Bad publicity is hitting Bill and Hillary Clinton at a rapid-fire pace now as the Washington Post has highlighted another shady connection between their global charity, and an international businessman named Frank Giustra, an entrepreneur in the oil and mining industries and founder of Lions Gate Entertainment, who has donated over $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Giustra, a Canadian, first met Bill Clinton in 2005 when the pair flew to South America on Giustra’s private jet at the former president’s request. Since then, Mr. Giustra has successfully negotiated business deals in the countries of Kazakhstan and Colombia with the help of both Clinton’s.
In Kazakhstan, Giustra acquired three uranium mines for $500 million after meeting with Bill Clinton and state officials there. A year later, he donated $32 million to the Foundation. The mining firm was eventually sold to a company owned by the Russian state-government, and ultimately gave the Russians control over a number of U.S. mines. The transaction was approved by the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary.
In 2007, Giustra helped found oil company Pacific Rubales Energy which operated in Colombia and partnered in drilling deals with an oil production firm that had close ties with the state government there. He first met Colombian president Alvaro Uribe at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in 2005, and the three have had meetings in New York City, Bogota, and at Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
In 2010, Bill, Hillary, and Giustra, met in Bogota, Colombia, with President Uribe to discuss a free-trade agreement between the U.S. and the South American country. Both Bill and Hillary met with Mr. Uribe separately, and after the second day of talks, Secretary Clinton announced her support of a trade deal between the two countries – a reversal of her position on the issue during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Less than two years later, Bill returned to Bogota with Giustra to play in a golf outing sponsored by Pacific Rubales to raise money for a newly partnered charity initiative started by the two men. In April of that same year, Secretary Clinton and President Obama flew to Colombia to officially announce the U.S.-Colombia free-trade deal.
[Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Shannon Stapleton]