A memo leaked Wednesday by WikiLeaks shows how a top aide to former President Bill Clinton worked to convince top donors to the Clinton Foundation to send business opportunities his way.
The November 2011 12-page memo was from former Clinton aide Doug Band in response to an audit of the foundation after Chelsea Clinton expressed concerns about the operations of Band’s company Teneo.
In a separate email from Chelsea Clinton that month, she wrote, “My father was told today of explicit examples at CGI of Doug/ Teneo pushing for - and receiving - free memberships - and of multiple examples of Teneo ‘hustling’ business at CGI - and of people now having quit at CGI.”
Band’s memo detailed how he raised money for the Clinton Foundation from some of Teneo’s clients including Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical -- Coca-Cola gave $4.3 million and Dow contributed $780 thousand. And Band also pressed some of the foundation’s donors to hire the former president to give speeches or give him lavish gifts.
“Throughout the past almost 11 years since President Clinton left office, I have sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the Foundation,” Band wrote in the memo. “This memorandum strives to set forth how I have endeavored to support the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton personally.”
Band explained that independent of Teneo’s fundraising efforts for the foundation, his company helped the former president secure and engage in for-profit activities like speeches and books.
“In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like,” Band wrote.
The memo raises questions about the ties between the former president’s personal business and his work at their Foundation.
Some of the speeches Band said he helped secure for the former president included two to Barclays totalling more than $700,000 and Laureate International Universities paid him $3.5 million to serve as honorary chairman. In total, Band said he helped secure “more than $50 million in for-profit activity” for the former president, and Band noted that he was not compensated for this. He also claimed that he and Teneo partner Justin Cooper secured all four of the business arrangements for Clinton -- for his advisory services -- that had since 2001 yielded him $30 million personally, “with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years” if he continued the arrangements.
Asked for a comment from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, spokesman Glen Caplin said, “We are still not confirming the authenticity of individual emails hacked by the Russian government to influence the election by weaponizing WikiLeaks.”
Teneo spokesman Stephen Meahl issued a statement to the Wall Street Journal saying, “As the memo demonstrates, Teneo worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world.” Meahl also claimed that the memo shows “that Teneo never received any financial benefit or benefit of any kind from doing so.”
In August, the former president announced that the foundation would no longer accept foreign and corporate donations if his wife is elected in November and that he and Chelsea would step down from its board under that circumstance.