The Clinton Foundation reported Thursday that it has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups.
The disclosure came as the foundation faced questions over whether it fully complied with a 2008 ethics agreement to reveal its donors and whether any of its funding sources present conflicts of interest for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins her presidential campaign.
The money was paid as fees for speeches by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Foundation officials said the funds were tallied internally as “revenue” rather than donations, which is why they had not been included in the public listings of its contributors published as part of the 2008 agreement.
According to the new information, the Clintons have delivered 97 speeches to benefit the charity since 2002. Colleges and universities sponsored more than two dozen of these speeches, along with U.S. and overseas corporations and at least one foreign government, Thailand.
The payments were disclosed late Thursday on the organization’s Web site, with speech payments listed in ranges rather than specific amounts. In total, the payments ranged between $12 million and $26.4 million.
The paid appearances included speeches by former president Bill Clinton to the Nigerian ThisDay newspaper group for at least $500,000 and to the Beijing Huaduo Enterprise Consulting Company Ltd., an investment holding company that specializes in the natural gas market, for at least $250,000. Citibank paid at least $250,000 for a speech by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The disclosures underscore how much the Clintons have leveraged their star power to draw more money not just for their personal enrichment but also for the benefit of their philanthropic work.
The foundation, which has raised $2 billion since Bill Clinton left the White House, has emerged as a political headache for Hillary Clinton amid recent controversies over donations. The foundation, along with the Clintons’ paid speaking careers, have provided additional avenues for foreign governments and other interests to gain entrée to one of America’s most prominent political families. Some Republicans have charged that Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as secretary of state, was in a position to reward foundation donors.
Thursday’s disclosure is one of a number of instances in recent weeks in which the foundation has acknowledged that it received funding from sources not disclosed on its Web site.
The ethics agreement was reached between the foundation and the Obama administration to provide additional transparency and avoid potential conflicts of interest with Hillary Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state.
The agreement placed restrictions on foreign government donations, for instance, but the foundation revealed in February that it had violated the limits at one point by taking $500,000 from Algeria.
Thursday’s release regarding speaking fees follows earlier disclosures showing how the lecture circuit has also made the Clintons personally wealthy.
Last week, Hillary Clinton disclosed that she and her husband made around $25 million since January 2014 from speeches; Bill Clinton also was paid more than $104 million from 2001 through 2012 by delivering speeches.
The Clintons reported that income on federally required personal financial disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton as a senator, secretary of state and now a declared presidential candidate.
But the new disclosure indicates that the former president has also spent considerable time speaking on the foundation’s behalf — 73 times since 2002.
Read more: Washington Post
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