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GE's Jeffrey Immelt roped into Clinton cash scandal

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, outright refused at a recent shareholders’ session to explain the coincidental timing between his philanthropy’s cash donation to the Clinton Foundation and his company’s subsequent receipt of a lucrative State Department contract.

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Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, asked Immelt at the Oklahoma City gathering: “While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton lobbied foreign governments on behalf of companies including General Electric at a time when those companies were making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In late 2012, for example, Clinton urged the Algerian government to award a power plant contract to GE. GE contributed to the Clinton Foundation. Then in 2013, Algeria awarded the power plant contract to GE. By donating to the Clinton Foundation while receiving a huge favor from the secretary of state … [was GE exposed] to the risk of being charged with honest services fraud?”

Danhof then asked Immelt if he would make public all of GE’s written communications with the State Department during that time frame. And Immelt’s reply?

No, he said, NCPPR reported.

“That’s not something we would do,” he said.

Danhof, in a written statement, expressed dissatisfaction with Immelt’s reply.

“There is no evidence that GE did anything wrong – but that’s the point, there is no evidence, period,” he said. “When one of the world’s most powerful companies teams with the secretary of state and the end result is a massive donation going one way and a multi-billion foreign contract coming back the other way, the company’s investors are right to ask questions. … It is disappointing to see Immelt put GE in the same boat as Mrs. Clinton in hiding the company’s communications from public view.”

Danhof also specified he did not blindside Immelt at the meeting – that he actually gave the CEO an advance copy of the question.

“[That] means Immelt’s choice to keep these communications hidden was a calculated one,” he said. “That raises the specter of suspicion on GE’s dealings with the Clinton Foundation even more. Presumably if the company has nothing to hide, it wouldn’t hide anything.”

Clinton is facing a wide media scrutiny for the coincidental timing of cash donations to the Clinton Foundation and political favors from the State Department she headed.

The New York Times reported Thursday on an alleged link between Russian donations to Bill Clinton’s many charitable organizations and Hillary Clinton’s approval of a deal giving Russia control of one-fifth of uranium mine production in the United States.

The soon-to-be-released “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” reportedly details plenty of other instances of the Clinton Foundation’s receipt of money, and the former secretary of state’s coincidental granting of political requests.

And now reports have surfaced indicating several of the Clinton family charities may have filed inaccurately with the Internal Revenue Service. Reuters initially found the charities filed in error in the section where they’re supposed to report donations from governments, and in response, the organizations are planning to refile.

It’s not clear yet if the Clinton Foundation is going to be included among that list of refiling agencies, Reuters reported.

In the meantime, another report from the Washington Examiner reveals that under Clinton’s secretary of state leadership, 22 of the 37 corporations recommended for one of the agency’s most prestigious State Department award were donors to the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, six of the eight that were ultimately chosen from the 37 nominations were donors to this same foundation.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has been bogged down a bit by the recent revelations, with polls showing she has a real trust issue with the American people.

Danhof, for his part, said he only raised the issue with Immelt out of concern for GE shareholders.

“The company’s actions are really the focus here, not Mrs. Clinton’s,” he said, in his written statement. “Lobbyists have been imprisoned under honest services fraud for far less than the sum that changed hands between GE and the Clinton Foundation.”

The Wall Street Journal listed the GE donations to a health partnership with the Clinton Foundation between $500,000 and $1 million.

“Clinton’s subsequent actions helped GE obtain a contact with the Algerian government to supply turbines for six power plants to the tune of $1.9 billion,” he said.