Documents Show State Dept. Closely Coordinated With Clinton Foundation After Benghazi Attacks
Internal State Department documents released on Tuesday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch reveal a previously undisclosed meeting took place between the president of Libya’s National Congress, Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf, and former President Bill Clinton at a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) function in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks in 2012.
On September 13, 2012, less than 48-hours after the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, al-Magariaf sent a request to the Clinton Foundation that expressed his desire to meet with former President Clinton and to participate in a Clinton Global Initiative meeting later that month in New York.
The Clinton Foundation official then contacted Sec. Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, and asked for guidance on how to respond to the request. Mills replied later that evening, “[The State Department] would not have issues.”
Nonetheless, the same e-mail chain reveals that Clinton Foundation official contacted Mills again four days later to seemingly double check into the State Dept.’s position on the meeting request. The e-mail, dated September 17, 2012, states, “al-Magariaf is asking for a meeting with [former President Clinton] next week. (He is confirmed to come to CGI) Would you recommend accepting of declining the [former President Clinton] meeting request?”
There is no record of Mills’ response to the September 17 inquiry in the documents, however, an e-mail from the Clinton Foundation to Mills and Sec. Clinton aide Huma Abedin, dated September 26, 2012, reveals that the meeting between the former president and al-Magariaf did take place.
In addition to the Libya matter, the documents provide additional evidence of coordination between Sec. Clinton’s State Dept. staff and Clinton Foundation staff in relation to a 2009 speech given by Sec. Clinton at a Clinton Foundation event. The documents show State Dept. staff requested an official list of Clinton Foundation supporters (donors) so then-Sec. Clinton could be sure to specifically thank those groups and individuals in her speech.
In a statement accompanying the documents release, Judicial Watch President Tom Litton said:
“These new State Department documents show Hillary Clinton and her State aides were involved in fundraising for the Clinton Foundation. It is also incredible that the Libyan president would call and meet Bill Clinton through the Clinton Foundation before meeting Hillary Clinton about Benghazi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hand in glove with the Clinton Foundation on fundraising and foreign policy. Despite the law and her promises to the contrary, Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into the DC office of the Clinton Foundation.”
Judicial Watch is currently engaged in ongoing litigation to obtain additional records related to potential conflicts of interest between the State Dept. and the Clinton Foundation.
In January, reports surfaced that the FBI had expanded its investigation to include possible “pay for play” allegations between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department business. Clinton initially tried to laugh off the allegations, however, last month it was revealed that federal investigators had issued a subpoena to the Clinton Foundation seeking documents related to Clinton Foundation projects that required State Dept. approval during Clinton’s tenure as Sec. of State.
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