The TOP TEN Most Ethically Challenged Hillary Emails

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) in Washington, D.C. has published a list of the “top 10 most ethically challenged Hillary emails.”

More than 20 of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails contained information so sensitive and classified that even Congress wasn’t allowed to read them.

Matthew G. Whitaker, executive director of FACT and the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, says of Clinton’s staffers, they are now “in a position of choosing between being honest about those emails, or lying to the FBI, which is a crime.”

Clinton has repeatedly denied that she ever sent or received classified information using her private email. But federal investigators have reported that more than 2,000 of the 55,000 pages of emails she released to the State Department did in fact include classified material.

The TOP TEN Most Ethically Challenged Hillary Clinton Emails, categorized by ethical breach:

  • Nepotism: Clinton intervened on Aug. 22, 2012, on behalf of her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, in an effort to secure State Department assistance for one of his business associates with ties to a Clinton Foundation donor. FACT filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on this issue.
  • Favoring Insiders: Clinton “impressed” billionaire donor George Soros with his easy access to her, according to a May 12, 2012, email to her from Neera Tanden, veteran Clinton adviser and president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.
  • Above The Law: Clinton told aide Jake Sullivan in a June 17, 2011, to disregard classification security regulations and send information for a speech via a non-secure email system, which forced the aide to either break the law or disobey an order.
  • Special Interests: In a July 26, 2010, email exchange with Clinton, Sullivan forwarded a message from Jeffrey Farrow, an influential lobbyist for a Pacific island government. The exchange “raises red flags about whether Farrow had made ‘requests,’” according to FACT.
  • Selling Access: A Dec. 10, 2009, email discussed attempts by the Clinton campaign and Clinton Foundation donor, Brian Greenspun, to set up a meeting between Clinton and a top Israeli official who had “been trying to meet with [Clinton] to no avail.” The email suggests certain campaign and foundation donors had a privileged “back door” to Clinton.
  • Conflicts Of Interest: Clinton pushed for the State Department to work with the Clinton Foundation and the Red Cross on a project in Haiti. The Jan. 19, 2010, email from Clinton to her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills indicates a clear conflict of interest, according to FACT.
  • Helping Political Allies: Mark Penn, Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign pollster and long-time political adviser, complained about not having timely access on a corporate event in China. His complaints were apparently resolved after a Feb. 22, 2010 email from Clinton aide Kris Balderston, which detailed scheduling a telephone call with Clinton.
  • Trading Favors: Barely a week after the Penn complaint, Balderston reported in a March 2 email to Clinton that major corporations, including Boeing, CITI and Blackstone, agreed to provide financial support for the event. “Even the appearance of this sort of favor trading, involving the public, private and political sectors, is a bad ethics practice,” according to FACT.
  • Abuse Of Position: A Sept. 15, 2011 email forwarded to Clinton, Sullivan, and aide Huma Abedin, listed multiple State Department officials attending the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative conference despite having “no official role.” Robert Hormats, a department official, was also a speaker at a dinner co-hosted by the Goldman Sachs Wall Street investment firm that later paid Clinton $675,000 for three speeches. The dinner focused on investing in women, Clinton’s favorite Clinton Foundation project.
  • Duping Obama: In a Sept. 20, 2011 email to Clinton, Mills forwarded a draft of President Barack Obama’s planned remarks to the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative. FACT contends that “Clinton doesn’t appear to have routinely received copies of the President’s draft speeches, and it sends bad ethical signals to treat a speech given to her family’s organization differently.”
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