Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book sure is opening a case of worm cans. Â It seems that in the Clinton Cash chapter on theÂ Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), a Canadian non-profit, Mr. Schweizer reports that 1,100 donations were made to CGEP which eventually got to the main Clinton Foundation and those donations were not disclosed.
It seems that Bill Clinton organized this partnership withÂ Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra in order for Canadian citizens to make donations to the Clinton Foundation and take advantage of the tax laws in Canada at the same time. Â At least that is what Giustra told the New York Times. Â What makes this suspicious to cynical Americans is the other part of what Giustra said:
Giustra says thatâ€™s because Canadaâ€™s federal privacy law forbids CGEP, a Canadian-registered charity, from revealing its donors. A memo he provided explaining the legal rationale cites CGEPâ€™s â€œfiduciary obligationsâ€ to its contributors and Canadaâ€™s Personal Information Privacy and Electronic Disclosure Act. â€œWe are not allowed to disclose even to the Clinton Foundation the names of our donors,â€ he says.
There are legal eagles in Canada that dispute this, but the reality is if in Canada non-profits need written permission to disclose their donors – and Giustra has not obtained permission from the donors to release their names even to the U.S. State Department – in effect, these are 1,100 people who donated to the Clinton Foundation and there was no disclosure. Â Just the total monies from CGEP.
Naturally, or should we say reflexively at this point, the Clinton Foundation people say they were not and are not trying to cover up any of this:
On Saturday, responding to theÂ TimesÂ story, Maura Pally, the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation, issued a statement echoing this assertion: â€œThis is hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparencyâ€“unlike in the U.S., under Canadian law, all charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without prior permission from each donor.â€
Thus repeating the claim that Bloomberg reports is not accurate.
Len Farber, former director of tax policy at Canada’s Department of Finance, said he wasn’t aware of any tax laws that would prevent the charity from releasing its donors’ names. “There’s nothing that would preclude them from releasing the names of donors,”Â he said. “It’s entirely up to them.”
Mark Blumberg, a charity lawyer at Blumberg Segal in Toronto, added that the legislation “does not generally apply to a registered charity unless a charity is conducting commercial activities… such as selling the list to third parties.”
So, that leads us to ask the question: did the Clintons try to go around their reporting agreement with the State Department in order to hide the names of 1,100 donors stating a claim of Canadian law that apparently doesn’t exist? Â If so, who is on that list and are these people connected to the Uranium One scandal that the New York Times article was reporting? Â Unfortunately, that answer is not immediately forthcoming.
At this time, Mr. Giustra is collecting signatures and permission from the donors in question in order to release the information to the Clinton Foundation and the U.S. State Department. Â It seems that in the end, Mr. Schweizer’s little Clinton Cash tome is causing a lot of people to scramble for cover. Â This is but one incident. Â But when it comes down to it, the proof that there was all sorts of illegal crap going on may surface without having to search the Clintons’ email server.