May 11, 2017
An update on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's conversation with Hillary Clinton over Dr. Muhammad Yunus' removal from Grameen Bank.
NOW ANY WONDER WHAT THE MISSING E-MAILS WERE ABOUT?!
While secretary of state, Hillary Clinton made a personal call to pressure Bangladesh’s prime minister to aid a donor to her husband’s charitable foundation despite federal ethics laws that require government officials to recuse themselves from matters that could impact their spouse’s business.
The Office of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed to Circa that Mrs. Clinton called her office in March 2011 to demand that Dr. Muhammed Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner, be restored to his role as chairman of the country’s most famous microcredit bank, Grameen Bank. The bank’s nonprofit Grameen America, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative. Grameen Research, which is chaired by Yunus, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000, according to the Clinton Foundation website.
“Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in March 2011 insisting her not to remove Dr. Muhammad Yunus from the post of Managing Director of Grameen Bank,” Deputy Press Secretary Md Nazrul Islam told Circa in an email.Islam said the prime minister informed Mrs. Clinton that according to Grameen Bank rules and regulations, nobody can hold the position of the Managing Director of Grameen Bank after the age of 60. He was 70 at the time of his removal and had wrangled for months to no avail with the prime minister over his removal.
According to the Bangladesh government, Grameen Bank is part of a statutory body of the government and therefore is subject to the banking laws, saying they told Clinton “Dr. Yunus drew salaries and allowances illegally for 10 years.”
A commission set up by the Bangladesh government also began investigating Grameen Bank in 2012 for financial mismanagement.
Yunus did not return calls seeking comment. But he has long denied any wrongdoing and suggested his ouster was the result of internal politics -- he considered creating a rival political party in 2007 but ended up not doing so.
In a 2013 interview, Yunus said he feared his ouster would put the bank he founded to help millions of impoverished people with microcredit (HOW MANY MICROCREDIT LOANS COULD HAVE BEEN MADE WITH THE DONATIONS TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION?) -- small loans that are often unsecured by assets but have higher interest rates -- under too much government control and alter its mission.
"It will be a disaster," he said at the time. "Everybody in Bangladesh knows that if any business is controlled by the government, it goes down. Now why do they want to do that for the bank?
"Attack me as a person if you don't like me, but what wrong has the bank done? The bank is owned by the poor women, it is financed with their deposits," he added. "The bank should be under the control of those women. That's the way I had always wanted to keep it."Mrs. Clinton’s newly disclosed call to reinstate Dr. Yunus marks one of the most direct involvements in an official government matter that impacted one of her husband’s donors. It may trigger new calls for a criminal investigation into the foundation’s activities but “it’s not likely that anything would come of it,” said Richard Painter, former Chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
“People in public life shouldn’t be raising money from anybody, anywhere, or for anything,” Painter said. “But until we fix the campaign finance system this is the way it’s going to be.”
“This shows the Clinton’s insensitivity to the public’s anger and lack of judgement when they expanded the fundraising beyond politics,” said Painter, who said people in public office should not be raising money.But opponents of Mrs. Clinton, including President Trump before the election, have made calls for a criminal investigation into the foundation and whether there was a pay-for-play, in which they donors allegedly received favors from the State Department during her tenure from 2009-2013.
The Associated Press reported in August, that at least 85 of 154 “people from private interests who met or had phone conversations with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity” or pledged to donate to one of her international programs.
While Mrs. Clinton ( NOT DONALD J. TRUMP) was at the State Department she also voted to approve 20 percent sale of U.S. uranium production capacity to the Russian Atomic Energy Agency (not Donald J. Trump!). The company donated $2.5 million to the Clinton Foundation while the deal was ongoing and before the deal was finalized President Bill Clinton was invited (not Donald J. Trump!) to Moscow and given $500,000 for a speech.
|CLINTON FOUNDATION DONATION TOUR IN 2009 as Secretary of State|
And when it came to Yunus, declassified cables show that Mr. Yunus sought to use Mrs. Clinton’s power as secretary of state to pressure the Bangladesh government.
In 2009, Dr. Yunus sent a personal email to then Secretary of State Clinton’s office asking for intervention into the Bangladesh bank and stated his concerns, according to a declassified WikiLeaks cable.
Those declassified cables show the U.S. ambassador also raised the issue with government officials prior to Mrs. Clinton’s call and that Mrs. Clinton asked State officials to alert her husband to the problems Yunus was having with Bangladesh.
“Please see if the issues of Grameen Bank can be raised in a friendly way,” the email from Yunus to then Clinton advisor Melanne Verveer stated. “I sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to brief her on our problems, at the advice of the U.S. Ambassador in Dhaka.”
POTUS OFFICE FOR SALE
“Almost every important person in Bangladesh congratulated me for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” he states in the cable. “But the Prime Minister and her party said not a word about it, so you can see the depth of the problem,“ Yunus wrote in the cable to Verveer, who now is the executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University. “I thought I should keep you briefed and let you figure out what to be done. Thanks for your help,” Yunus wrote to Verveer in 2009. Verveer could not be reached for comment.
Sajeeb Wazed, the son of Prime Minister Hasina, and a permanent U.S. resident, says that between 2010 and 2012, he was repeatedly pressured to ask his mother to end the investigation into Mr. Yunus, and threatened with an audit or other action if he did not comply.
“At two instances during those conversations they brought up the fact that, ‘look, there could be many actions taken against your country, your mother, your family, who knows, you could get audited by the IRS, since you live in the U.S.,” said Wazed, who has been making the allegations for over five years.
The allegations have not been independently substantiated by Circa and representatives for Mrs. Clinton did not return phone calls seeking comment.