Based on newly obtained State Department emails, ABC News is reporting that Hillary sold security advisory board appointment to Clinton donor. The board was the International Security Advisory Board, a sensitive government board that deals with intelligence and nuclear armament. The donor had neither the experience nor qualifications to serve on the board. Not surprisingly, the appointment baffled the department’s professional staff.
Government watchdog group Citizens United obtained the State Department emails under the Freedom of Information Act, after more than two years of litigation. Citizens United gave them to ABC News. The emails reveal that Clinton’s staff sought to “protect the name” of the Secretary (Clinton), “stall” the ABC News reporter.
The Clinton Foundation donor in question is Rajiv Fernando. The agency is the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB). Fernando, a Chicago securities trader who specialized in electronic investing, possessed no known background related to the matters the ISAB deals with, such as nuclear disarmament and other arms control issues.
Fernando himself would not answer questions from ABC News in 2011 about what qualified him for a seat on the board or what led to his appointment.
“When ABC News finally caught up with Fernando at the 2012 Democratic convention
, he became upset and said he was “not at liberty” to speak about it. Security threatened to have the ABC News reporter arrested.”
It isn’t difficult, though, to see what qualified Fernando for his national security appointment, said ABC. “Fernando’s history of prolific campaign donations dates back at least to 2003. He was an early supporter of Clinton’s 2008 bid for president, giving maximum contributions to her campaign, and to HillPAC, in 2007 and 2008.”
“He also served as a fundraising bundler for Clinton, gathering more than $100,000 from others for her White House bid. After Barack Obama bested Clinton for the 2008 nomination, Fernando became a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign.”
“Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.”
The emails tell the story that it was Cheryl Mills who pushed Fernando’s appointment. When the State Department sought an explanation as to why Clinton appointed him to the ISAB, it concluded that “the true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him.”
Soon after Fernando’s appointment came under media scrutiny, the trader resigned, stating that he needed to devote more time to his business.
Fernando continues to devote time to raising money for Hillary. According to ABC News, he emerged as one of the first bundlers to raise money for Clinton’s 2016 bid and in July 2015 hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at his Chicago home. His donations to the Clinton Foundation have continued as well. The Clinton Foundation website lists Fernando as having given between $1 million and $5 million.
The International Security Advisory Board is not the place for political donor appointments. As an appointee to the ISAB, Fernando served alongside David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group and United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector; General Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to two presidents; two former congressmen; and former Senator Chuck Robb. William Perry, the former Secretary of Defense, chaired the panel.
More disturbing perhaps than plunking a political donor into an environment accustomed to such heavyweight resumes is the fact that the appointment qualified Fernando for one of the highest levels of top secret access. While Top Secret clearance doesn’t seem to carry much weight with Hillary Clinton, Top Secret clearance is important to the other members of the ISAB.
Fernando’s lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel.
“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.
“As you can see from the attached, it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” Mannina wrote, referring to an attachment that was not included in the recent document release.
Political corruption is par for the course with Hillary, and it comes as no surprise that Crooked Hillary would trade appointments to sensitive, top secret advisory boards, it is a scandal nonetheless that Fernando bought himself a seat at that table. In a related story, Hillary Clinton SuperPAC Donor Indicted.