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May 23, 2016

Opinion: Foundation's Ties Would Dog Clinton Administration

The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation's actvities would present an "inherent conflict of interest" to Hillary Clinton's administration if the Democratic front-runner succeeds in winning the White House, a Bloomberg opinion columnist asserts.

Albert R. Hunt notes Ms. Clinton's suggestion that the family charity would largely continue to operate as it currently does if she is elected and that transparency is the way to head off questions about whether its relationships influence her presidency. But he says that while the foundation has done "extraordinary good works," its financial support from wealthy donors, corporations, and foreign governments would make it difficult to avoid the appearance of conflicts.

"If Bill [Clinton] seeks to raise large sums of money from donors who also have an interest in U.S. policy, the public will rightly question whether the grants affected United States foreign policy," Stephen Gillers, an ethics expert at the New York University School of Law told Mr. Hunt. Foundation expert Joel Fleishman says that if Ms. Clinton is elected, she and her family should sever ties with the foundation, a view Mr. Hunt endorses.