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August 01, 2016

Opinion: Clinton Foundation Donors Backed Russian Tech Venture

Major U.S. tech companies that have contributed to the Clinton Foundation heeded calls by the State Department when it was headed by Hillary Clinton to invest in a Kremlin effort to develop a Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion column.

Supporting the Skolkovo Innovation Center on the outskirts of Moscow was part of the attempted “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations early in President Obama’s first term. The State Department sought U.S. investment partners for the project, writes Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of Clinton Cash, a 2015 book on purported ties between Clinton Foundation fundraising and U.S. foreign policy during Ms. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

Seventeen entities that collectively committed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton foundation, including Google, Intel, and Cisco, were among 28 “key partners” identified in 2012 by the Skolkovo Foundation, Mr. Schweizer says. By that year, he writes, U.S. military researchers were warning that Skolkovo ventures include work related to Russian defense capabilities.

“Even if it could be proven that these tens of millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations by Skolkovo’s key partners played no role in the Clinton State Department’s missing or ignoring obvious red flags about the Russian enterprise, the perception would still be problematic,” Mr. Schweizer asserts. Neither the foundation nor Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign responded to request for comment, he says.