Regardless of the disclosure agreement the William J. Clinton Foundation entered into with the Obama administration in order to facilitate the confirmation of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the Clintons’ tendency to play fast and loose with ethics is bound to be a continuing source of headaches for President Obama.
A new potential conflict was brought to light by the Washington Times which reports that a secret party paid an excessive sum for stock donated to the foundation. According to the news article:
Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation, despite identifying more than 200,000 of its donors in recent weeks, will not say who paid it windfall prices for stock in a struggling Internet firm with links to the Chinese government.
The William J. Clinton Foundation has identified donors and promised unusual transparency in order to reassure critics who fear the foundation could become the object of largesse from foreign interests seeking to influence his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. […]
However, Mrs. Clinton’s office and the foundation have declined to answer questions about a lucrative 2006 stock transaction, details of which were reported by The Washington Times in March 2008.
The Accoona Corp. donated between $250,001 and $500,000 to Mr. Clinton’s charity after he spoke at the company’s launch in New York in 2004, according to donor information released by the foundation in December. The foundation sold its Accoona stock for $700,000 two years later, according to the charity’s tax return for 2006.
Despite what the tax return suggests, Accoona struggled mightily to turn a profit.
In 2007, Accoona filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission reporting more than $60 million in losses during three years. In the same prospectus, it listed the China Daily Information Corp., a subsidiary of China Daily, the official English-language newspaper of the Chinese government, as an official partner and 6.9 percent owner of the company. […]
While the Clinton Foundation voluntarily disclosed the original donation of the stock, it still is unwilling to say who was willing to pay so much for its holdings in the struggling company. Mrs. Clinton’s office referred questions about the Accoona stock deal to Mr. Clinton’s foundation, which declined to provide details.
“We have not disclosed that and have no plans to,” foundation spokesman Matt McKenna wrote in an e-mail. […]
We previously blogged about Clinton and the potential for conflicts of interest related to the William J. Clinton Foundation.