Uranium Deal Turns Spotlight on Hillary Clinton But Not the Way She Wanted

© REUTERS / Brian SnyderUS Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks offstage at a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, US November 1, 2016.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks offstage at a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, US November 1, 2016. - Sputnik International
Hillary and Bill Clinton could have been involved in "pay-to-play" schemes, while transferring money through their charity in a non-transparent manner, Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel told Sputnik. The uranium deal may become the trigger for an all-out inquiry into the Clinton Foundation, he believes.

The Clintons' "modus operandi" is first, to lie under oath, and, second, to obstruct justice from within government and even from outside government, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel told Sputnik, commenting on investigations launched by the Senate and the House of Representatives into the Obama-era uranium deal.

It was rumored that as secretary of state Hillary Clinton approved the agreement benefiting Russia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation (CF) from Canadian mining industry leaders involved in the deal. Clinton refuted the claim that she helped support the donors' interests.

Hillary's Uranium Case: Why Now?

Answering the question why of all times Hillary Clinton's uranium case has surfaced now, the analyst noted that it was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who kicked off the initiative following the release of reports by US journalists John Solomon and Sara Carter.

Ortel believes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "has been dragging his feet on putting resources behind a full and complete investigation of the network of charities operated by and for the Clintons that seems to be engaged in the largest frauds perpetrated in modern history, when one considers all the tentacles."

While speaking to Alabama voters in late September, Donald Trump responded to their chant "lock her [Clinton] up" by saying: "You've got to speak to Jeff Sessions about that."

Then, during an October 18 congressional hearing, Attorney General Sessions dropped the hint that the Justice Department was looking into the alleged conflict of interest involving the former secretary of state.

Is the Clinton investigation launched by the US Congress, and, allegedly, Sessions, connected to the ongoing Trump-Russia probe?

The Wall Street analyst assumed that the narrative concerning Trump's supposed collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential elections, promoted by "Team Obama" and "Team Clinton," is nothing but an attempt to prevent the US president from disclosing "potential criminal activities involving government officials, donors and others [who] might get prosecuted once the Trump administration finds its feet."

"When Trump shocked many by winning, Team Obama and Team Clinton must have realized that skeletons created and put in closets from January 20, 2009 onwards, might get exposed," he explained.

"At first, it seems consideration was given to contesting the election result, and then to obstructing the inauguration. As these moves failed, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative ultimately triggered the appointment of [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, and then of his team," Ortel said.

The Clinton Foundation Brought Into the Spotlight, Again

The alleged conflict of interest has once again brought the Clinton charity's murky financial activities into the spotlight. According to Ortel, who has been investigating the CF for the past few years, the Clintons have a long record of receiving grants, including from foreign nations, and not disclosing it in an appropriate manner.

"There are various laws that require a US charity to disclose its government grants, including those from foreign nations," the investigative journalist explained. "When you look through the IRS tax forms from 1998 through 2007 for the Clinton Foundation, you will see that the line 'government grants' is not filled in for any of these 10 years."

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Ortel noted, "On December 18, 2008, the Clintons reluctantly provided a table that purported to show donor information concerning cumulative contributions, arrayed in a misleading fashion by category."

"This list includes numerous 'governments' so the CF and its trustees knowingly omitted crucial information on tax forms submitted for 1998 through 2007," the analyst highlighted.

However, Ortel emphasized that the list is "misleading" because "the largest category $25 million and up failed to highlight that UNITAID had donated hundreds of millions by December 18, 2008, and had even advanced monies for 2009 to the CF in 2008."

UNITAID, an organization aimed at providing access to drugs and treatment for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis patients worldwide, was founded with the assistance of former US President Bill Clinton and then French President Jacques Chirac in 2006. The entity was officially established by the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom while the CF was named as one of its key partners.

"These donations had gone to the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, Inc., an AR [Arkansas] legal entity whose authority to operate had been revoked on March 31, 2008, with effect from December 31, 2007. Moreover, the French government and possibly other donors had grown quite concerned about this illegal activity around then," the analyst surmised.

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In addition to federal filings on government grants, New York and California require detailed disclosures that still have not properly been made by the Clinton charity concerning government grants,  amount and intended purposes, the analyst explained.

"So, one issue that is deeply troubling for the Clintons and for the regulators who still seem willing to give the Clintons, lawyers, accountants, a pass is what purposes did the donors intend the Clinton Foundation to carry out in each year from 1998 forward. And exactly when, if ever, was the CF authorized by the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] and the states to be more than a Little Rock Presidential Records Repository and Research Center," the Wall Street analyst underscored.

Given the fact that lots of data are omitted in the CF balance sheets the question arises what actually happened to these various government and other donations, Ortel asked.

© AP Photo / Marcio Jose SanchezWhile Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State, The Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from foreign governments, and at least one contribution was in violation of a State Department ethics agreement, the Washington Post reports.
While Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State, The Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from foreign governments, and at least one contribution was in violation of a State Department ethics agreement, the Washington Post reports.  - Sputnik International
While Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State, The Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from foreign governments, and at least one contribution was in violation of a State Department ethics agreement, the Washington Post reports.

How Clinton Charity Evolved Into Monstrous Non-Transparent Network

So, when did this trend start?

Citing Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Bill Clinton's secret diarist, the Wall Street analyst noted, "Bill Clinton was thinking about his library immediately after he won his first presidential election." However, the charity intended to gather money for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock has transformed into an enormous and non-transparent international network. 

"Early on in Arkansas, [the Clintons] likely discovered that no one actually checks what really happens to sums spent by governments in the granular ways that forensic accountants and investigators can check, if they wish to," Ortel remarked.

2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) arrives with her husband former President Bill Clinton for the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The investigative journalist elaborated that "with the 'charities,' operating without controls, the Clintons, their allies, and others can divert incoming funds to side accounts, and declare only a portion of the vast sums that actually are sent their way."

He highlighted that "with the balance of 'revenues,' they can claim expenses of any amount they wish, but ensure monies go to allies who can then kick back portions of sums actually sent."

"Had the American public learned the truth starting in 2001, the Clinton Foundation long ago would have been shut down, and possibly trustees and Clinton family members, as well as executives would have been prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated," he told Sputnik.

According to the analyst, there were many other scandals "that plagued the Clintons, while and after Bill was a president."

"During and after the 1996 election, allegations were made and subsequently investigated that the Clintons and Democrats tapped foreign money sources, including possibly the Chinese and there were endless hearings," he said, referring to the 1996 US campaign finance controversy — an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China to influence domestic American politics.

However, Ortel stressed that "these hearings never seemed to go to the heart of underlying issues, possibly because both politicians in both parties (illegally) may have been engaged in the same bad behavior."

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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