Influence Gone: Clinton Global Initiative Closing Down
Post-election, foreign donations to pay-to-play arm of Clinton Foundation dry up
The Clinton Foundation is shutting the doors on the Clinton Global Initiative amid a sharp drop in foreign donations.
After announcing back in September that CGI would lay off a number of staff members but remain open, the Clinton Foundation notified New York City last week that the CGI office was closing and its 22 staffers were to be laid off.
No President Clinton, no need for the CGI — even at reduced capacity.
The Clinton Global Initiative was at the very center of allegations that the Clinton Foundation was little more than a pay-to-play scheme for the Clinton family. Indeed, as the New York Observer reported on Sunday:
“As soon as Clinton lost the election, many of the criticisms directed toward the Clinton Foundation were reaffirmed. Foreign governments began pulling out of annual donations, signaling the organization’s clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work.”
Following Clinton’s loss, the Australian government announced it would not renew any contracts with CGI — ending a decade-long relationship. In 2015, Norway gave the Clinton Foundation $20 million; in 2016 it gave $4.2 million.
If the sudden, global change of heart towards the Clinton Global Initiative that followed Clinton’s defeat in the election weren’t enough of a hint of the initiative’s true purpose, numerous emails released by WikiLeaks leading up to the election provided ample evidence of CGI’s thriving pay-to-play practices.
Moreover, the decision of the Clinton Foundation to close the initiative now, after having originally suggested in September that it would remain open, only seems to confirm that CGI's central function was influence peddling. No President Clinton, no need for the CGI — even at reduced capacity.
According to the notice, which was filed with the New York City Department of Labor, lists the intended layoff date for CGI's employees as April 15 — tax day. Fitting for an entity which took ostensibly charitable donations for personal profit.