A Politico Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for General Services Administration (GSA) records regarding Former Presidents Act reimbursement submissions was fulfilled this week, with documents showing that Bill Clinton used taxpayer funds to pay Clinton Foundation staff and computer expenses and maintain Hillary Clinton’s private email server used during her tenure at the State Department.
The results of the investigation highlight a long-held pattern of overlap between the Clintons private interests and public service, dating back to the late-1970s when Bill was the Arkansas state Attorney General and partnered in a real estate venture company that eventually became involved in the Whitewater scandal.
Since leaving the White House in January 2001, the Clintons have made approximately $240 million using their name, connections and general business acumen to garner large sums of money mainly through speaking engagements, consulting advice and book deals.
Despite their opulence, Bill Clinton has requested $16 million in public funds under the Former Presidents Act since 2001 to supplement staff member salaries and help pay for technology expenses incurred by his Foundation and personal office, as well as Hillary’s personal email server used during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The Former Presidents Act, passed in 1958, was meant to “maintain the dignity” of ex-commanders-in-chief, such as Harry Truman who said after leaving office that he would have to “go ahead with some contracts to keep ahead of the hounds.”
GSA records given to Politico show that 13 of 22 Bill Clinton staffers were paid federal subsidies who also worked for the Clinton Foundation. Former presidents are allowed $96,600 per year in reimbursements for personal staff costs.
One Clinton GSA funds recipient, Justin Cooper, helped Hillary Clinton set up and maintain her private email system in 2009 at the beginning of the Obama Administration, and later worked with other Clinton aides, including David Band, to start a global consulting company, Teneo Holdings LLC in 2011, which worked with Foundation donors and businesses vying for State Department contracts.
Teneo ultimately gave Bill Clinton $3.5 million to serve as its “honorary chairman”, $3.4 million of which he officially returned to the company, and hired Hillary aide Huma Abedin as a “senior advisor” to connect Foundation donors with the State Department. Both Cooper and Band received supplementary GSA income from February 2011 until 2013.
GSA records also show that two long-time Clinton associates were eligible to receive public money who officially tallied no working hours — former Clinton White House Chief of Staff and current Hillary Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta and former Clinton Foundation CEO Bruce Lindsey.
Politico first filed its FOIA request for all Presidents Act payment information from 1999 with GSA in March 2015. The documents were only released this week, dated from 2009. The majority relate to Clinton’s reimbursement requests — one that was granted for a computer database system used for the Foundation and Clinton’s own personal office to log communications information.
The $16 million requested by Clinton since 2001 is more than either Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush have asked for in the last two decades.
[Politico] [Forbes] [Washington Times] [Photo courtesy Fox News]