WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- Bill and Hillary Clinton may have used the former first lady's position as secretary of state to accept millions of dollars in bribes couched as speaking fees according to allegations from Judicial Watch and the Washington Examiner.
"These documents are a bombshell and show how the Clintons turned the State Department into a racket to line their own pockets," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
After much recent press on how personal wealth gained through book sales, personal appearances, and speaking engagements has distanced Hillary Clinton from the demographic of Americans Experiencing Financial Hardship—a constituency she attempted to identify with when she made the controversial comment she and husband Bill were "dead broke" when they left the White House in 2001—the Clintons are now under fire for allegedly abusing their political connections for personal profit.
According to Judicial Watch and the Washington Examiner, documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request show officials in the state department issued approval on 215 separate speaking engagements former President Bill Clinton made overseas during Hillary's term as secretary of state—speaking engagements which netted the Clintons more than $48 million all paid for by foreign governments and multinational businesses with obvious interest in influencing both the current and future executive administration.
Judicial watch reports:
Mr. Clinton's speeches included appearances in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Central America, Europe, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the Cayman Islands. Sponsors of the speeches included some of the world's largest financial institutions — Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, American Express and others — as well as major players in technology, energy, health care and media. Other speech sponsors included a car dealership, casino groups, hotel operators, retailers, real estate brokers, a Panamanian air cargo company and a sushi restaurant.
According to the Washington Examiner's detailed reportage on the finances of the former president's speaking tours, all of Bill Clinton's overseas appearances should have been evaluated by a "designated agency ethics official" to advise the secretary of state, Bill's wife, on "potential or actual conflicts of interest" and yet all 215 of Bill Clinton's speaking engagements were rubber stamped by the State Department.
"How the Obama State Department waived hundreds of ethical conflicts that allowed the Clintons and their businesses to accept money from foreign entities and corporations seeking influence boggles the mind," said Fitton.
Judicial Watch and the Washington Examiner assert that Bill Clinton accepting money from foreign governments and multinational businesses while Hillary Clinton was responsible for the United States' relationship with those countries and corporations is at the very least a clear and flagrant disregard of conflict of interest protocols made in the interest of personal profit and at worst the bold-faced accepting of political bribes.
"That former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy is an outrage," Fitton said.
No word yet on whether an official investigation will commence or formal charges will be filed, but one has to wonder how this revelation will affect Hillary Clinton's nascent 2016 campaign—one which has so far been largely propagated on the platform of Clinton relating to those in poverty.
In an interview yesterday on Fusion's America with Jorge Ramos, Clinton said, "What I want to do–and this is what Bill has always done since the very beginning of his public life–is to try to create more ladders of opportunity for more Americans so that they can have the same opportunities that Bill and I have had."