Among the thousands of emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman John Podesta and published by Wikileaks, one stated that officials from the government of Qatar gave the Clinton Foundation $1 million to celebrate Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday, funds which the foundation did not report to the State Department.
That would seemingly violate an ethics agreement Hillary Clinton signed when she became Secretary of State in 2009, in which she promised the foundation would notify the State Department’s ethics official if a new foreign government wanted to donate or “increase materially” its contributions.
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011; in April 2012 Amitabh Desai, the Clinton Foundation’s foreign policy director, sent an email acknowledging the Qataris wanted to meet Bill Clinton “for five minutes” in New York City.
Clinton Foundation spokesman Brian Cookstra told Reuters that the $1 million gift was not a “material increase” in Qatar’s contributions. But Qatar had given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation in total, meaning the $1 million gift represented between a 20% to 100% increase.
The State Department told Reuters it had no record of the Qatar donation.
In 2016, the Foundation admitted that the Clinton Health Access Initiative had not published a list of its donors since 2010, although Hillary Clinton had promised she would offer an annual list.
As Reuters noted, Clinton Foundation officials acknowledged they sometimes evaded the agreement with the Obama administration, but blamed oversights. At least eight other countries in addition to Qatar gave new or increased funding to the foundation, most often for the Clinton Health Access Initiative.