Hillary Clinton Faces Call for New Ethics Investigation After Son-in-Law Asked for a Business Favor
A conservative watchdog group alleges Hillary Clinton gave preferential treatment to her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky
This time, the Democratic presidential front-runner is accused of giving special government access to an investor in a deep-sea mining company due to his ties to Clinton’s son-in-law, hedge fund manager Marc Mezvinsky.
The group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Monday, alleging that Clinton “gave a private company special access to the State Department based upon the company’s relationships with Secretary Clinton’s family members and donors to the Clinton Foundation.”
The complaint, first obtained by TIME, comes two weeks after one of Clinton’s court-ordered email releases showed that she asked a senior State Department official to follow up on a special request from Mezvinsky, the husband of her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.
In a May 2012 email, the investor, Harry Siklas, asked Mezvinsky to connect him with Clinton or other State Department officials “to discuss mining and the current legal issues and regulations.”
Three months later, according to State Department emails, Clinton forwarded Siklas’ note to then-deputy secretary of state Thomas Nides, writing, “Could you have someone follow up on this request which was forwarded to me?” Nides replied that he would “get on it.”
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The emails do not show whether Clinton or other State Department officials met with Siklas or anyone else from the deep-sea mining firm, Neptune Minerals, but FACT alleges that the exchange appears to show Clinton gave preferential treatment to her son-in-law. Siklas was also an employee at Goldman Sachs at the time, TIME notes, and members of the New York investment banking firm were among the top donors to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“We request a full investigation into these communications and a determination of whether any laws were broken,” FACT said in the complaint.
“We believe that requests like this from anyone other than Goldman Sachs and her son-in-law were not passed along,” FACT Executive Director Matt Whitaker told TIME, “so there was a preference given in her duty as Secretary of State in comparison to other requests.”