New revelations from hacked Hillary Clinton emails
WASHINGTON (SBG) - Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show a meeting set up with both Bill and Hillary Clinton and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.
The emails show two days later a request from former President Bill Clinton’s office to the U.S. State Department for a “conflict of interest review,” seeking permission for him to speak at an event sponsored by Abdullah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Jan. 25, 2011.
His speaking fee, according to Judicial Watch, would be $300,000.
In its FOIA request, Citizens United found the approval for that event was not sought by the State Department until nearly four months after the speech was delivered on May 12, 2011.
“The fact that Bill Clinton felt comfortable going and taking the speaking fee before the State Department had even approved it just speaks to the fact that the ethical process was not something to be taken very seriously,” said Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute.
Throughout the course of Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department says it reviewed dozens of entities each year, primarily consisting of speeches and meetings of former President Clinton.
In a statement, State Department spokesman John Kirby said:
“The Department does not comment on our internal decision-making surrounding our review of certain entities, but generally speaking, to the extent that any engagements raised concerns within the Department, the Department relayed those concerns.”
The questions some critics are now raising is if it was a blatant example of pay for play.
“At this time in 2011, Saudi Arabia was seeking major arms deals with the United States and with American defense contractors,” Schweizer said
Later that year, the arms deal was approved.
Schweizer is also the author of the book "Clinton Cash," in which he tracked the money raised by the Clinton Foundation.