A Canadian affiliate of the Clinton Foundation is not disclosing 1,100 foreign donors, which officials insist it can’t do under Canadian privacy laws. But that excuse is not going over so well.
Bill Clinton teamed with Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra to establish the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Giustra told Bloomberg News that most of the 1,100 secret donors were not from the United States and were “mostly Canadian donors,” but he would not reveal any names.
Last week, a New York Times story raised questions on the Canadian affiliate and Giustra, who sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation and has donated millions. The story suggested that Clinton helped Giustra’s mining company secure a uranium-mining deal with in Kazakhstan as a result of donations.
The Canadian firm sold the Kazakhstan mine to the Russian firm, Uranium One. The family foundation of the chairman of Uranium One contributed a total of $235 million to the Clinton Foundation, the Times reported.
“We’re not trying to hide anything," Giustra told Bloomberg. “All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation—every penny—and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified."
The memorandum of understanding that Hillary Clinton signed with the White House when she was nominated to be secretary of state agrees to disclose foundation donors. That agreement specifically included the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative,” as the Canadian affiliate was known in 2009, Bloomberg reported.
Both Giustra and Clinton Foundation acting CEO Maura Pally have insisted that under Canadian privacy law, charities are prohibited from disclosing individual donors without permission of the donor.
However, Len Farber, former director of tax policy at Canada's Department of Finance, told Bloomberg, "There's nothing that would preclude them from releasing the names of donors. It's entirely up to them."
Further, the Washington Post “Fact Checker” column gave the foundation three out of four Pinocchios for using the Canadian tax and privacy laws as an excuse.
The Post said the income tax law does not regulate whether a registered charity discloses donor names to the public. However, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act requires a charity to get permission from the donor before releasing their information for commercial purposes.