Hillary Clinton is under yet another investigation for attempting to thwart a Bangladesh government corruption probe of Muhammad Yunus – one of her close friends and donors.
This is first Clinton investigation since her presidential election loss last year, and will be headed up by Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.
The Daily Caller News Foundation (The DCNF) Investigative Group exclusively reported in May that Clinton sent top U.S. diplomats to pressure Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina and her son Sajeeb Wazed in an effort to censor that country’s corruption investigation of Yunus and Grameen Bank.
Yunus was then managing director of the state-owned Bangladesh bank. Clinton threatened Wazed with an IRS tax audit if his mother did not back away from the corruption probe. Wazed has lived in the USA for 17 years.
If the Secretary of State used her position to intervene in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship stemming from the Clinton Foundation that would be unacceptable.
Co-mingling her official position as Secretary of State with her family foundation would be similarly inappropriate. It is vital to determine whether the State Department had any role in the threat of an IRS audit against the son of the Prime Minister in retaliation for this investigation.
Grassley described how U.S. career diplomats James Moriarty and Dan Mozena, as well as Jon Danilowica, the Deputy Chief of Mission, met with Wazed in the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, on numerous occasions while the corruption investigation was underway.
Yunus was stripped of his directorship of the state owned Grameen Bank in 2011 as a result of the Bangladesh government’s review of his financial mismanagement of the bank and its “micro-credit” loan program for poor peasants.
A Norwegian documentary charging Yunus personally diverted $100 million intended for Grameen Bank and for the poor to his other organizations triggered the initial investigation against him.
The pocketing of funds shocked many in poverty-stricken Bangladesh where the annual per capita income is about $3,600, according to the World Bank.
Yunus eventually returned the money to Grameen Bank, but the government’s investigation exposed serious financial mismanagement and found the micro-loan program failed to lift recipients out of poverty.
Interest rates and payback amounts of the micro-loans sometimes resulted in more poverty, not less. Rather than re-paying the loans, a number of recipients in Bangladesh and India committed suicide.
Clinton’s support for Yunus dates to former President Bill Clinton’s years as Arkansas governor. Both Clintons became micro-credit loan advocates and enthusiastic backers of Yunus, who invented the lending scheme.
Bill Clinton reportedly lobbied the Nobel Prize Committee on behalf of Yunus. The committee awarded him the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
The World Bank also unexpectedly decided during Clinton’s tenure in 2012 to rescind a $1.2 billion loan to Bangladesh while the IRS was pressuring Wazed. The funds were sought to build a key bridge near Dhaka.
Clinton’s inner circle of State Department aides kept her apprised of developments throughout the probe. When Clinton confident Melanne Verveer told her of Yunus’ resignation on May 14, 2011, the former secretary of state described it as “sad indeed.”
News Punch / ABC Flash Point Bribery News 2019.