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July 28, 2010 / J. Shaw

Chelsea's Wedding a Typical Clinton Money Shakedown

A New York Times front-page article I highlighted earlier made note of how the Clintons have required all vendors for the wedding to sign a confidentiality agreement, but could this open the door to foreign heads of state giving gifts to the daughter of the secretary of state?

I called Chip Brooks, who is the senior ethics counsel to the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser. I asked him if a random State Department official were to have a relative (a daughter, just hypothetically speaking) in a wedding, would there be any concern about foreign entities giving gifts with some strings attached. Brooks explained that such a gift would fall under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, which

Opens up the door to allow employees to accept gifts from foreign governments. Foreign governments are defined under the statute not merely as foreign governments but also international organizations. The act also defines employees as spouses and family members, but in this case, only dependent children qualify. If the State Department employee has an adult child, the gift to the adult child would not be considered a gift to the employee.

So in other words, yes, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the sitting secretary of state and the former president, can receive all the gifts she likes from foreign heads of state, or even “international organizations.” The confidentiality agreements would make it very easy for someone outside the country, say, to pay for all of the flowers in the wedding without public scrutiny. Not that we should worry about that, Brooks explained, because we have to presume that the activities are above board. On the other hand,

If the circumstances were such that the gift was really intended for the employee, we may be able to pierce that veil. … It depends on what types of information the employee who is subject to the rules is providing, what they may be telling us and not telling us. We have to have confidence that employees are doing the right thing.

Read more….. .washingtonexaminer.

From Article-  Can Chelsea Clinton receive gifts from foreign heads of state for her wedding? Yep, says State Department official  By: J.P. Freire


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