Among the Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks was a revealing message from Brent Budowski of LA Progressive. In a March 21, 2015 email to John Podesta, Budowsky warned that the appearance of Clinton Foundation corruption could destroy Hillary's presidential aspirations and the Democratic Party. Budowski wrote:
"It was not uplifting to learn in recent hours that problems with foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation continue, Hillary Clinton was still making paid speeches for hire this week, and Tony Rodham is hustling gold mining deals in Haiti...
If there is one thing that could well bring down a Hillary Clinton candidacy it is this cycle of money issues about which I am now feeling red alerts, loud bells, warning signals, and red flags and I am now seriously pissed off that there is a real chance that her candidacy and the Democratic Party could be destroyed by these self-created dangers that continue to proliferate the closer she gets to presumably announcing her candidacy.”
The message gets really interesting as Budowski concludes:
“If she is not hearing this from others, please feel free to forward this to her, I will play the bad guy here because I do not want her money and because she needs to hear this from her friends and she will sure as hell be attacked for this by her enemies, and it will be megaphoned throughout the media, and foreign donations and paid speeches and hustling gold mining deals by her brother are entirely legitimate issues that are self-created, and must self-corrected before it is too late....and I do not believe the Clintons fully understand the magnitude and immediacy of the danger in the current political and media climate.....Brent”
Leaping off the page at me are the words, “I will play the bad guy here because I DO NOT WANT HER MONEY...” Take a moment to consider the implications of that. Budowski was not like those others — unwilling to speak their minds for fear of being cut off from Hillary's money. And then he said, “I do not believe the Clintons fully understand...”
On the contrary, I think the Clintons really do understand. They know how to leverage their positions to raise huge amounts of money. They know how to cultivate loyalty, and the money they raise plays a big part in that.
Andrew McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, described one way the Clinton Foundation enriched itself and some of its donors. In an article in the National Review entitled “Clinton’s State Department: A RICO Enterprise”, McCarthy wrote:
“In a nutshell, in 2005, under the guise of addressing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan (where the disease is nearly nonexistent), Bill Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire pal Frank Giustra to convince the ruling despot, Nursultan Nazarbayev (an infamous torturer and human-rights violator), to grant coveted uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company, Ur-Asia Energy (notwithstanding that it had no background in the highly competitive uranium business). Uranium is a key component of nuclear power, from which the United States derives 20 percent of its total electrical power.
In the months that followed, Giustra gave an astonishing $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation and pledged $100 million more. With the Kazakh rights secured, Ur-Asia was able to expand its holdings and attract new investors, like Ian Telfer, who also donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Ur-Asia merged with Uranium One, a South African company, in a $3.5 billion deal — with Telfer becoming Uranium One’s chairman. The new company proceeded to buy up major uranium assets in the United States.”
Side note: The $3.5 billion Uranium One merger with Ur-Asia Energy would likely have been a huge payday for Giustra and Telfer. Pressing on with McCarthy's story:
“Meanwhile, as tends to happen in dictatorships, Nazarbayev (the Kazakh dictator) turned on the head of his state-controlled uranium agency (Kazatomprom), who was arrested for selling valuable mining rights to foreign entities like Ur-Asia/Uranium One. This was likely done at the urging of Putin, the neighborhood bully whose state-controlled atomic-energy company (Rosatom) was hoping to grab the Kazakh mines — whether by taking them outright or by taking over Uranium One.
The arrest, which happened a few months after Obama took office, sent Uranium One stock into free fall, as investors fretted that the Kazakh mining rights would be lost. Uranium One turned to Secretary Clinton’s State Department for help. As State Department cables disclosed by WikiLeaks show, Uranium One officials wanted more than a U.S. statement to the media; they pressed for written confirmation that their mining licenses were valid. Secretary Clinton’s State Department leapt into action: An energy officer from the U.S. embassy immediately held meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that Russia’s Rosatom had purchased 17 percent of Uranium One. Problem solved.
Except it became a bigger problem when the Russian company sought to acquire a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would mean a takeover not only of the Kazakh mines but of the U.S. uranium assets as well. Such a foreign grab requires approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful government tribunal that the secretary of state sits on and heavily influences. Though she had historically postured as a hawk against foreign acquisitions of American assets with critical national-security implications, Secretary Clinton approved the Russian takeover of Uranium One. During and right after the big-bucks Russian acquisition, Telfer contributed $1.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Other people with ties to Uranium One appear to have ponied up as much as $5.6 million in donations.”
The acquisition of Uranium by Rosatom meant another big payday for Giustra and Telfer, and a another payday for Clinton Foundation as well. And Russia, the enemy that Democrats accuse of meddling in the U.S. presidential election? Russia gained control over 20% of U.S. uranium production, thanks to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary who greased the skids. What a happy outcome.
The Clinton Foundation and the Democratic Party at the national level look a lot like criminal enterprises. Nobody connected with either organization seems to care that laws may have been broken, and I'd be willing to bet that laws were broken. Nobody connected with either organization seems to care that trust in government is cratering. And certainly nobody would dare step up to suggest, “Hillary, for the good of the country...” As long as there is a fig leaf of cover, the Democratic leadership will say that there's nothing to see here (they'll blame all the bad news on that vast right wing conspiracy). They're sticking with the most corrupt and divisive candidate in our lifetimes. Why is that? The obvious answer is that, through Hillary, they see a clear path to the money.