Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has chimed in on the recurring issues surrounding former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and her association with questionable organizations and countries that have contributed to the Clinton Foundation. Per the following, Vitter has questions concerning her reluctance to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.
Vitter sent a letter last week to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting all of Clinton’s records relating to Boko Haram and her reluctance to label it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
The senator also asked for all of Secretary Clinton’s communications with Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian construction magnate who has donated millions to the Clinton Foundation in addition to contributing thousands to an outside group that helped re-elect President Bill Clinton in 1996.
The entire text of the letter is below:
March 17, 2015
The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Secretary Kerry:
Like many Americans, I am incredibly concerned about the recent revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has kept official federal records hidden from the public, both through an external email domain and in deciding to delete thousands of these records. While the State Department is in the process of reviewing the documents Secretary Clinton has provided, I am requesting that the Department provide all additional files specifically relating to the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization during former Secretary Clinton’s term and seek out any related files which may not have already been turned over by Secretary Clinton.
As I have in the past, I commend your November 2013 decision to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. However, given the drastic foothold Boko Haram was allowed to gain prior to being designated an FTO, the nexus between the Department’s decision against designating Boko Haram as an FTO and connections to outside groups should be brought forward. Associated records should have been preserved as evidence of the agency’s activities, decisions and procedures. These should be presented to the relevant committees and to the American public to be evaluated for corresponding misconduct.
Last year, I presented the Department with evidence that multiple State Department Country Reports on Terrorism, presented to Congress under Secretary Clinton’s direction, failed to include valuable information related to Boko Haram. Inaccuracies within official documents make it clear that the State Department misled Congress and the American people. Additional evidence demonstrates that multiple Department employees who were directly involved in the decision against designating Boko Haram as an FTO, including the Office Coordinator for Counterterrorism, have been Clinton Foundation employees. Disturbingly, while the Department was refusing to make the FTO designation, former President Bill Clinton, also the head of the Clinton Foundation and account owner of the Clinton email domain, participated in events with a long-time donor and major Nigerian land developer, Gilbert Chagoury, who previously agreed to a $66 million plea deal during international investigation into corruption charges against him. We need to know if Mr. Chagoury had any influence in the decision not to designate Boko Haram an FTO, or had any other influence with Sec. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.
Between this history of involvement and the recent revelations regarding Secretary Clinton’s record keeping, I strongly believe it is essential to re-establish trust in the Department to provide the related materials to the public. If funds from the Clinton Foundation were used to pay for the email server, it would constitute a financial benefit from the Clinton Foundation and donations from foreign businessmen who directly stood to gain from Clinton’s decision, which is questionable at best.
I have long opposed the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation as a conflict of interest for Secretary Clinton due to the nature of the job. Moreover, as you are aware, the Code of Federal Regulations requires federal agencies to make and preserve records that duly document agency activity. Former Secretary Clinton’s actions in conjunction to information I have previously presented to the Department where she circumvented and misled Congress should be closely examined.
The purpose of the law is to ensure that agency activities are available to be reviewed when needed — such as for FOIA requests or congressional inquiries. Each federal agency is responsible for maintaining its records in accordance with regulations. Due to the highly unusual nature of the current circumstance, I am asking you to demonstrate the Department’s commitment to transparency and to provide all files related to their decision not to designate Boko Haram an FTO, and all communication with Mr. Chagoury or his affiliated businesses.
These actions, if true, run contrary to the trust placed in the Department, as a representative of the United States and constitutional government. It is imperative to fully disclose relevant information to the American public.
United States Senate
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