The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday demanded the State Department turn over documents showing whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressured the Bangladesh government on behalf of a donor to her husband's foundation.
Sen. Charles Grassley's request came after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed to Circa last month that Mrs. Clinton called in March 2011 to demand that Dr. Muhammed Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner, be restored as chairman of the country’s microcredit bank.
The bank’s nonprofit Grameen America, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative. Grameen Research, which is chaired by Yunus, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000, according to the Clinton Foundation website.
Federal conflict of interest laws prohibit government officials from intervening in matters that could impact the finances of their spouse's business interests.
Separately, The Daily Caller reported the prime minister's son was threatened with an IRS audit if he didn't help pressure his mother.
“If the Secretary of State used her position to intervene in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship stemming from the Clinton Foundation rather than the legitimate foreign policy interests of the United States, then that would be unacceptable,” Grassley wrote.
“Co-mingling her official position as Secretary of State with her family foundation would be similarly inappropriate. It is vital to determine whether the State Department had any role in the threat of an IRS audit against the son of the Prime Minister in retaliation for this investigation.”
Grassley asked for details of whether any State Department official directly or indirectly suggested an IRS audit over the Bangladeshi investigation, and whether the department's internal watchdog had investigated the matter.