In the Spotlight
OCTOBER 30, 2023|JUDICIAL WATCH
From Judicial Watch
Shortly after the world began learning the details of the massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7, Hillary Clinton published a note of support on X for “everyone affected by the horrific attacks by Hamas” and expressing “strong support of our ally,” Israel. The former secretary of state had nothing to say about one of Hamas’s key allies, the energy-rich kingdom of Qatar, and not surprisingly: Qatar is not only an important friend of the U.S. in the region but also for many years was a generous patron of Bill and Hillary Clinton. As JW President Tom Fitton noted on X, Qatar funneled money to the Clintons when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state and she “hid this until disclosures from Wikileaks and pressure from Judicial Watch forced her to admit to tens of millions of previously hidden foreign cash payments to ‘Clinton Inc.’”
Slipping money into the hands of slippery politicians—a time-honored tradition in the Middle East and elsewhere—of course is not the same as providing significant ongoing state support for a murderous terrorist organization. But the Clinton experience does provide a snapshot of the Qatari influence operation and a warning about what Qatar may be up to elsewhere, including in the United States.
The Qatar-Clinton money trail begins around 2008, when the Clinton Foundation—under pressure due to Mrs. Clinton’s imminent ascent to State Department leadership—published a list of donors. Among them: Qatar, listed as contributing between $1 million and $5 million. A Clinton Foundation spokesman later acknowledged that Qatar had been sending the Clintons money “since 2002.”
Pressure mounted on the Clintons in 2014 with the publication of a Judicial Watch investigative report disclosing that Bill Clinton had earned upward of $48 million in speaking fees around the globe, including from Arab countries, while Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state. “Former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy,” Tom Fitton noted at the time.
In 2016, a leaked Wikileaks email revealed that five years earlier, in 2011, the Clintons had received a $1 million gift from Qatar. That gift was never reported by the Clintons, a clear violation of the disclosure agreement the Clintons had signed with the State Department when Mrs. Clinton took the helm. Soon after the 2011 gift, a high-ranking Qatari official pressed the Clinton circle for “five minutes” with the former president.
Judicial Watch Freedom of Information lawsuits also turned up more evidence of Clinton conflict of interests, including the courting of Qatar. A JW FOIA disclosure in late 2016 revealed a list sent by a Clinton Foundation senior adviser to a high-ranking aide to Secretary of State Clinton; the list noted more than 200 foreign leaders to be invited to the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, including the emir of Qatar, the Qatari prime minster, and the minister of foreign affairs.
Qatar’s pursuit of influence in the United States is not limited to the Clintons and their allies. According to investigative reports, Qatar has given $1 billion to American universities since 2011. Qatar also is a major purveyor of anti-Semitism. Its media is filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. And at the UN—not exactly a bastion of pro-Israel sentiment—a high-ranking Qatari official was recently denied a senior post on the grounds of anti-Semitism. That’s useful context when considering Qatar’s role supporting Hamas.
Here at Judicial Watch, we’re watching Qatar closely. At home, with concern rising about anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, we won a recent lawsuit forcing disclosure of information about Qatar’s funding of American universities. Abroad, with lessons learned from our Clinton investigations, we’re following the flow of Qatari money. We’ll keep you updated.
Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Tips: email@example.com
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