A new investigation has been launched by the Justice Department into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any “pay-to-play” politics during Hillary Cllinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
The U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI in Little Rock, Ark. are leading the probe into the allegations that the foundation may have violated tax law and received donations in exchange for favors, The Hill reported. At least one witness has already been interviewed in the last month, according to law enforcement officials who remained anonymous.
More from The Hill:
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.
A witness described an interview session with the FBI as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough,” with questions focused specifically about whether donors to Clinton charities receiving preferential treatment during Clinton’s time at the State Department under former President Obama, according to the Hill.
Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian maintained that nothing improper occurred within the organization.
“Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false,” Minassian told Fox News. “None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people.”
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill believes the probe is just an attempt by President Trump’s administration to distract the public.
“Let’s call this what it is: A sham,” Merrill told Fox News. “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently. The goal is to distract from the indictments, guilty pleas, and accusations of treason from Trump’s own people at the expense of our justice system’s integrity. It’s disgraceful, and should be concerning to all Americans.”
Calls for investigations into the Clintons’ activities have been ongoing for years, including repeated remarks from Trump on the “crooked” Clintons and their questionable fund-raising efforts.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on prosecutors in November to evaluate “certain issues” involving the sale of Uranium One and other illegal activities by the Clinton Foundation.
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