Aides to Hillary Clinton considered a ban on bundling from lobbyists representing foreign interests, decided against it and forgot to tell the candidate.
From Daily Mail
Senior staff decided to bar lobbyists registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA, from raising money for the campaign in a leaked email chain that began the day after Clinton announced her presidential bid.
They were persuaded to reverse their position after members of the finance team and a campaign lawyer pointed out how much money was at stake.
‘Take the money!!’ Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri advised.
The discussion was included in a batch of emails stolen from campaign chairman John Podesta’s account and published on the Wikileaks website Sunday.
Marc Elias, general counsel to the fledgling campaign, told his colleagues early in the April 2015 conversation, ‘This is really a straight up political call.’
He later argued that bundlers in that category should be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Jesse Ferguson, a senior spokesman for Clinton, wanted to know just ‘how much money we’re throwing away’ if they pursued an outright ban.
A staffer on the finance team determined that quite a few of the campaign’s prospective fundraisers would be ineligible under the policy – nearly 10 percent.
‘We’re consistently flagging more FARA registrants daily,’ said Karuna Seshasai. ‘In terms of # – we’re at 27 out of 370 prospective bundlers.’
Included on her list of potentially problematic financiers: Podesta’s brother, Tony, a principal at the lobbying shop they founded together, the Podesta Group.
Tony had interests in Iraq, Azerbaijan and Egypt, the aide pointed out.
Other lobbyists whose work raised red flags had clients in Libya and the United Arab Emirates.
Campaign manager Robby Mook convened a call with Podesta, Huma Abedin and others and concluded that lobbyists currently repping foreign actors would be disallowed from joining the campaign’s finance team.
The group wanted Elias’ opinion, however, before moving forward.
‘A total ban feels arbitrary and will engender the same eye-rolling and ill will that it did for Obama,’ he weighed in.
Elias said it made more sense to screen each possible fundraiser and weed out the ones with especially concerning ties to foreign entities.
Read Full Story At Daily Mail