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Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton share a laugh with Rio de Janiero Mayor Eduardo Paes at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Mid-Year Meeting Monday, May 6, 2013 in New York.?Details for CGI Latin America and a new commitment from the C40 Climate Leadership Group in partnership with the Clinton Foundation were announced at the event. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Clinton Foundation donor sought favors from the State Department after giving millions


Christopher Ruddy, the CEO and president of the conservative channel Newsmax, through his company donated between 1 and 5 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation. After donating he then sought help from Hillary Clinton's State Department.

Emails released by Judicial Watch, a group that used the Freedom of Information Act to access unreleased emails pertaining to Clinton's time as Secretary of State, found emails in which Ruddy requested help from Clinton Foundation aide Doug Band to set up a meeting with the State Department. 

Follow the emails

In August of 2009 while former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich was struggling to get a meeting with State Department officials in Panama, Ruddy sent an email to top aide Doug Band asking for help setting up meeting.

Ruddy wrote to Band saying, "Otto Reich is arriving in Panama tonite on the matter I discussed. He was hoping to meet with Barbara Stephenson or her Charge this week. He has not heard back from her. Any "air' support you can give for this meeting would be helpful. Thanks!"


See Ruddy's email.

Band then forwarded that email to Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's top aides at the State Department, who got another State Department official, Roberta Jacobson who was then Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, to get in touch with Reich.

"Your inquiry about the Lucom case has been passed to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs here at State," Jacobson wrote. "I apologize for not getting you a response on our position last evening, but we will get back to you as soon as possible today. Many thanks."


See the State Department's response to Ruddy.

This is the latest reported favor done by the State Department for foundation donors

Reich was interested in the U.S.'s position on the estate of Wilson Lucom, a tycoon who left his fortune to poor children in Panama. His widow was suing to have his will nullified so she could inherit the money. Lucom's widow ended up winning her case.

Lucom was a conservative who funded the media watchdog group Accuracy in Media and Ruddy was a co-executor of his will.

Ruddy's relationship with the Clintons

Ruddy travelled to Africa with Bill Clinton and the Foundation in 2012 to visit an HIV hospital in Mozambique. He has also penned an op-ed defending the Foundation, writing, "I have been involved with the foundation for over seven years now. During that time, I have always found it nonpartisan. I have never felt the whiff of politics."

Newsmax has reported extensively on the Clinton Foundation, but has not reported this email exchange in question.

Clinton Foundation troubles

The Clinton Foundation has been plagued by accusations of pay to play. The AP found that more than half of the meetings Clinton took as Secretary of State, with people not in the State Department or with foreign governments, were Foundation donors. 

The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Last week Clinton defended her actions telling MSNBC, "My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces."

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