New Emails Reveal “Friends Of Bill” Got Special Access From State For Haiti Recovery Contracts
Newly released emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the Republican National Committee, and subsequently shared with ABC News, reveal very open special treatment of “Friends of Bill” (“FOB” for short) by the State Department in granting access to recovery efforts in Haiti, in which $10 billion in emergency aid was spent after the 2010 earthquake.
The emails show very close coordination between Caitlin Klevorick, a senior State Department official, and Amitabh Desai, the director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, as they exchanged emails from Foundation donors looking to participate in the Haiti recovery efforts. While many donors likely were just looking to make charitable contributions, others, as evidenced below, were simply looking to capture their “fair share” of $10 billion in emergency aid contracts doled out by the U.S. government.
The following exchange between Klevorick and Dasai, with the subject line “Haiti Assistance,” shows the State Department very clearly asking for “Friends of Bill” to be flagged for special consideration.
“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” wrote Caitlin Klevorick, then a senior State Department official who was juggling incoming offers of assistance being funneled to the State Department by the Clinton Foundation. “Most I can probably ID but not all.”
Of course, this directly contradicts comments that Bill Clinton previously made to CBS’ Charlie Rose just last month when he assured voters that “nothing was ever done for anybody because they were contributors to the foundation, nothing.”
In another Klevorick and Dasai exchange, the State Department official asks “Is this a FOB!” saying that “If not, she should go to cidi.org” (a general government website).
“I think when you look at both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in Haiti, that line was pretty faint between the two,” said Jake Johnston, a Haiti analyst for the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research. “You had a lot of coordination and connection between the two, obviously. And I think that raises significant questions about how they were both operating.”
As ABC points out, one series of messages uncovers the efforts of billionaire Denis O’Brien, a longtime donor to the Clinton Foundation and the CEO of the Jamaica-based telecom firm Digicel, to fly relief supplies into Port-au-Prince and get employees of his company out. But when O’Brien couldn’t get access to land in Port-au-Prince “through conventional channels” he turns to long-time Clinton aide Doug Band for help. Shortly thereafter, the request was elevated to the State Department in an email with the subject line “Close friend of the Clintons.”
“This WJC VIP just called again from Jamaica to say Digicel is being pushed by US Army to get comms back up but is not being cleared by [the U.S. government] to deploy into Haiti to do so,” Desai wrote in an email with the subject line “Close friend of Clintons.”
Later, O’Brien writes to longtime Clinton aide Doug Band to express frustration. “We’re finding it impossible to get landing slots,” he says. “I’m sorry to bother you but I am not making any progress through conventional channels.”
Band tasks Desai to “pls get on this,” telling O’Brien, “Never a bother.”
Desai then turns to Klevorick to help “a friend of President Clinton,” and the request is pushed up the chain of command to USAID officials organizing the relief effort.
The following exchange highlights a request from Clinton Foundation donor, Garry Mauro, who also ran Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns in Texas. In this instance, DRC Emergency Services was seemingly compensated for their efforts with their website noting “having performed emergency response work at disasters around the globe, with over $2 billion in disaster response contracts.”
Desai forwarded a note to Klevorick from Garry Mauro, who served twice as the Texas state chairman for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns and has donated $25,000 to $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The offer was for “major assets in Haiti” from a company called DRC Emergency Services. On its website, the company boasts of having performed emergency response work at disasters around the globe, with over $2 billion in disaster response contracts. Desai noted that Mauro was “a friend of WJC.”
Klevorick replied, “also note hrc friend,” using initials for Hillary Rodham Clinton. The email chain does not indicate if Mauro’s recommendation led to a contract for DRC, though the company’s website states, “Within 24 hours of the earthquake’s occurrence, DRC assembled and mobilized a team of highly experienced and dedicated personnel to Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas.”
Mauro told ABC News he approached the Clinton Foundation on behalf of DRC after seeing on television that former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush were raising money for the disaster. DRC had already been doing temporary housing work in Haiti, and company officials thought the earthquake would open the door to a major business expansion.
“They wanted to get some of the business,” he said of DRC. “The Clinton Foundation was a facilitator. They didn’t have the money.”
Of course, we have no doubt that these scandalous revelations, like many others circling the Clinton campaign at the moment, will quickly be brushed under the carpet so the mainstream media can go back to focusing on Trump’s “grab ’em by the pu$$y” comment.
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