I'm watching Clinton Cash right now, and this may be explained at some point in the future in this documentary, but I'm the type of person that likes to ask questions and understand principles and meanings behind facts right away, especially when the information is political.

So far, the documentary is stating that X politician earned Y wealth in the Congo, and needed things to stay the same. He donated Z dollars to the Clinton foundation. Hilary Clinton at that time supported reform in the Congo. When she became Secretary of State in 2009, she reversed her position on reforming the Congo, something that politician X who donated Z to her foundation would have wanted.

Now I have yet to fact check this, and I'm not here to verify or question the facts listed above. I was just providing an example background for my question: Since the statements above are being presented as "Clinton does a political favor to please someone who paid her off.", that would require a donation to the Clinton Foundation to in some way shape or form translate into personal financial gain for the Clinton family.

My question is: Do donations to the Clinton Foundation in any way shape or form translate into some form of personally accessible wealth gained by the Clintons? When a company pays the Clintons hundreds of thousands or millions in speaking fees, that's clearly personally accessible financial gain, but I'm interested specifically in donations to the CF.

  • Yes, a lot of the money if funneled to the Clintons via salary, perks, payment of expenses, etc. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 23:41
  • 1
    TLDR: yes she is as corrupt as everyone has been saying she is Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


A more understandable concept:

Senior Leaders in the Congress often run unopposed. Yet, even when unopposed, they raise more campaign cash than anyone else. They don't use that money on their campaign. They transfer that money to others. Then those others owe them. That is how one accumulates political power and is why people like Hastert and Boehner become speaker.

The PACs and campaign fund are a pool of a cash to buy influence.

An entity like the Clinton Foundation can serve the same purpose. It can provide a means to transfer wealth. Examples:

Want to fly a Private Jet? Make it foundation business and poof. Want to reward yourself or friends? Hire them as consultants. Want to reward yourself or friends? Hire their companies to do projects. Need office space? Have the charity pay for it.

And by no means did the Clintons invent the charity as a means of funneling money. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_froma_harrop/politicians_and_their_self_serving_charities And think of all the TV Pastors (e.g., Jim Bakker) who have done the same.

A charity is just one mechanism for a politician to create a pool of money.

  • This answers the question that the foundation certainly can do this, but it doesn't say whether or not they have done this to directly benefit the Clintons (I assume it has, but that's just an assumption).
    – user1530
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 20:18
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    I was trying to be politically neutral on that question. :-) Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 4:16
  • Politicians in uncompetitive races tend to raise less money. They generally just raise a floor amount to dissuade challengers, and that's it. More money is allocated towards competitive congressional races.
    – Publius
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 6:51
  • Politicians who have no opposition tend to raise a lot of money. They are considers sure bets. Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 17:45

As part of the Huma Abedin email scandal, we've found another way that the Clintons were benefiting from the Clinton Foundation. They were using it to keep their aides employed. Abedin, who is often described as Hillary Clinton's body woman, was paid by the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and private clients.

Abedin and other members of the Clinton team were employed by the Clinton Foundation when Clinton was between jobs. This allowed Clinton to keep her people even when she was not using their services for business needs. When she started her political campaign, she moved them over there. It's unclear if she used foundation money to supplement their incomes while with the campaign (likely illegal as charities aren't allowed to donate to political campaigns, so she might have been careful to keep on the right side of the law there).

And note that this isn't speculation. We know that people moved from the foundation to the State Department and then to the foundation. That is a known fact. The Vanity Fair article gives three examples. The Clintons have given explanations for this. You can speculate about whether the explanations are true. But the underlying fact is true. Some people worked at more than one of the State Department, the foundation, and the presidential campaign. Abedin worked at all three.

Note that this underlying fact has been known for a long time. The Vanity Fair article is a year old. But I know that reading about the Abedin email scandal was the first time that I personally realized the implications of it with the allegations about the foundation.

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    All interesting, but not sure that addresses the question of "personally accessible wealth"
    – user1530
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 7:35
  • Loyal and competent employees are worth more than money for a politician. Of course you want to hold on to them when you switch between roles. But still stretches the definition of "personally accessible wealth" quite a lot.
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 8:20

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