State Department

Report claims DOJ probe of Clinton Foundation, emails ongoing

Questions over why - or whether - Justice Dept declined to investigate Clinton Foundation over State Dept. ties. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey goes 'On the Record' to sound off

 

A fresh report that federal prosecutors are probing the Clinton Foundation revived speculation Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may not be past her email problems, but the Justice Department on Friday declined to confirm the account.

Despite the official decline, The Daily Caller reported that several investigations were being launched including one led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Civil Frauds Unit that will focus on Clinton Foundation in New York.

“We’re declining to comment,” a spokesperson told FoxNews.com about the claims.

The FBI had investigated the Clinton Foundation’s relationship with the State Department during then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure, according to officials at the time.

On Friday, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking questions about a report that says the Justice Department turned down new requests to investigation the Clinton Foundation for possible wrongdoing.

“As the press have reported widely and emails released over the past few days confirmed, representatives of the Foundation repeatedly sought special treatment for its donors and associates from senior officials at the State Department,” Cornyn wrote to Lynch.

“This kind of conduct is unacceptable, and reflects the worst concerns harbored by the public about the abuse of government office to benefit the powerful at the expense of the American people,” he added.

A new batch of emails released earlier this week seemed to show donors got preferential treatment during Clinton’s tenure at the department.

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch released the 44 new email exchanges which it says were not in the original 30,000 handed over to the State Department, despite the Democratic presidential nominee's claims she turned over all work-related emails amid the now-closed probe into her private server use.

The documents, produced as a result of the group's FOIA lawsuit, challenge Clinton's insistence that there is "no connection" between her family foundation and her work at the department. 

Though the campaign is downplaying the emails, Republican opponent Donald Trump, suggested the emails reveal potentially illegal activity.

“It’s called pay for play,” Trump said.

In one email exchange released by Judicial Watch, Doug Band, an executive at the Clinton Foundation, tried to put billionaire donor Gilbert Chagoury -- a convicted money launderer -- in touch with the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there.

Media outlets reported this week that FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department but that the Justice Department pushed back.

At a State Department briefing on Thursday, spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said the department “is not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation.”

There were also claims that Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s top deputy at the State Department, interviewed two executives for a top position at the Clinton Foundation in 2012.

The State Department again denied there was a conflict of interest and said a trip Mills took to New York to conduct business for the Clinton Foundation complied with ethics laws.

“The Department can confirm that the trip in question was for personal travel and was not paid for with government funds. Federal employees are permitted to engage in outside personal activities, within the scope of the federal ethics rules,” the State Department said in a statement.

Calls to Clinton’s campaign by FoxNews.com were not immediately returned.