Clinton Donor List Includes Familiar Names
The 2,922-page list of donors to former President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation is chock full of friends, foreign leaders and, most notably, several questionable characters from the president's past.
Clinton agreed to release the list of big-name donors as part of his wife's new job as incoming Secretary of State in President-elect Barack Obama's administration. Donors that are getting particular attention early on include:
-- Frank Giustra, the Canadian mining financier who gave an estimated $31.3 million to Clinton after he traveled with the ex-president in 2005 to secure a uranium-mining contract in Kazakhstan (Giustra personally gave between $10 million and $25 million and his joint sustainable growth initiative with the president gave another $1 million to $5 million); [Addendum: Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Clinton, said that the former president did not in fact fly with Giustra on the same plane in September 2005.]
-- William S. Lerach, the former American lawyer who is serving a two-year prison term for his involvement in a lucrative kickback scheme involving class-action lawsuits (Conde Nast dubbed him the "scourge of corporate America");
-- Alfonso Fanjul Jr., the Cuban emigre and sugar mogul who has heavily lobbied Washington and Clinton about his business interests. His family fled Castro's Cuba and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel noted in 2002 that the Fanjul has been faulted "for making big contributions to politicians and using their clout to get favorable treatment for the sugar industry";
-- Farhad Azima, the Iranian-born airline owner who was at the center of a CIA scandal involving weapons shipments from the Shah (As The Times has noted, in 1997, the Democratic National Committee returned $143,741 in contributions from Azima, whose company ferried military equipment to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages held in Lebanon. "The committee later reversed itself, apologized to Azima and kept the money.");
-- Denise Rich, the songwriter and ex-wife of pardoned financier Marc Rich. The Post first reported that Denise Rich made three donations to Clinton from July 1998 to May 2000, before she became active in the successful lobbying campaign for her former husband. Marc Rich later avoided prosecution on more than 50 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, income tax evasion and illegal oil trading with Iran.
-- Andre Agapov, a Russian mining company owner who allegedly worked hand-in-hand with Russian secret police for ex-president Boris Yeltsin.
The Blackwater Training Center, which is run by defense contractor Blackwater Worldwide, gave between $10,001 and $25,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation. The State Department is deciding whether to Blackwater Worldwide's contract should be renewed after five guards were indicted on manslaughter and weapons charges stemming from a deadly gun battle at a Baghdad intersection in September 2007.
Bailout recipients Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and General Motors also gave to Clinton's foundation.
Foreign interests figure prominently among the donor list; Saudi Arabia gave between $10 million and $25 million and the governments of Norway, Kuwait, Brunei, Oman, Italy, Jamaica and the Dutch national lottery also gave.
» Search Clinton Foundation Donors
By Derek Kravitz |
December 18, 2008; 3:23 PM ET
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