Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon reports today that emails released by the State Department show that a Clinton Foundation donor asked the State Department to help his company secure loans from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to build Marriott Hotels in Haiti.
The circumstances add to the impression that under Hillary Clinton the State Department often resembled a commercial enterprise, with the proceeds pouring into the Clinton Foundation. As the article details, Marriott International, its partners and affiliates, and the developer, Richard L. Friedman of Boston, flooded the Clinton Foundation with donations. From the article:
“Wherever government money or support tied to the State Department is directed to a project in Haiti involving a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, the public is entitled to full transparency,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.
Based on documents provided by NLPC, Goodman has previously reported on Clinton Foundation donor Claudio Osorio, who now sits in a federal penitentiary, serving a 12-year term for fraud. In 2013, he was convicted of bilking 10 investors out of $40 million and the federal government out of $10 million.
In 2010, both Clintons pushed for a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to a company owned by Osorio called InnoVida. The loan was supposedly for building houses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, but Osorio instead used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and to buy off politicians.
The loan was rushed through and Osorio was never required to provide an audited financial statement. Documents uncovered by NLPC show that Bill Clinton lined up a well-connected law firm to represent Osorio with OPIC, and Hillary Clinton went to bat for the project within the State Department. OPIC is technically an independent agency but submits its budget through the State Department.