WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of financial donations from foreign countries is an example of the unrestrained influence foreign players can have on US political candidates, campaign finance experts told Sputnik.
“It is just one example of how far money can seek to influence important American officials,” Harvard University fellow and former White House Counsel on Ethics, Richard Painter said on Monday of Clinton Foundations’ foreign donors.
US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come under scrutiny for accepting substantial foreign financial contributions to her family’s charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation.
According to public reports, the Foundation has raised nearly $2 billion since its creation in 2001.
Painter added that “there is no evidence” that the Clinton Foundation “did anything illegal,” and pointed to some of Clinton’s critics who are associated with similar charitable organizations and foundations.
The larger problem in US politics is that there is no way to account for the total amount of foreign contributions to US politicians, Painter explained.
“We do not know where the money is coming from and they [anonymous donors] do have an influence on our political system,” he said.
The foreign contributions to the foundation are “clearly the next best thing to giving a check to the presidential campaign,” Pudner said.
He continued that the problem is US politics is that the amount of foreign contributions to US elections is not known. “Nothing is supposed to come in, and what we are seeing is the system is now set up where it can.”
According to recent statements, the Clinton Foundation will continue accepting foreign donations during Hillary’s presidential campaign.
Under US election law, foreign nationals are not allowed to make financial or other material contributions to any US federal, state, or local election.
Loop holes in US election law, including exceptions made for corporate and non-profit organizations, have complicated the ability of US regulators to track foreign campaign contributions and potential foreign influence in US elections.