Clinton Foundation’s revenue hit 15-year low after 2016 presidential election

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Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The Clinton Foundation’s incoming cash flow nosedived to a 15-year low in 2017, the year after Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful run in the 2016 presidential election resulted in the election of President Donald Trump, according to tax returns obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Clinton Foundation reported total revenue of $38.4 million for 2017, the fewest dollars the foundation has taken over the course of a fiscal year in more than a decade — and a sharp decline from the $249 million raised during Clinton’s first year as secretary of state.

The Clinton Family Foundation, one of the Clinton’s smaller charitable entities that received $1.5 million from Bill and Hillary Clinton in 2017, made up $500,000 of that with the family foundation’s single largest donation that year.

The foundation focuses on economic, environmental and health-related global initiatives, but it’s best known for controversies surrounding self-dealing allegations and inquiries into whether the foundation accepted money from individuals, corporations, and governments allegedly seeking to curry favor with the Clintons.

In January 2017, the Justice Department and FBI reportedly launched an investigation into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in pay-to-play politics or illegal activities when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on Government Operations is holding a hearing titled “Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study on the Clinton Foundation” on Dec. 13.

Under scrutiny as the 2016 presidential election heated up, the foundation amended six years of tax returns for the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. Changes included reporting previously undisclosed contributions and grants from foreign governments, updating reporting for revenue from speeches, listing related entities and changing the donors reported in the Form 990 Schedule B. The Clinton Health Access Initiative also amended its tax returns on file with the IRS for 2012 and 2013 after errors were identified.

Some of the Clinton Foundation’s amendments led to criticism about the revelation that the foundation may have failed to comply with an ethics agreement Hillary Clinton signed with before becoming President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Millions of dollars in newly disclosed grants from foreign governments in the amended tax returns under scrutiny for potentially going against an earlier promise and presenting potential conflicts of interest for Hillary Clinton.

After Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, she pledged that the Clinton Foundation would no longer take money from foreign governments. Starting in 2010, the Foundation had reported on three consecutive IRS tax returns that it received no donations from foreign government sources despite reporting tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in prior years.

The Clinton Foundation’s newly revealed foreign money included funds from Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia — raising even more concerns when she became a viable presidential contender in the 2016 election.

Unlike President Trump, Hillary Clinton resigned from the foundation’s board before announcing her run for president in the 2016 election. Even as sitting President of the United States, Trump continued to sit on the board of his own eponymous foundation during his first year in office even under increased scrutiny and in light of new revelations about its finances as his political profile escalated.

Despite the fact that Trump attacked the Clinton Foundation as Hillary Clinton’s “vast criminal enterprise” as the candidates went head-to-head in the 2016 presidential election, he once donated six figures to it.

While the Clinton Foundation’s cash has been hemorrhaging, Hillary Clinton started up her own new venture in 2017: a 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Onward Together.

Unlike the Clinton Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) that is legally prohibited from any political activity outside of voter registration and engagement activities, Hillary Clinton’s new 501(c)(4) nonprofit can spend unlimited sums on politics so long as politicking is not its primary purpose.

Although the group does not disclose its donors and has not made its first tax return public, $800,000 of its funds can be traced to leftover campaign money send from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. A financial statement on file with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office shows the 501(c)(4) raised more than $6.2 million through March 2018.

Onward Together also has an affiliated political action committee that does disclose its donors but whose activities have largely been limited to contributing to various federal candidates.

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