department pertaining to foundation issues.
The tax filings, made public this month, indicate the foundation brought in $62.9 million in 2016. But donations dropped to just $26.6 million in 2017, nearly a 60-percent drop. Tax filings for 2018 are not yet available.
A spokesman for the foundation told The New York Post, which reported the figures first, that they “anticipated a decline” in 2017 and said it was “largely attributable to the absence of sponsorship and membership contributions for CGI [Clinton Global Initiative].”
The CGI held a final meeting in 2016.
Clinton apologists are attempting to tie the drop in donations to the reduction in activity for the CGI, but Republicans suspect pay-for-play had more to do with it than anything else.
“The remarkable significance of the drop in Clinton foundation donations raises grave concerns their operations were not above board as the American people have been led to believe,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a statement to Fox News.
“Whenever we look at the possibility of ‘pay to play’ by government officials, current or former, it demands answers–and anyone who uses public office to sell access for their own financial benefit must be held accountable.”
Citing reports about the decline in donations, POTUS Trump tweeted on Sunday that it “shows that they illegally played the power game” and “monetized their political influence through the Foundation.”
Earlier this year former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed U.S. Attorney John Huber of Utah to look into a range of issues related to the Clintons, including the FBI’s investigation into her transmission of classified materials over an unsecured private email server and donations to and activities of the foundation.
Meadows said it was time for Huber to “circle around” and provide Congress with an update on his investigation.
“Mr. Huber with the Department of Justice and the FBI has been having an investigation—at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable foundation, so we’ve set a hearing date for December 5th,” Meadows said.
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