Clintons' Charity Not Listed On Senate Disclosure Forms
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Bill Clinton have operated a family charity since 2001, but she failed to list it on annual Senate financial disclosure reports on five occasions.
The Ethics in Government Act requires members of Congress to disclose positions they hold with any outside entity, including nonprofit foundations. Hillary Clinton has served her family foundation as treasurer and secretary since it was established in December 2001, but none of her ethics reports since then have disclosed that fact.
The foundation has enabled the Clintons to write off more than $5 million from their taxable personal income since 2001, while dispensing $1.25 million in charitable contributions over that period.
Clinton's spokesman said her failure to report the existence of the family foundation and the senator's position as an officer was an oversight. Her office immediately amended her Senate ethics reports to add that information late yesterday after receiving inquiries from The Washington Post.
"The details of the Clintons' charitable family foundation and Senator Clinton's role in it have always been publicly available, but, in an oversight that leaders of both parties have made, it was inadvertently omitted from her Senate filing, which has been corrected," Hillary Clinton's press secretary, Philippe Reines, said yesterday.
Among the institutions receiving grants from the Clinton Family Foundation were Yale University, where both attended law school; groups named for deceased heads of state in Israel and Jordan; and a charity connected to the Arkansas businessman who helped Hillary Clinton make $100,000 on a commodities trade that stirred controversy a decade ago, Internal Revenue Service reports show.
Hillary Clinton's decision to amend her Senate disclosures comes after several other high-profile politicians came under scrutiny for omitting family foundations from their financial disclosure reports, including former Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). They amended their disclosures, and neither was penalized.
Advisers to the Clintons said the family foundation amounted to only a fraction of their overall charitable efforts, which generate millions each year.
The charity is separate from the New York-based William J. Clinton Foundation, which has directed $10 billion in corporate money and resources toward slowing the global spread of AIDS, addressing climate change, and reducing hunger and poverty in developing countries.
The smaller family foundation lists as its address a post office box in Chappaqua, N.Y., where the Clintons live. Hillary Clinton is listed as secretary and treasurer, Bill Clinton as president and the couple's daughter, Chelsea, as a director. None takes any compensation.
The charity has been funded with money from lucrative book deals for both Clintons and from speechmaking by Bill Clinton since they left the White House in 2001. The foundation's tax filings are available on an Internet repository for IRS documents. The only time the Clintons mentioned the foundation on her ethics report was in 2002, in a footnote about their $800,000 donation that year, but it did not disclose as required her position or other information about the foundation. In subsequent years, they made no mention of it.
Between 2001 and 2005, the Clintons seeded the charity with $5.16 million of their money. The foundation's 2006 tax form is not due until later this year.