Watch CBS News

Did a donation to the Clinton Foundation violate an ethics agreement?

The Clinton Foundation may have violated an ethics agreement regarding donations from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, a Washington Post investigation found.

The Obama administration crafted an agreement with the foundation prior to Clinton's nomination to lead the State Department that allowed foreign governments to continue making donations in line with what they had given in past years. It was designed to ensure that countries would not try to seek favor with Clinton by giving money to her family's nonprofit.

But officials from the Clinton Foundation acknowledged to the Post that they should have sought the administration's approval before accepting a 2010 donation from the Algerian government for $500,000 to assist with earthquake relief in Haiti. The country was working to improve its ties with the U.S. and spent more than $400,000 to lobby U.S. officials that year.

"As with other global charities, we rely on the support of individuals, organizations, corporations and governments who have the shared goal of addressing critical global challenges in a meaningful way," foundation spokesman Craig Minassian told the paper. "When anyone contributes to the Clinton Foundation, it goes towards foundation programs that help save lives."

In her book, "Hard Choices," Clinton calls Algeria a "complicated" country where the U.S. must balance its issues and values, and noted its bad record on human rights issues.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has... 03:35

The disclosures the Post received represented the first detailed disclosure of foreign donations received during Clinton's tenure at the State Department. A previous report from the paper showed that the foundation has received more than $2 billion since it was created in 2001, and foreign governments make one-third of the donors who have given more than $1 million during the foundation's history.

The foundation resumed its acceptance of foreign donations of various amounts in 2013 once the agreement with the administration lapsed, but the foundation has said in a statement that if Clinton runs for president in 2016 it will reevaluate the money it accepts from foreign governments.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.