“[Hillary] Clinton and her staff treated the State Department as an arm of the Clinton Foundation,” said Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, which released 725 pages of State Department emails between top Clinton aides as part of a lawsuit the group filed seeking government records. “Some of these emails should have been turned over to us years ago.”
Clinton officials called the release politically motivated. “Once again this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s is distorting facts to make utterly false attacks,” said Josh Schwerin, a Clinton campaign spokesman.
The most pointed example made public Monday involves a request by Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain, after first trying normal channels, to meet with the secretary of state. The emails suggest the meeting was confirmed only after intervention by the Clinton Foundation, to which his government had given $50,000 to $100,000.
“Good friend of ours,” Band wrote.
But 48 hours later, Abedin wrote back to Band to say the meeting was on the calendar. “If u see him, let him know,” she wrote.
Schwerin said the meeting was set up through official channels.
“No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation," he said.
Internal department emails first reported by ABC News showed career staffers were perplexed by Fernando’s selection to the International Security Advisory Board, which provided guidance to the secretary on arms control and nuclear security. “It’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” one staffer wrote. Days after the ABC News inquiry and one day before Fernando submitted his resignation, Mills had a message from him and another from a senior State Department official with the subject line “Raj Fernando.”
The State Department later told ABC News that Fernando had joined the advisory board to offer a new perspective on security issues.
“I’m just trying to help Secretary Clinton get elected,” Fernando said.