Sep 07

bill-clinton-robin-hood

Bill Clinton Compares Himself to Robin Hood:

The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family’s finances.

Because the company, WJC, LLC, has no financial assets, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was not obligated to report its existence in her recent financial disclosure report, officials with Bill Clinton’s private office and the Clinton campaign said. They were responding to questions by The Associated Press, which reviewed corporate documents.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide private details of the former president’s finances on the record, said the entity was a “pass-through” company designed to channel payments to the former president.

Under federal disclosure rules for spouses’ earned income, Hillary Clinton was only obligated to identify the source of her spouse’s income and confirm that he received more than $1,000. As a result, the precise amounts of Bill Clinton’s earned income from consulting have not been disclosed, and it’s not known how much was routed through WJC, LLC.

– From last year’s post: Introducing “WJC, LLC” – Bill Clinton’s Little Known Pass-Through Entity Used to Channel Consulting Fees

The man’s shamelessness knows no limits.

The Hill reports:

Bill Clinton said Monday that Republican attacks on his family’s foundation were “funny” and likened his actions as head of the organization to Robin Hood’s.

“They even went after my foundation last week. Now that was really funny,” the former president told a crowd at the AFL-CIO’s picnic in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Labor Day.

“I was sort of Robin Hood, except I didn’t rob anybody,” Clinton said. “I just asked people with money to give it to people who didn’t have money.”

I’m confused. Is he talking about rich people giving to charitable endeavors or to his “dead broke” self?

Republicans have accused the Clinton Foundation of running a “pay-to-play” scheme, following the release of private emails showing cozy relationships between top foundation officials and the State Department during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of State from 2009-13.

Strangely enough, I fail to remember the chapter in the Robin Hood saga where he stashes away hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate consulting and speaking fees while on the run from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Perhaps the story needs a retelling.

Moreover, I certainly don’t recall Robin Hood spending considerable time doing the following…

From the Washington Post article, Inside Bill Clinton’s Nearly $18 Million Job as ‘Honorary Chancellor’ of a For-Profit College:

The guest list for a private State Department dinner on higher- education policy was taking shape when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a suggestion.

In addition to recommending invitations for leaders from a community college and a church-funded institution, Clinton wanted a representative from a for-profit college company called Laureate International Universities, which, she explained in an email to her chief of staff that was released last year, was “the fastest growing college network in the world.”

There was another reason Clinton favored setting a seat aside for Laureate at the August 2009 event: The company was started by a businessman, Doug Becker, “who Bill likes a lot,” the secretary wrote, referring to her husband, the former president.

Nine months later, Laureate signed Bill Clinton to a lucrative deal as a consultant and “honorary chancellor,” paying him $17.6 million over five years until the contract ended in 2015 as Hillary Clinton launched her campaign for president.

While much of the controversy about Hillary Clinton’s State Department tenure has involved donations to her family’s charity, the Clinton Foundation, a close examination of the Laureate deal reveals how Bill Clinton leveraged the couple’s connections during that time to enhance their personal wealth — potentially providing another avenue for supporters to gain access to the family.

Becker, for example, donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and last year donated $2,700 to her current effort. Laureate has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the charity’s website, and made millions of dollars of charitable commitments through the Clinton Global Initiative, an arm of the foundation that arranged for corporations to make public pledges to their own philanthropic projects. Meanwhile, Laureate portrayed its association with the Clintons as a symbol of its legitimacy rather than the result of a business deal.

“People know that somebody like President Clinton, the most important thing to him is his reputation,” Becker said in a 2010 appearance at a Laureate campus in Malaysia. “And to attach himself to an organization that he doesn’t believe in, he would never do it. It wouldn’t make sense — not just with his own legacy and history but, in his case, being the spouse of the U.S. secretary of state, for example.”

For close to $20 million, I suspect he’d attach his name to just about anything.

When Becker introduced Clinton at an event at the same campus the next year, he read a statement from Malaysia’s education minister declaring that “there must be something very special about Laureate that has inspired President Clinton to devote his energy to such an endeavor.”

The contract itself became public through a records request by a different conservative group, Judicial Watch, but descriptions of Clinton’s exact consulting role were blacked out in the publicly released document and labeled as trade secrets. Laureate and Clinton aides declined to release an unredacted copy of the contract.

In 2013, Clinton recorded a message to Laureate students and, without mentioning his financial ties to the company, said he joined Laureate because he admired its “dedication to helping the next generation of leaders be truly educated and well prepared for your future.”

As of July, three of Laureate’s five U.S. schools were included on a government list of 500 schools that receive additional financial oversight after being found out of compliance with the requirements of federal student aid programs.

Outside the State Department, Laureate’s ties extended into the world of the Clintons in other ways. Politico has reported that Laureate and GEMS Education were both clients of Teneo Holdings, a consulting group founded by longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band that paid Clinton a $100,000 fee in 2011. Band declined to comment, as did Laureate.

Robin Hood, indeed.

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