The Australian diplomat whose tip in 2016 prompted the Russia-Trump investigation previously arranged one of the largest foreign donations to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable efforts, documents show.
Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s role in securing $25 million in aid from his country to help the Clinton Foundation fight AIDS is chronicled in decade-old government memos archived on the Australian foreign ministry’s website.
Downer and former President Clinton jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2006 that spread out the grant money over four years for a project to provide screening and drug treatment to AIDS patients in Asia.
The money was initially allocated to the Clinton Foundation but later was routed through an affiliate of the charity known as the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), officials said. Australia was one of four foreign governments to donate more than $25 million to CHAI, records show.
New Zealand has also poured millions into the Clinton Foundation. What did McCully, Joyce, English and Key know?
In the years that followed, the project won praise for helping thousands of HIV-infected patients in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, but also garnered criticism from auditors about “management weaknesses” and inadequate budget oversight, the memos show.
Downer, now Australia’s ambassador to London, provided the account of a conversation with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos at a London bar in 2016 that became the official reason the FBI opened the Russia counterintelligence probe.
But lawmakers say the FBI didn’t tell Congress about Downer’s prior connection to the Clinton Foundation.Republicans say they are concerned the new information means nearly all of the early evidence the FBI used to justify its election-year probe of Trump came from sources supportive of the Clintons, including the controversial Steele dossier.
“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that has been taking an increasingly visible role defending the Trump administration in the Russia probe. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.”
Spokesman for the FBI and Russia special counsel Robert Mueller declined comment.
All very curious isn’t it. John Key was very chummy with Barack Obama, and many Nats were likewise all over Hillary Clinton. I know of several Nats who went and worked on her campaign. Plus, New Zealand also gave money to the Clinton Foundation.
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