AP: You Know Bill Clinton Has A Shell Company That Was Never Disclosed, Right?

Matt Vespa
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Posted: May 26, 2015 4:10 PM
AP: You Know Bill Clinton Has A Shell Company That Was Never Disclosed, Right?

Ethical questions surrounding foreign government donations to their non-profit, a private email server being used during her entire tenure as Secretary of State, and now a secret “pass-through” company Bill established that wasn’t disclosed until now because its assets were less than $1,000, allowing it to be omitted from federal disclosure forms. Yet, from records obtained by the Associated Press, it shows how digging through the Clinton financials is like sifting through spaghetti, and adds to the narrative that this power couple is secretive and plays by their own rules:

The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family's finances.

Because the company, WJC, LLC, has no financial assets, Hillary Clinton's campaign was not obligated to report its existence in her recent financial disclosure report, officials with Bill Clinton's private office and the Clinton campaign said. They were responding to questions by The Associated Press, which reviewed corporate documents.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide private details of the former president's finances on the record, said the entity was a "pass-through" company designed to channel payments to the former president.

While Bill Clinton's lucrative speeches have provided the bulk of the couple's income, earning as much as $50 million during his wife's four-year term as secretary of state in the Obama administration, the former president has also sought to branch out into other business activities in recent years. Little is known about the exact nature and financial worth of Bill Clinton's non-speech business interests.

Under federal disclosure rules for spouses' earned income, Hillary Clinton was only obligated to identify the source of her spouse's income and confirm that he received more than $1,000. As a result, the precise amounts of Bill Clinton's earned income from consulting have not been disclosed, and it's not known how much was routed through WJC, LLC.

WJC, LLC was set up in Delaware in 2008 and again in 2013 and in New York in 2009, according to documents obtained by The AP. The company did not appear among holdings in the Clintons' financial disclosure released last week or in previous Hillary Clinton disclosure reports between 2008 and 2013, when she resigned as secretary of state. Bill Clinton signed a document as its "authorizing person" in a corporate filing in Delaware in 2013.

A limited liability company is a commonly used business structure that provides tax advantages and limited legal protection for the assets of company owners and partners.

The purpose of Bill Clinton's U.S.-based company was not disclosed in any of the corporate filings in Delaware and New York, but State Department files recently reviewed by the AP show that WJC, LLC surfaced in emails from Bill Clinton's aides to the department's ethics officials.

None of the proposals detailed how much Bill Clinton would be paid.

AP added that between 2009-2011, WJC, LLC was mentioned in such emails to State Department by Clinton lawyer Douglas Band. Band was asking if the former president would be cleared to do consulting work for a trio of companies owned by influential Democratic donors.

It’s just more bad news for the Clintons. The donations made to the foundation from foreign governments coincided with arms deals to these respective nations (almost all of them had abysmal human rights records) approved by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. Again, there’s no exact timetable, but the timing of these deals adds to the ethical dilemma regarding the Clinton family and their non-profit organization. Regarding the private email server, we now know that Mrs. Clinton did indeed read–and sometimes forward–emails with unsubstantiated intelligence from Libya to a State Department staffer. This secret intelligence network included a former Clinton aide, Sidney Blumenthal, who’s been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee On Benghazi. As Guy wrote, it also exposes another lie about Mrs. Clinton’s private email system:

Back when questions about Hillary Clinton's secret server first came to light, her lawyers stated unequivocally that with the exception of a few days at the very beginning of the first Obama administration, Secretary Clinton exclusively used one email account ("hdr22") throughout her tenure at State. In response to a records request from Congressional investigators, Hillary's lawyer asserted that a separate email account ("hrod17") "is not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State."

As you can see, that’s a lie:

Hillary Clinton Emails

Also, this “pass-through” has a throwback to Mitt Romney in 2012:

Pass-through, or shell, companies became an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign when Republican candidate Mitt Romney disclosed a private equity entity worth $1.9 million despite failing to report the company on his previous federal disclosure. Romney aides said the company previously held no assets but then received the $1.9 million "true up" payment — a catch-up payment to make up for private equity fees from defunct investment advisory businesses that had not been previously paid

Will the Clintons endure the same scrutiny over this new revelation?