Donations to the Clinton Foundation by Switzerland’s largest bank surged after Hillary Clinton worked out a deal in 2009, which has raised concern by authorities.
After Clinton helped resolve a dispute between the Internal Revenue Service and UBS by way of a tentative settlement, the bank’s donations to the Clinton Foundation increased from less than $60,000 in 2008 to a total of $600,000 by the end of 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The bank revealed that it joined together with the family’s charitable foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs with lends totaling $32 million, while also paying Bill Clinton his biggest single corporate source of speech income since he left the White House, $1.5 million, to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann.
UBS is just one of many companies that engaged in the Clinton’s organization and the State Department under Mrs. Clinton.
While Mrs. Clinton has wrestled with foreign companies on behalf of American businesses, including General Electric Co. and Boeing Co., her interest in the UBS stands out, as concern for foreign banks is not popular among Democrats, the Journal reports.
“They’ve engaged in behavior to make people wonder: What was this about?” says Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, an affiliated Democrat. “Was there something other than deciding the merits of these cases?”
A Clinton campaign spokesperson told the Journal that Mrs. Clinton is proud of the foundation’s work and her record as the top U.S. diplomat. When questioned on the UBS matter, he said that “any suggestion that she was driven by anything but what’s in America’s best interest would be false. Period.”
UBS officials have denied linkage between the case and the foundation donations. A bank spokesperson said that assumptions of associating its philanthropic or business initiatives with the current or former government official is “ludicrous and without merit.” (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Opens Women-Only Fundraiser To Men After Nobody Buys Tickets)