In a concession that few thought would happen, former President Bill Clinton will reveal the names of donors to his foundation and will also allow the state department to review and approve his future foreign travel and speeches.
Clinton’s once super-secret list of more than 200,000 donors was a deal breaker for his wife’s appointment as President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State: No list, no job.
The donor list was also a campaign issue in the hotly-contested battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
But the former President relented when the incoming administration made it clear that Sen. Clinton’s appointment hinged on whether or not the list would be released publicly and Clinton would put his traveling road show under State Department control.
In the end it was a massive concession by a former President whose passion for secrecy rivals that of outgoing President George W. Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to disclose publicly the names of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation as part of an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that clears the way for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state, Democrats close to both sides said on Saturday.
Mr. Clinton has kept his contributor list secret, as permitted under federal law, but he decided to publish it to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest with Mrs. Clinton’s duties as the nation’s top diplomat, said the Democrats, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the agreement with Mr. Obama’s team. Mr. Obama plans to announce Mrs. Clinton’s nomination on Monday, according to advisers.
The disclosure of contributors is among nine conditions that Mr. Clinton signed off on during discussions with representatives of Mr. Obama; all go beyond the requirements of law. Among other issues, he agreed to incorporate his Clinton Global Initiative separately from his foundation so that he has less direct involvement. The initiative, which promotes efforts to fight disease, poverty and climate change, would no longer hold annual meetings outside of the United States or accept new contributions from foreign governments.
Mr. Clinton also agreed to submit his future personal speeches and business activities for review by State Department ethics officials and, if necessary, by the White House counsel’s office.
As part of a startling roster of concessions to President-elect Obama, former President Bill Clinton has agreed to release the long-secret list of donors to his presidential library by the end of this year, according to a Democratic official.
"It speaks to President Clinton’s willingness to do more than what’s asked of him," said a Democratic official familiar with the protracted negotiations between Clinton emissaries and Obama transition aides.
A spokesman for Bill Clinton, Matt McKenna, emails that the former president will release the full list of donors to his foundation by the end of the year.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is to be designated as secretary of state when Obama announces his national-security team at a news conference Monday in Chicago, aides said.
The release of the list of more than 200,000 donors is one of nine remarkable concessions the former president made "[a]t the request of President-elect Obama, and to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest between the work of President Clinton and the service of Hillary Clinton," according to a summary provided to Politico.
Former president Bill Clinton has agreed to make public 200,000 donors to his presidential library and foundation as part of an agreement with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team designed to allow his wife — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — to be named secretary of state, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement.
The former president has also agreed to allow the State Department and, potentially, the White House to vet his personal business interests and speeches so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest, according to transition officials.
The outlines of the deal cut by Obama and the Clintons emerged in the last week as it became increasingly clear that the New York senator would be named secretary of state.
The transition team said the president-elect will make the announcement Monday in Chicago.