ABC News has an unsettling, albeit unsurprising, report out today:
Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department’s professional staff.
The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to ‘protect the name’ of the Secretary, ‘stall’ the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.
A few things jump out here.
It is troubling how casually Raj Fernando, the appointee in question, gained access to a sensitive organ of the American national-security apparatus. There are many talented financiers and businesspeople out there. Nobody seriously believes that their business acumen qualifies them for “one of the highest levels of top secret access” in the intelligence community. Except for Hillary Clinton, apparently. Her flippancy with classified information as Secretary of State is well chronicled. For her department to put Fernando on the International Security Advisory Board, whose chief area of inquiry is “nuclear strategy,” just drives this point further home.
The appointment is just another instance of the Clintons’ tendency to exchange political favors for donations to their Foundation. Fernando’s lifetime donations to the Clinton Foundation are reported to be between $1 and 5 million. Time and again reports like this surface. This actually happens to be among the more innocuous ones: At least there are no Russians buying a uranium mine this time.
Note: That Citizens United was the group to track down these e-mails makes for a beautiful irony.