“I know where all the bodies are buried.”
NEW YORK (PNN) - December 8, 2018 - The CFO of the Clinton Foundation, thinking he was "meeting an old professional acquaintance," admitted to investigators that the charity had widespread problems with governance, accounting and conflicts of interest, and that Bill Clinton has been commingling business and personal expenses for a long time.
Clinton Foundation CFO Andrew Kessel made the admissions to investigators from MDA Analytics LLC - a firm run by "accomplished ex-federal criminal investigators" who have been probing the Clinton Foundation for some time.
Kessel said, "There is no controlling Bill Clinton. He does whatever he wants and runs up incredible expenses with Foundation funds. Bill Clinton mixes and matches his personal business with that of the Foundation. Many people within the foundation have tried to caution him about this but he does not listen, and there really is no talking to him."
MDA compiled Kessel's statements, as well as over 6,000 pages of evidence from a whistleblower they had been working with separately, which they secretly filed with the FBI and IRS over a year ago. MDA has alleged that the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities, and may owe millions in unpaid taxes and penalties.
In addition to the IRS, the firm’s partners have had contact with prosecutors in the main offices of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and FBI agents in Little Rock, Arkansas. Furthermore, last week a federal prosecutor suddenly asked for documents from their private investigation.
Kessel confirmed to the private investigators that private lawyers reviewed the Foundation’s practices - once in 2008 and the other time in 2011 - and each found widespread problems with governance, accounting and conflicts of interest.
“I have addressed it before and, let me tell you, I know where all the bodies are buried in this place,” Kessel said.
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts, or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws.
Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation has been under investigation by the IRS since July 2016, according to a January report by the Dallas Observer - after 64 GOP Members of Congress received letters urging them to push for an investigation. The investigation is being handled by their Dallas office - far away from Washington insiders.
"There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose," MDA alleged in its memo, adding, "The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes, and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case."
Foundation officials confirmed that Kessel met with MDA investigators, but said that he "strongly denies that he said or suggested hat the Clinton Foundation or President Clinton engaged in inappropriate or illegal activities."
MDA was specifically created to investigate 501c3 charities, and researched the Clinton Foundation at its own expense in the hope that the whistleblower submission they compiled might result in a government reward if the IRS was able to corroborate wrongdoing and recover tax dollars.
The IRS sent multiple letters in 2017 and 2018 to MDA Analytics, confirming it had received the submission and it was “still open and under active investigation.” But, shortly before last month’s election, the agency sent a preliminary denial letter indicating it did not pursue the allegations for reasons that ranged from a lack of resources to possible expiration of the statute of limitations on some allegations.
A half-dozen former federal investigators were asked to review the submission and key evidence; all said the firm’s analysis of tax-exempt compliance issues would not be that useful to federal agencies that have their own legal experts for that. But they stressed the evidence of potential criminality was strong and warranted opening an FBI or IRS probe.
According to retired FBI supervisory agent Jeffrey Danik, MDA's work is "a very good roadmap for investigation, adding, "When you have the organization’s own lawyers using words like ‘quid pro quo,’ ‘conflicts of interest’ and ‘whistleblower protections,’ you have enough to get permission to start interviewing and asking questions."
While some of the documents MDA submitted were marked as attorney-client privileged, that should not be an issue for federal investigators - given that since special counsel Robert Mueller got the OK to investigate Michael Cohen and his attorney-client communications with President Donald Trump, that hurdle could be overcome under the crime-fraud exception.
“I know where all the bodies are buried.”