“The foundation is still grappling with its place in the era of President Trump,” the New York Times reports. “It faces some daunting challenges: a drop in fund-raising during the campaign; uncertainty about the scale of the former president’s ambitions; and questions about leadership, including how long its president, Donna E. Shalala, will stay, and whether Mrs. Clinton might rejoin the charity.”
Ms. Shalala, in an interview on Thursday, acknowledged the difficulties. “Last year was a tough year,” she said, “because people were beating on us with nonsense,” a reference to bruising political attacks claiming that donors were using the foundation to curry favor with the Clintons.
In recent weeks, the foundation has completed a planned shutdown of the Clinton Global Initiative, which hosted a high-profile annual meeting, and laying off most of the initiative’s staff of about 100. Foundation officials confirmed on Thursday that two major programs, including one in Haiti, would transfer out of the foundation.
Indeed, mere weeks after Hillary Clinton lost the election, financial disclosure forms revealed that the Clinton Foundation’s donations had plummeted by 37 percent. Reports earlier this month about the foundation laying off 20-something staffers has ballooned to “about 100,” the Times reports.
The legitimacy of the Clinton’s foundation was a major issue during the campaign, as The New York Post reported in April of Last Year:
The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.
The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.
In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.
Some of the tens of millions in administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.
But that’s still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.
Despite overwhelming evidence unveiled during the 2016 presidential campaign that the Clinton Foundation was being used to funnel payments by donors in return for political favors, (including a best selling book Clinton Cash and a hit movie by Dinesh D’Souza Hillary’s America) no formal investigation was ever conducted.
The falling donations and subsequent disarray at the foundation begs the question as to the foundations legitimacy. Is it but a mere coincidence that foundation donations fell off dramatically when Hillary lost her presidential election bid and her influence dropped to nothing? Unlikely.
I believe that it is still necessary to conduct a full investigation into the dealings of Hillary Clinton and her family foundation (as well as her email server). Candidate Trump promised an “Independent Investigation” and I believe it’s necessary to deliver on that promise and to restore faith in our country’s justice system.