The Clinton Foundation acknowledged Sunday that it made “mistakes” on tax forms, but denied allegations of cronyism sparked by a new book.
The charity founded by former president Bill Clinton has been under fire this month thanks to allegations made in the book “Clinton Cash” and related news reports alleging that donors to the foundation received special treatment from Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
“[Y]es, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do,” Acting CEO Maura Pally wrote in a blog post Sunday. “But we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future.”
The mistakes made involve tax filings, which the foundation decided to resubmit to the IRS after Reuters raised questions about discrepancies. “Our total revenue was accurately reported on each year’s form – our error was that government grants were mistakenly combined with other donations,” Pally explained.
But Pally denied larger pay-for-play allegations, and responded specifically to a New York Times story, based on the book “Clinton Cash.” The story alleged a Canadian businessman and others involved in a massive uranium deal donated to the charity to curry favor with Clinton as the U.S. government approved the deal.
“Over the past few days, many questions have been raised about the Clinton Foundation,” Pally wrote, before denying wrongdoing and responding to detailed questions about the foundation’s relationship with the Canadian businessman.
“As the Foundation’s impact has grown, so too has its commitment to transparency,” Pally continued. She cited the foundation’s unique arrangement to release the names of its donors, and its decision to make those disclosures on on a quarterly basis now that Hillary Clinton has decided to run for president.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s presidential campaign is claiming vindication after “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer said he did not have direct evidence that the former secretary of state intervened in that uranium deal.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopolis asked Schweizer if he had any clear evidence of Clinton’s role in the matter. “No, we don’t have direct evidence,” Schweizer responded.
“The smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior,” Schweizer continued. “Here’s the analogy I would give you. It’s a little bit like insider trading … Most people that engage in criminal insider trading don’t send an email and say, ‘I’ve got inside information – buy this stock.’”
Still, Clinton’s presidential campaign, which has been trying to discredit Schweizer, claimed victory. “By finally admitting that he omitted key details and has no direct evidence, the author of Clinton Cash just confirmed what many media reports had already made clear – Clinton Cash is nothing more than a tangled web of conspiracy theories backed by no actual evidence,” said spokesperson Josh Schwerin.
Meanwhile, former Clinton White House lawyer Lanny Davis was grilled on Fox News Sunday over the foundation issue. Davis disputed the idea that a $2.3 million donation from a Russian company involved in the uranium deal was “major” and said Schweizer’s work amounted to “smoke without facts.”