Tag Archives: Clinton Foundation

Sex Victim Advocates Slam Harvard, The Clinton Foundation And John Podesta’s Think Tank For Silence Over Sex Assault Probe

(DCNF) Victim advocates are slamming Harvard University, the Clinton Foundation and John Podesta’s think-tank for their silence over an ongoing investigation by New Jersey prosecutors for the brutal sexual assault that a woman alleges was committed by their donor, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

Wyss, who contributes millions to many high-profile liberal causes, is a financial donor to Harvard, the Clinton Foundation and Podesta’s Center for American Progress. Last fall, prosecutors in Morris Township, New Jersey, opened an investigation into an alleged brutal 2011 sexual assault of Jacqueline Long, then an employee of Wyss’ foundation.

No charges have been filed, but prosecutors did not respond to a DCNF inquiry in the last week about progress in the case.

Advocates for sexual victims criticized the total silence from each of these high-profile liberal institutions.

“The silence can actually send a loud scream to other survivors. It sounds like they are saying, ‘The money is more important than the survivor,’” Karen Baker told The Daily Caller News Foundation. She is the CEO of both the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. For decades, Wyss lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

“Saying nothing always sends a bad message,” added Kirsten Houser, the chief public affairs officer at the center. “That’s not the message that instills principles of prevention, of caring about the well-being of the full community.”

“Many are saying this is a societal issue with far reaching implications, and we want to see companies and other institutions more aggressively address this to take a stand,” Houser told TheDCNF in an interview. “We want to see them live by those priorities, and when people don’t, you can be risking the support of your base,” Houser said.

The Swiss billionaire uses his private Wyss Foundation — with total assets of nearly $2.2 billion — to spread his money around to large institutions and to liberal political groups, according to his Form 990 reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

In the 2016 election, Wyss also was the architect for a liberal $100 million “Democracy Program,” which sought to create a “surge of registration” to win future elections, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The billionaire has never become a U.S. citizen and remains a citizen of Switzerland.

Harvard accepted two Wyss gifts of $125 million each — in 2009 and 2013 — totaling $250 million. It led to the establishment of the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering. The institute continues to bear his name.

TheDCNF asked if the Harvard institute would distance itself from Wyss or temporarily take his name off until he is cleared of an alleged crime. Benjamin Boettner, the institutes’s spokesman replied, “That’s not going to happen.”

J. Robert Flores, the former administrator of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which he led from 2002 to 2009, told TheDCNF he saw Harvard’s reaction as a classic response from an “insular” institution.

“Harvard is an insular community,” he said. “Your faculty, your donors, the companies that do business with Harvard. I think what you’ll see is a lot of secrecy at Harvard. You will see a tremendous amount of pressure to ‘go along’ with decisions that people have made to protect the institution.”

“What they’re showing right now by not taking any action is what you would expect from an insular community: ‘We don’t have to explain ourselves to anyone.’ The world will not allow you to do that anymore. Now, they have to explain themselves,” he said.

Flores is a former prosecutor with expertise in internet crime, child abuse and exploitation, and juvenile justice issues.

Matthew Vadum, the senior vice president of the conservative Capital Research Center, agreed with Flores.

“Harvard wants to hang onto the money and wants to keep the spigot open so it can get more money in the future,” he told TheDCNF. “I gather that’s why they’re not even interested in discussing Wyss’ behavior.”

Flores also made the connection to Harvard and former President Bill Clinton. “This is kind of like Bill Clinton 20 years ago where there was just an assumption: ‘The rules don’t apply to me.’ And I think Harvard is basically taking the same approach. They don’t apply to us.”

Students, faculty and alumni have expressed concern over Harvard’s dedication to confront sexual harassment and assault. Only this month, Harvard named a new director for its small Office for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. The director’s post had been vacant for nearly year and the office had been operating with about half of its allotted staffers, who are there to prevent and assist sexual assault victims.

The Clinton Foundation itself accepted a $5 million donation from Wyss in 2013 for its “Open Ceilings” project, which the foundation describes as an effort to “chart the path forward to accelerate full participation for women and girls in the 21st century.” The foundation did not respond to a DCNF inquiry about the status of Wyss and his gift.

Vadum adds that he is not surprised by the Clinton Foundation’s silence about Wyss. “The ‘hide under a rock’ Clinton strategy worked a lot of the time for them. I’m not surprised that they’re trying to blow smoke here,” he said.

The Center for American Progress, founded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential chairman John Podesta, also has a close relationship with the Swiss billionaire, whose net worth is estimated by Bloomberg at $6.85 billion. Podesta awarded Wyss a board seat at CAP, which he still enjoys today.

Over the years, CAP received at least $4 million in funds from Wyss. Podesta also served on the board of Wyss’s HJW Foundation from 2009 to 2013, according to his White House financial disclosure form. In 2012, before he joined the Obama White House as a “counselor to the president,” Podesta also revealed in his form he personally accepted $87,000 for delivering unspecified “consultation” services to Wyss and his foundation.

CAP and former Sen. Tom Daschle, the group’s current chairman of the board, did not reply to repeated DCNF inquiries about the status of Wyss on the group’s governing board. From 1995 to 2001, Daschle served as the Democrat’s Senate Majority Leader. The high-profile Democrat had to withdraw his name in 2009 as President Barack Obama’s proposed secretary of Health and Human Services after it was discovered he failed to pay $140,000 in taxes.

On its website, CAP claims to identify with women who have faced sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, the liberal think-tank states, “has persisted in workplaces across industries and occupations for decades. For years, victims have unfortunately stood on unsteady ground in an environment that has been too lax about and too dismissive of sexual harassment allegations.”

But in the Hansjorg Wyss case, neither the organization nor Daschle voiced support for the victim, publicly commented on the case or suggested any action pertaining to Wyss’ place on the board. They’ve simply remained silent.

Vadum, who has followed both CAP and Wyss, charged the group’s stand reeks of hypocrisy.

“They lecture us about how to behave,” he told TheDCNF in an interview. “They stress the finer, more esoteric points of ‘political correctness’ while at the same time, shaming all those who fail to adhere to those standards. You would think they would at least take it seriously with someone that close to their organization who’s accused of Wyss’ sexual improprieties.”

Flores added the CAP board has a duty to confront Wyss. “The board ought to confront Wyss and say, ‘Did you do this?’ And if you don’t answer the question fully for our satisfaction then we’ll take that to the full board, and we will ask to have you removed.’”

Wyss’s history of allegedly aberrant sexual behavior was cataloged by Ryan DiMaria, a previous attorney for Long, in a May 8, 2013, memo sent to Wyss’ lawyers and obtained by TheDCNF. “Ms. Long’s position is and will always be that she is suing for damages on account of the personal physical injuries and physical sickness she suffered literally at the hands of Mr. Wyss,” DiMaria charged.

“The sexual behavior that Mr. Wyss required Ms. Long to participate in ran the full gamut of rather perverse sex acts,” her lawyer wrote, graphically outlining eight sex acts Wyss allegedly forced Long to endure.

The billionaire’s lawyers conceded in an August 2015 filing before a Philadelphia court that they secured a private $1.5 million settlement with Long that was expected to keep her quiet. Wyss’ lawyers stated the agreement with Long “acknowledged that the agreement’s confidentiality was of the utmost importance and that without plaintiff’s unequivocal commitment to keep the settlement agreement and its terms confidential, defendant would not have entered into the agreement.”

The earlier settlement did not address wrongdoing, but it does not preclude authorities from independently bringing criminal charges.

In January, TheDCNF reported Morris Township prosecutors had opened a new case, “State vs. Hansjorg Wyss,” concerning the alleged brutal sexual assault by Wyss at the Governor Morris Inn in nearby Morristown, New Jersey.

The prosecutor’s document confirmed the receipt of sexual paraphernalia from Long, including a “purple vibrator.” She alleged in the complaint the device was used by Wyss as a weapon during the assault against her.

Vadum marveled about how the left uniformly went along with the silence about Wyss.

“He opens his checkbook to win friends and influence people. You’d think people on the left normally wouldn’t stand for that kind of thing publicly. But apparently, they do.”

Even before the series of #MeToo sex scandals hit politicians, Hollywood producers and corporate executives, many universities were ready to turn their backs against men who were accused of sexual improprieties. In 2014, four years before Bill Cosby’s April 2018 conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault but after the accusations had been initially lodged, Temple University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst forced the comedian to cut ties.

Temple forced Cosby to resign from its board of trustees and the University of Massachusetts forced him to step down as its honorary co-chair of its capital campaign.

Long told TheDCNF she was pleased with the Cosby conviction.

“I felt renewed and strengthened by the vindication of Bill Cosby’s female victims, who waited so many years to finally and publicly confront another powerful and wealthy man, with how he had sexually exploited ad preyed upon them,” she said.

Written by Richard Pollock: Follow Richard on Twitter


This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

ABC News Chief Anchor Admits Donating $75,000 To Clinton Foundation

On Friday, ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos apologized for failing to disclose $75,000 in personal donations he has made to the Clinton Foundation over the last three years:

[pull_quote_center]”Over the last several years, I have made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the Foundation, and I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake. Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDs, to help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.”[/pull_quote_center]

While the donations made by Stephanopoulos are included in the public records on the Clinton Foundation’s website, questions were initially raised on Thursday, by the Washington Free Beacon, noting that he had not “previously disclosed it to ABC viewers,” even though he took part in “on-air discussions about the Clinton Foundation and its controversial relationship with foreign donors.

Politico noted that Stephanopoulos, who is currently the chief anchor and political correspondent for ABC News, the co-anchor of Good Morning America and host of This Week on ABC, previously served as the communications director for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, and was the communications director and senior adviser for policy and strategy to Clinton during his presidency.

ABC News released a statement ultimately supporting Stephanopoulos, while admitting that he should have been more transparent about his donations, when covering stories related to the Foundation:

[pull_quote_center]”As George has said, he made charitable donations to the Foundation to support a cause he cares about deeply and believed his contributions were a matter of public record. He should have taken the extra step to notify us and our viewers during the recent news reports about the Foundation. He’s admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him.”[/pull_quote_center]

On Thursday, Stephanopoulos told Politico that he should not have donated money to the Clinton Foundation, and that as a result, he will not moderate ABC’s 2016 GOP Presidential debate in New Hampshire in February.

“I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly,” Stephanopoulos said. “That said, I know there have been questions made about moderating debates this year. I want to be sure I don’t deprive viewers of a good debate.”

2016 GOP Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told the New York Times that Stephanopoulos’ close ties with the Clintons should disqualify him from moderating any of the 2016 presidential debates.

“It’s impossible to divorce yourself from that, even if you try,” Paul said. “I just think it’s really, really hard because he’s been there, so close to them, that there would be a conflict of interest if he tried to be a moderator of any sort.

Stephanopoulos is also under fire for his interview with Peter Schweizer on an episode of ABC’s This Week that aired on April 26. Schweizer is the author of the book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” which looks at how foreign donations impacted Hillary Clinton’s decisions during her tenure as Secretary of State.

In his interview with Schweizer, Stephanopoulos claimed that ABC News had “done investigative work” and had ultimately “found no proof of any kind of direct action.” Stephanopoulos maintained that there was “no smoking gun,” and no evidence Clinton “changed the policy based on donations to the foundation.”

Following the announcement from HarperCollins, that it would be making “7-8 factual corrections” to the e-book version of “Clinton Cash,” Schweizer told Bloomberg Politics that “the corrections are all minor,” and that he was “really quite stunned” by the revelation of Stephanopoulos’ donations.

Calling the donations a “massive breach of ethical standards,” Schweizer said, “He fairly noted my four months working as a speech writer for George W. Bush. But he didn’t disclose this?”

In addition to discussing the donations on This Week, Stephanopoulos addressed the subject during an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on April 28, where he said that people who give money to the Clinton Foundation are expecting a return.

Everybody also knows when those donors give that money… there’s a hope that that’s going to lead to something and that’s what you have to be careful of,” Stephanopoulos said.


For more news related to the 2016 Presidential election, click here.

Donald Trump Donated At Least $100K To Clinton Foundation

By Alex Griswold

Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate and attention-seeking businessman Donald Trump has donated at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, despite his criticism of the foundation’s dealings.

During a New Hampshire campaign stop back in April, Trump railed against Hillary Clinton and the accusation that the former secretary of state traded political favors in favor for donations to the Clinton Foundation. (RELATED: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Failed To Disclose $50k Clinton Foundation Donation

“If this were Richard Nixon or a Republican, if this were almost anybody, there would have been an investigation already,” he said. “This is criminal. What she did was terrible. She used her office to benefit herself and her family and everybody knows it.” (VIDEO: Donald Trump Blames ‘Draw Mohammad’ Event Organizer For ‘Taunting’ Muslims)

What Trump neglected to mention was his own donations to the foundation. Trump is listed on the Clinton Foundation’s donor page as having given somewhere between $100,001 and $250,000. Likewise, his daughter Ivanka Trump is listed as having given somewhere between $5001 and $10,000.

Perhaps the donation shouldn’t be so shocking considering Trump also donated to Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate campaign, before selling himself as conservative firebrand.

This story has been updated.

Follow Alex Griswold on Twitter

For more election coverage click here.

Watch: AP Reporter Grills Spokesman Who Admitted State Dept. Won’t Look Into Clinton Foundation Donors

By Al Weaver

The Associated Press’ Matt Lee called out the State Department Thursday after the agency announced it will not look into undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation which violated the Memorandum of Understanding.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters during Thursday’s briefing that the more than 1,100 undisclosed donors will not be reviewed as the department moves on.

“The State Department has not, and does not intend to initiate a formal review or to make a retroactive judgment about items that were not submitted during Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters during Thursday’s State Department briefing.

Right away, Lee called out Rathke, telling him that the only reason they are not looking into this is because they don’t want to find any thing that “might raise a flag.”

“It seems like you’re not aware of anything — and there may not be anything there, but the reason that you’re not aware of anything is because, and not you personally, but the reason you are not aware of anything is because the building is refusing to go back and look at it to see if there is anything that might raise a flag,” Lee told the spokesman.

“Again, these private donations were — there was never any expectation that they would be reviewed…” Rathke said, before being cut off by Lee.

“But there was an expectation that they would be made public and so that you could go and look…then they weren’t made public and so, now that they are being made public, wouldn’t it make sense to go back and take a look at them and see whether there’s any questions raised and any red flag that might get raised?” Lee asked. “I don’t understand why you would just close your eyes to it because they’ve admitted that they didn’t live up to their end of the M.O.U. on this.”

“Yeah, but they have subsequently taken steps to address this,” he said before Lee cut him off again.

“But you’re not going and looking at what they’ve done to address that to see if it brought them into compliance. It’s almost as if they had an agreement that they didn’t follow through on but since she is no longer the Secretary of State you’re saying—well, that doesn’t apply anymore and so it just doesn’t matter,” Lee said. “You don’t know if it doesn’t matter or not because you’re not looking into it.”

“I think what we’ve seen is speculation,” Rathke said. “We haven’t said we’re not aware of any actions taken that were influenced by those donations.”

“What has been put out there are questions, but you’re saying that the State Department either doesn’t have the same questions or isn’t interested in finding out what the answer to those questions is,” Lee said. “That’s what it sounds like you’re saying because you’re saying you’re not going to go back and look to see whether the violations of the M.O.U. might raise questions, or raise red flags, about what was going on. Right?”

“I don’t have anything to say beyond what I’ve said. We are not aware of any indication that there was influence by these donations. We have reviewed entities as I described under the M.O.U.,” Rathke said. “These private donations would not have been reviewed by the State Department, and we are not going back to do a retroactive examination of each of those cases and we’re not going to make a retroactive judgment on those items.”

Lee continued to appear incredulous at Rathke’s assertion, asking him time and time again why the State Department is not interested in finding out if there was, at least, the slightest bit of impropriety.


[h/t: Free Beacon]

Clinton Foundation Admits It Made Mistakes On Tax Returns, Disclosing Donors

On Sunday, Maura Pally, the acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation, acknowledged that the organization “made mistakes,” in its disclosure of which foreign donors contributed to the Foundation, and on some of its tax forms, where government grants were combined with other donations.

In a blog post, Pally noted, “many questions have been raised about the Clinton Foundation, its initiatives, and the financial support” the organization has received that allows it to carry out its “uniquely impactful philanthropic work.”

Pally claimed that as the Foundation has grown, its commitment to transparency has also grown, and that when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, it “took unprecedented steps to avoid potential conflicts of interest by going above and beyond what is required of any philanthropy” by creating an annual disclosure of all of the organization’s donors on its website.

Some of those questions were raised by Peter Schweizer, the author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” While the book won’t be released until May 5, it is expected to provide insight into the influence of foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation had on US foreign policy during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer wrote.

Speculation concerning the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), an alliance between the Clintons and Canadian investor Frank Giustra recently came to the forefront, after a report from International Business Times claimed that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overlooked reports of ongoing labor violations, and pledged her support for a free-trade agreement with Columbia in 2011. The report claims that this change occurred after Giustra, who was invested in the oil company Pacific Rubiales and would benefit from the trade agreement, donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.

According to the New York Times, in addition to the $31.3 million Giustra contributed to the Foundation after securing a major uranium mining deal in Kazakhstan, Giustra pledged to donate $100 million, which secured his spot in Clinton’s “inner circle.”

Pally noted that while the CGEP is a publicly listed donor on the Foundation’s website, because it is a “distinct Canadian organization, separate from the Clinton Foundation,” its individual donors are “not listed on the site.” She claimed that this is “hardly an effort” to avoid transparency, and said that under Canadian law, “all charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without prior permission from each donor.”

Pally also addressed questions about the Foundation’s 990 tax forms, and said that after a “voluntary external review is completed,” they will likely “refile forms for some years,” not because of a failure to accurately report their total revenue, but because “government grants were mistakenly combined with other donations.”

So yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future,” Pally wrote. “We are committed to operating the Foundation responsibly and effectively to continue the life-changing work that this philanthropy is doing every day.”