Case study
August 11, 2016

Clinton Charity Donor Says No State Dept. Meeting Took Place

A spokesman for Gilbert Chagoury, a billionaire Clinton Foundation donor who figures in newly released State Department emails, said the Lebanese-Nigerian mogul did not get a meeting with a diplomat as sought by a foundation official, The New York Times reports.

Spokesman Mark Corallo said Mr. Chagoury, a hotel and real-estate developer who has given $1 million to $5 million to the foundation, wanted to meet with a top U.S. diplomat in Lebanon in 2009 to share his insights on upcoming elections in that country, not to pursue State Department action on his own behalf.

Douglas Band, an aide to former President Bill Clinton who helped create the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, contacted top assistants of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to arrange such a meeting, according to messages made public Wednesday by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The State aides wrote back suggesting a conversation with Jeffrey Feltman, a former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, but Mr. Corallo and Mr. Feltman said no meeting occurred.

Conservative critics contend the emails show that State under Ms. Clinton cooperated with her family’s charity, in violation of an ethics pledge she made upon taking office in 2009. Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign said she “never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”