How corrupt is Hillary Clinton?

PDF of the 2012-08-22 email regarding Neptune Minerals
from Hillary Rodham Clinton to NidesTR@state.gov

While at the US State Department, Hillary Clinton made an eyebrow-raising request on behalf of her son-in-law
by Stephen Braun, AP
Business Insider / AP, 2015-12-08

[This story is also available at Fox News, NYT, WP.]


As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton intervened in
a request forwarded by her son-in-law on behalf of a deep-sea mining firm
to meet with her or other State Department officials
after one of the firm's investors asked Chelsea Clinton's husband for help setting up such contacts,
according to the most recently released Clinton emails.


Clinton's campaign declined through a spokesman to discuss the issue,
despite The AP asking detailed questions about the matter since Nov. 30.
The AP attempted to reach Siklas and a Neptune executive, Josh Adam,
by phone, email and in-person visits to their homes last week,
but received no replies.

In the email,
Siklas also said that his then employer, Goldman Sachs, was representing Neptune.

"I introduced them to GS and the bankers took them on as a client,"
Siklas told Mezvinsky in the email.

Before joining Eaglevale, Mezvinsky had also worked for eight years at Goldman,
partly during Siklas' tenure there between 2004 and 2007.
Members of the influential New York firm were one of Clinton's top funders in her 2008 presidential race,
giving more than $225,000 that cycle.
The firm has also been a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, giving between $1 million and $5 million.

A spokesman for Eaglevale said Mezvinsky would not comment on his role.
Emails to a spokeswoman for Chelsea Clinton went unreturned.
Morgan Stanley officials did not respond to an AP request to interview Nides.

The AP also left three phone messages with Neptune Minerals' office in St. Petersburg, Florida,
and also left several phone and email messages with Hans Smit, the firm's current president,
also with no reply.

Federal ethics guidelines warn government employees to
"not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual,"
but there are no specific provisions prohibiting officials from considering requests prompted by relatives.

[I am not a lawyer, nor an expert on government ethics,
but doesn't this resemble what a federal court convicted former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell of?
He was convicted of doing favors, while in office,
for someone who had made personal gifts to him.
He argued that the giver was merely a personal friend,
and that the actions he took were those that were reasonable and customary
for businessmen trying to do business in his state.
That argument didn't cut water with the U.S. DOJ, the federal judiciary, nor a jury that heard his case.
Just a question:
How different is what Hillary Clinton did from what Robert McDonnell did?
A difference in degree or in kind?]

Clinton's willingness to intercede as a result of her son-in-law's involvement
is the latest example of how the Clinton family's interests
cut across intersecting spheres of influence in American politics, commerce and charity.

A lawyer for an environmental group opposing deep-sea mining said
Clinton's action was "cause for concern
that the State Department might take any action that could encourage such activity."


Three days after her Senate appearance, Siklas, who described himself as a "passive investor" in Neptune, emailed Mezvinsky.

"Hey bud," Siklas wrote, telling Mezvinsky that Neptune was pursuing sea-floor massive sulfide (SMS) mining in the South Pacific and had just bought out two other mining firms. Siklas said that he and Adam needed "a contact in Hillary's office: someone my friend Josh (and I perhaps) can reach out via email or phone to discuss SMS mining and the current legal issues and regulations." Siklas, then registered as a stockbroker at Goldman Sachs in New York, had contributed $2,000 to Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

Siklas said the State Department would be interested in the subject following Clinton's Senate testimony. He said he and Adam "would feel very fortunate to have someone's ear on this topical issue, with the hope that at some point we get in front of the secretary herself."

The emails do not show how Clinton became directly aware of Siklas' email to Mezvinsky
or why it took three months for her to act after Mezvinsky became involved.
The emails do not show a reply from Mezvinsky,
but Hillary Clinton eventually obtained a copy and sent it to Nides that August, ordering a follow-up.

[Again, how comparable is this to what Robert McDonnell was convicted of?
Maybe someone with more legal expertise than I can answer that question.]

Clinton email from son-in-law highlights favoritism, drilling flip-flop
By Sarah Westwood
Washington Examiner, 2015-12-10

An email indicating Hillary Clinton intervened on behalf of a friend of her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, predated what appears to be a period of success for the mining company in question.

The email, which was made public at the end of last month by the State Department, has touched off a new round of criticism from observers who note the growing number of instances in which the lines between Clinton's friends, foundation and diplomatic business were blurred. It also highlights a major flip-flop on offshore drilling, a practice she pushed Congress to facilitate in 2012 but is now campaigning against.

While there is little evidence that Mezvinsky's request resulted in direct favoritism for the firm at the heart of the controversy, the company's notable success within two years of its founding raises questions about how it was able to grow so quickly.



FBI Expands Hillary Clinton Investigation • Kelly File • 1/11/16 (6:18)
Megyn Kelly, Catherine Herridge, Andrew Napolitano
Fox News, 2016-01-11

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