By:Richard Pollock, DCNF
Clinton Foundation officials have yet to disclose the charity’s third quarter 2016 donors — which ended September 30 — thus insuring voters won’t know who contributed in the final months leading up to the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Also late is the 2015 990 tax return for the former president’s charity.
The Clinton Foundation pledges on its website that “for maximum transparency … we update our donor web-page each quarter that we receive the contributions.” But officials there have yet to post the latest quarterly donor report and they’ve offered no explanation.
The third quarter period is from July 1 to September 30 and is normally released in October. The Clinton Foundation’s web site currently states that its numbers are good only “through June 2016” or the second quarter. In the past, the foundation has released — amid much public fanfare — its third quarter donor list.
The Clinton Foundation also has not released its 2015 Form 990 federal tax return to the Internal Revenue Service, meaning the voting public will have no ability to assess the charity’s financial health, programs or activities until after the election.
The charity has been under fire amid allegations that American special interests and foreign governments buy access and influence of the Clintons.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has harshly criticized her Republican presidential opponent, Donald Trump, for not releasing his tax returns. Trump has said repeatedly that he will release the returns once the IRS completes its audit.
But the foundation’s refusal to disclose key donor documents on the eve of the presidential balloting will likely fuel suspicions that the Clinton charity is trying to hide controversial information, which will in turn increase voter worries about her honesty and trustworthiness.
“You can only think that they’re trying hide something or keep an issue away from the American people. It’s hard to otherwise understand,” Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Whitaker is executive director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust, a conservative non-profit government watchdog.
“Actions sometimes speak louder than words. In this case, obviously there is something the foundation and its hierarchy just want out in the American consciousness on the eve of the election,” Whitaker told TheDCNF.
Clinton’s poll standing has suffered dramatically in the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure Friday that the law enforcement agency has reopened its investigation of her use of private email addresses and a private server located in her New York home while serving as America’s chief diplomat.
The case is particularly explosive for Clinton as the new FBI inquiry centers on a child pornography investigation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner whose estranged wife, Huma Abedin, serves as one of Clinton’s closest advisor.
The Clinton Foundation’s failure to release its latest donor information is contrary to a promise of transparency it prominently pledged in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was nominated by President Obama as Secretary of State.
At that time, the Clinton Foundation pledged an annual disclosure of donors when it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Obama transition team. But in spring 2015 it promised to go further and to release donor information each quarter.
Clinton Foundation officials triumphantly released to the Washington Post the charity’s third quarter 2015 donations because, the newspaper reported, they were “pushing back against suggestions that the family’s global charity has been adversely affected by scrutiny associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.”
It’s possible the donors have been withheld to avoid embarrassment if donations have declined. Contributions from wealthy Clinton friends continued in the second quarter, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, Irish telecom tycoon Denis O’Brien and his cell phone giant Digicel, Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs and the retail giant Wal-Mart.
Also on the second quarter list was Recep Ozkan, who is tied to a reclusive Turkish cleric who Turkish President Recep Erdogan charges was behind a recent coup attempt. Ozkan donated between $500,00 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
The 2015 Clinton Foundation’s tax return — called Form 990– is normally due by May 15, but an automatic extension is offered to charities for 90 days, ending in August. Many charities seek a second extension that ends on November 15.
If the Clinton Foundation sought a second extension, the donors won’t be known until December or later. A Clinton Foundation spokesman did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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