For $250,”friends” — or $1000 for a “champion” (photo included) — you too can attend a fundraiser with Chelsea Clinton for her mother at the home of Michael and Sholeh Chegini in Newport Coast, California, according to an invitation to the event obtained by Right Turn. Michael Chegini served on the board of directors and thereafter the advisory board of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a notorious group with links to the Iranian regime that opposed, among other things, any sanctions on Iran.
“The Clintons never miss an opportunity to put money ahead of principle,” a spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition told me. “They should know better than raising money from folks whose primary concern has been supporting the NIAC — a notorious supporter of the Radical Islamic Mullahs in Iran. Instead as is always the case, the Clintons have thrown principle out the window in exchange for cold hard cash.”
The NIAC, you may recall, was forced to pay damages for a spurious lawsuit against blogger Hassan Daioleslam, who revealed the NIAC’s activities on behalf of the Islamist fundamentalist government that is dedicated to Israel’s destruction. (A federal court found in 2012 “that the work of NIAC president and founder Tritra Parsi was ‘not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the regime.’ The judge essentially found it was conceivable that NIAC could reasonably be accused of lobbying on behalf of Iran, so Daioleslam’s blog posts weren’t defamatory.”)
This is not the first Clinton encounter with the NIAC. Bill Clinton, while Hillary was secretary of state, according to a Fox News report, tried through an aide to get approval for a speaking engagement with the NIAC: “An aide to Bill Clinton asked the State Department in 2012 about the former president potentially delivering a paid speech to an Iranian government-tied group that has pushed for an end to all U.S. sanctions against Tehran, according to an email exclusively obtained by Fox News.” Ultimately Bill Clinton did not do the speech, nor other “paid speaking gigs in North Korea and the Republic of the Congo – an event that would have included notorious Democratic Republic of the Congo leader Joseph Kabila.” (Some may also recall the group tried to block former Obama adviser Dennis Ross’s appointment).
It does however suggest that the Clintons are quite comfortable with taking money from people with ties to apologists for the Iranian regime. It is not clear whether this falls under the category of the Clintons willingness to take money for themselves and their foundation from scoundrels and despots (e.g. Arab countries that oppress women, Russian uranium oligarchs) or whether this signals specifically that propagandists for Iran would have Hillary Clinton’s ear should she make it to the White House. Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton sees it as the latter. “This is yet more evidence that a Clinton foreign policy on Iran will be no different from what we have now,” he told me.
The event should also serve as a reminder to Clinton’s pro-Israel backers, argues Noah Pollak, executive director of the conservative Emergency Committee for Israel: “So it is up to her pro-Israel donors to insist that she cannot dance at two weddings. To the extent they do not deliver this message, they share part of the blame for the Democratic Party’s slide into anti-Israel politics.”
In any event, it is one more reminder that with Clinton comes a whole parade of influence peddlers, some of whom have links to interests contrary to American national security. Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, observing that the fundraiser “just isn’t good politics,” asks, “Surely there’s someone else who can help Hillary raise money?” Well, there seems to be no one from whom Bill and Hillary Clinton will not take money.