Did Hillary Help Russia Steal American Technology?

Hootsuite-Evan El-Amin
Hootsuite-Evan El-Amin

“There is absolutely no connection between anything I did as Secretary of State and The Clinton Foundation. People can say that, but I am proud of our personal, family philanthropic work,” said Hillary Clinton in a July 31 Fox News interview.

Yet 44 new emails, released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, appear to tell a much different story. In total, Judicial Watch released 296 pages of email, including these 44 which were not previously handed over to the State Department by Clinton from her personal email server. According to CNN, these 44 emails are heavily redacted and show just how easy it was for Clinton Foundation donors to get special government favors, a relationship the New York Times is calling “close and sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary was Secretary of State.”

The emails show evidence of Clinton Foundation employees putting donors in touch with high level State Department and international officials, and in some cases, even obtaining State Department jobs for donors.

And that’s not all. The latest round of email also shed light on a 2010 program spearheaded by Hillary Clinton to help build a Russian Silicon Valley called Skolkovo Tech Park.  The result is that Hillary may have involved some of America’s biggest tech companies in industrial espionage, and most likely also contributed to advancing Russia’s spy capabilities and military operations, according to Peter Schweizer’s new report from the Government Accountability Institute.

Apparently, this program involved partnership between the Russian government and Russian companies, and major American companies like General Electric, Boeing, Microsoft and Google.  And guess what?  Many of these companies were generous donors to–you guessed it–the Clinton Foundation. In fact, 17 out of 28 of these companies, both American and Russian, either donated or paid for Bill’s speeches, and in total, the collective of companies were solicited by Clinton to invest more than a billion dollars in the Russian venture. Hillary’s goal was to “break down barriers with Russia” and “create more free flow of people and information” between the two countries, as Clinton herself explained in a 2010 US-Russian summit speech.

The partnership was put in place early in the Obama’s first term to rekindle the US relationship with Russia. The State Department funded an all-expenses-paid trip to Russia for a private delegation of 22 tech entrepreneurs.  That trip led to the fruition of the industrial tech park that was planned to accommodate 30,000 employees. “The State Department actively and aggressively encouraged American firms to participate in Skolkovo,” the Government Accountability Institute report said. “Indeed, many of the Memorandums of Understanding signed by U.S. companies to invest and cooperate in Skolkovo were signed under the auspices of Hillary Clinton’s State Department.”

However, the project built right outside Moscow got these companies into hot water with the FBI. In 2014,the FBI issued an “extraordinary warning” to any company involved in the Skolkovo Foundation, noting that “Skolkovo could draw them unwittingly into industrial espionage”.  According to the FBI, Skolkovo was a crucial part of Dmitry Medvedev’s plan to modernize the Russian military, and the project ultimately strengthened Russia a great deal. The FBI went on to say that Skolkovo was likely a “means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial applications.”

This project gives rise to serious questions about national security risk, and the leveraging of Clinton Foundation donors to greatly accelerate Russia’s weaponized technology sector. Naturally, the Clinton campaign has rejected Schweizer’s allegations, calling him out as a longtime foe of their family.  The campaign has also downplayed the FBI statements regarding Skolkovo.

Relations with Russia have become a heated topic in the 2016 presidential election, and Clinton has criticized Donald Trump for his supposed lack of knowledge about international affairs. It appears that in this case, Clinton is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. As Secretary of State, it was her responsibility to keep Russia in check, but instead she actively supported acceleration of their technology sector. The continued revelations from her private email server have led to massive distrust of her and have continued to weigh heavily on her presidential bid. There are supposedly more emails circulating, and both Judicial Watch and Wikileaks are expected to release more in September and October.