Former President Bill Clinton apparently misled Aussie officials in 2006 when he signed a $25 million memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Clinton Foundation and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) in 2006, according to a complaint filed Thursday with the FBI.
The MOU committed the funds collected from Australian taxpayers to the American charity for medical projects it agreed to conduct inChina, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam. The foundation also agreed to match the $25 million from its own funds under its Clinton HIV/Aids Initiative (CHAI).
The problem, according to Michael Smith, an investigative reporter and retired Australian police detective, is that Clinton was not at the time a director of the foundation that was created in 1997 to build and operate his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Clinton was also barred from legally representing the foundation for five years after his losing his law license in 2001 in connection with his false testimony to the U.S. government during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998.
In a Jan. 18, 2018, letter and complaint to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Smith said, “William J CLINTON signed the document over the words ‘For the William J Clinton Foundation HIV/Aids Initiative.’ In a statement (emailed to me) DFAT advised that Clinton executed the agreement as the ‘Founder’ of the Clinton Foundation.”
But Smith told Wray in the complaint, “Clinton was never the ‘founder’ of the Clinton Foundation, which was incorporated in 1997, nor of the Clinton HIV/Aids Initiative Inc. For at least five years from 2001, Clinton was prohibited from holding a number of legal and/or trustee positions on account of his disbarment following dishonesty convictions in U.S. courts. Clinton held no role and had no fiduciary responsibility for the Clinton Foundation or CHAI until 2013.”
During the formal ceremony announcing the MOU, Smith said “Clinton spoke as the decision-maker wholly responsible for the performance of the Clinton Foundation. He held no such role, and while he may have been confident in his ability to influence the board of the Clinton Foundation — his statements about control and establishment of the Clinton Foundation were false, misleading and had the effect of engendering unwarranted confidence in what turned out to be a false narrative concerning the foundation’s ability to deliver on its agreements.”
The Clinton charity was created to back the former chief executive’s presidential library — but soon after its founding became involved in programs with no connection to the original purpose other than the family name.
Allegations of mismanagement, fraud, and other serious crimes have shadowed the Clinton charity in connection with its programs in multiple countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. Most seriously, the allegations reportedly include providing watered-down HIV/AIDS medications to African sufferers of the dread disease.
A spokesman for the foundation did not respond to LifeZette’s request for comment.
Smith said earlier this week he was asked to provide to the FBI evidence he has collected in recent years that suggest multiple problems with the Clinton Foundation’s lucrative relationship with influential Australian officials.
(photo credit, homepage image: President Clinton, CC BY-ND 2.0, by Center for American Progress Action Fund; photo credit, article image: Day 2 Wrap: Democratic National Convention, CC 0, by A. Shaker, Voice of America)