PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2016 — One day after news broke that top Hillary aide Huma Abedin served for a decade as the assistant editor of a radical Islamic journal, the Clinton Foundation is embroiled in questions about pay-for-play and special access allegations. These were brought to light by watchdog group Judicial Watch. Once again, Abedin is directly involved in the controversy.
Judicial Watch has released 725 pages of emails that were previously undisclosed by the Clinton campaign, calling into question Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi panel. There she clearly said that all of her work-related emails had been turned over.
One of the most significant revelations from this latest document dump is the relationship between Huma Abedin, the Clinton Foundation and the Prince of Bahrain.
From Judicial Watch:
Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours.
According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had contributed $32 million to CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
Clinton again finds herself dealing with the pay-for-play allegations that have dogged her candidacy over the past year. The allegations gained traction with Peter Schweitzer’s documentary, “Clinton Cash.” The documentary raised questions about million-dollar payments from foreign entities that correspond with actions taken by Clinton’s State Department. Most troubling was a connection between the State Department, cash payments to the Clinton Foundation, and the sale of uranium reserves to a Russian firm.
This is not the first time that Abedin has been connected to questionable moves at the State Department. Abedin has insisted that the decision to store Clinton’s emails on a private server was Clinton’s alone, but she has been hit by the blowback that has come from that decision.
Critics have alleged that Abedin served as the point person in the communications between Hillary and foreign governments. Those accusations are supported by email discussions between the Clinton Foundation and Prince Salman.
Clinton, who has positioned herself politically as a champion for gay rights, has been criticized for accepting millions of dollars of donations to her foundation from countries that ban and punish homosexuality and where women are routinely denied the same rights as men. Bahrain isn’t one of the strictest countries in the Middle East on LGBTQ rights, but the government still throws gay people in jail.
With roughly 80 days to go before the presidential election, the Clinton campaign is trying to keep the focus on Donald Trump. They do so in fear of more revelations related to Clinton’s email situation, including a document dump that is already being referred to as an “October surprise.”
The FBI decided not to recommend that Clinton be indicted for her email practices, despite labeling them as reckless and despite the opinions of respected law professionals who disagreed with the bureau’s narrow interpretation of the law. Perjury allegations stemming from Clinton’s testimony that she turned over all her work-related emails and then the subsequent revelation that was not the case still linger, but the odds of a legal sanction being handed down at this point are slim. A verdict in the court of public opinion is a different story.