Google CEO’s Foundation Paid WH Staffers in What Legal Team Called ’Conflict of Interest’
02:33 GMT 29.03.2022 (Updated: 02:35 GMT 29.03.2022)
Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s foundation paid the salaries of multiple employees of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, according to a shocking new report which appears to expose corruption at the highest levels of US government.
Per Politico, Schmidt’s charitable organization, Schmidt Futures, “indirectly paid the salaries of two science-office employees, including, for six weeks, that of the current chief of staff, Marc Aidinoff, who is now one of the most senior officials in the office.”
“[Schmidt Futures] involvement in funding positions for specific figures raised repeated red flags from internal White House watchdogs,” according to Politico.
White House staffers reportedly described Schmidt’s “unusual level of influence” over the office–-including at least a dozen of the office’s 140-some employees allegedly having direct connections to the former Google CEO–led to a situation where its legal team “regularly flagged possible conflicts of interest involving Schmidt and Schmidt Futures,” the article notes.
The office’s general counsel at the time, Rachel Wallace, told Politico that she “and others on the legal team had been noticing a large number of staff with financial connections to Schmidt Futures and were increasingly concerned about the influence this organization was able to have through these individuals.”
Wallace went public as a whistleblower with the Government Accountability Project in March after Biden’s former science advisor Eric Lander stepped down after a White House investigation found “credible evidence” that he bullied Wallace and violated other workplace standards with multiple employees.
Lander is also reportedly another close associate of the Google CEO.
2 March 2022, 05:52 GMT
Although the White House reportedly said there was "nothing unusual about its ties to Schmidt," Politico reports that one legal analyst with the OSTP directly requested a colleague withdraw from the Schmidt fellowship because their work for the foundation and the White House, “poses a very significant conflict of interest” and that two employees subsequently exited their positions.
Eric Schmidt’s proximity to the US national security state (and the Democratic Party establishment in particular) is no secret. In 2016, the Tech Transparency Project described Schmidt as “Obama's Chief Corporate Ally.”
He chaired the U.S. National Commission on Artificial Intelligence from 2018 to 2021 and co-authored a 2021 book with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “The Age of AI: And Our Human Future,” calling for greater investment in Artificial Intelligence as a means of confronting China.
In the keynote address given to the Air Force Association Warfare Symposium on March 4, Schmidt urged more Google-DoD AI initiatives like the controversial Project Maven, which ultimately led around a dozen conscientious Google employees to resign in protest: “We need 20, 30, 40 such groups. More, more, more.”
Described by Wikileaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange in a 2014 article recalling their meeting, “Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation.”
As Assange tells it: “Schmidt fits exactly where he is: the point where the centrist, liberal, and imperialist tendencies meet in American political life. By all appearances, Google's bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the ‘benevolent superpower.’ They will tell you that open-mindedness is a virtue, but all perspectives that challenge the exceptionalist drive at the heart of American foreign policy will remain invisible to them.”
What Lockheed Martin was for the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies appear poised to become in the twenty-first.