Friday, 10 November 2017

INQUIRY 1: Clintons, Gilbert Chagoury, massive donations, bribery, Boko Haram

Image: Who Is Gilbert Chagoury? And Why Won’t The Media Tell Us? - September 6, 2016

Bill Clinton's Complicated World 
- Donor to Former President's Foundation Had Business Ties to Nigerian Dictator 

- By John R. Emshwiller. Updated December 20, 2008.

Bill Clinton's ties to Nigerian businessman Gilbert Chagoury illustrate the kind of complicated relationships with foreign figures the former president is now disclosing, to pave the way for Hillary Clinton to become secretary of state.  - Full story on The Wall Street Journal


Billionaire Clinton pal finally gets waiver from U.S. no-fly list

- By John Solomon  Published on May 21, 2010. Updated: May 19, 2014
- Additional reporting by Aaron Mehta

The United States has issued a written apology to jet-setting billionaire businessman Gilbert Chagoury, who has close ties to former President Bill Clinton.

Chagoury, 64, a Nigerian citizen of Lebanese descent, was pulled off a private jet on January 15, 2014 at the Teterboro, New Jersey airport and detained for more than four hours after federal agents discovered his name was on the then-recently updated no-fly list.

“I think a huge mistake is an understatement,” Chagoury said in a phone interview with the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News. “I cannot accept being labeled a terrorist when I am known all over the world as a person who loves peace. It really hurt,” he said.

Please see the lying ways of Chagoury here in this 2010 report: 

Nigeria-based Gilbert Chagoury: Haliburton bribery, Clinton donor, corrupt 100%

It took Chagoury, a well known philanthropist [sic] and an ambassador to the United Nations educational office, four months and thousands of dollars in legal fees to get the U.S. government to offer an apology and to give him a waiver to fly freely across U.S. airspace.

“Let us apologize for any inconvenience or unpleasantness you have experienced,” wrote Jim Kennedy of the Department of Homeland Security’s Traveler Redress Inquiry Program in an April letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

There was no explanation of why Chagoury’s name had ended up on the no-fly list in the first place.

“I don’t know why me. I look at myself as a friend of America, I’ve always loved your country,” said Chagoury.

Chagoury said the episode was particularly painful because over the years he has provided significant assistance to the US State Department in diplomatic and overseas matters, especially related to Nigeria.

“I did a lot of that at the American embassy in Nigeria. Always they used to come to me with one problem or another,” he said.

One of the ACLU’s clients, Steven Washburn, 54, a former Air Force officer from New Mexico, said he had been stuck in Ireland for three months, unable to return home because he appeared on the no-fly list sometime after his last US trip in November.

Washburn told the Center in an interview he worked as a security expert at a company in Saudi Arabia for the last couple of years but wanted to return home with his wife...

Washburn, his family and his lawyer said the FBI questioning gave some hints of what might have landed him on the list: the agents discussed his conversion to Islam after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, his recent work in Saudi Arabia, his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fact that he hailed from New Mexico where the Yemeni-American imam Anwar al-Awlaki — linked by US. officials to the failed Christmas Day terror plot — once taught years ago.

Washburn told the Center he loves America, has never supported extremism, has never committed a crime and served honorably in the Air Force. He has yet to get an explanation from the U.S. government and has lost thousands of dollars in airline tickets.

In Chagoury’s case, he wasn’t seeking permission to fly on commercial planes to the United States. He simply got an FAA waiver for his family to fly aboard his corporate jets into and out of the United States.

Chagoury’s biography reads like a rags-to-riches tale. He was born in Nigeria to a family of Lebanese descent, got a job in an industrial conglomerate as a teen-ager, and quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become a sales executive at age 17. He married the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and by 1971 formed a firm called the Chagoury Group that today is one of Nigeria’s largest companies with multi-billion dollar assets in construction, manufacturing, real estate and hotels, according to Chagoury’s official website.

He travels on a British passport and his philanthropy work [sic] spans the United States and the globe, his spokesman said.

By the mid-1990s Chagoury became a major supporter of Bill Clinton.

Chagoury attended a December 1996 dinner at the White House after donating nearly a half million dollars to a Democratic Party-backed voter registration group. His political donation became the subject of scrutiny during the fund-raising investigation into unlimited “soft money” donations in the 1996 election and the system of donor rewards created by the Clintons.

Chagoury’s relationship, however, continued with the Clintons. He donated at least $1 million to Clinton’s presidential library and last year made a historic $1 billion commitment to Clinton’s global initiative to help combat climate change related erosion in Africa. [Where is that initiative the Clintons set up?]

Chagoury said he never talked to Clinton or his other powerful friends about the no fly episode nor sought their help.

“I am ashamed to call any of my friends and tell them this thing is happening. Because I’ve never done anything to justify this,” he said.  [smooth as butter]

Along the way, Chagoury has won audiences with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict, former President Ronald Reagan and other world leaders. In 1995, the Caribbean island of St. Lucia named Chagoury to be its permanent ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

And with global fame and wealth came controversy. Chagoury was identified in a Wall Street Journal article as having close ties to former Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha during the years he landed lucrative business contracts in that country. After Gen. Abacha died in 1998, Swiss and other European authorities froze a number of bank accounts, including some related to Chagoury. The matter was settled and he has never been charged with any wrongdoing.

See the full story here on Public Integrity
Published May 21, 2010

Could Boko Haram be Hillary Clinton's Biggest Scandal?

- Published March 18, 2015

“Recent evidence suggests Secretary Hillary Clinton and the State Department not only knew of the extent, but also deliberately attempted to obfuscate the issue in order to avoid having to make the designation of Boko Haram as a FTO, including downplaying the State Department’s own Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT),” Vitter wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry then.

Boko Haram, founded in 2002, began its campaign of attacks in earnest in 2009 but wasn't put on the terror list until November 2013 -- on the eve of Nigerian activists coming to Congress to testify about Boko Haram's crimes and demand the terrorist designation. The State Department’s listing of Boko Haram and its offshoot, Ansaru, was so sudden the morning of the House subcommittee hearing that the submitted testimony of Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, still included a plea for the U.S. to finally add the Islamist groups to the list.

Even after a February 2012 promise by Boko Haram to assassinate the U.S. ambassador, the State Department kept the Nigerian terrorists off the list.

Long under the microscope for corruption, allegations he has denied, Chagoury settled a 2000 money laundering case in Geneva with a fine of a million Swiss francs and paying $66 million to the Nigerian government; that conviction has since been expunged from his record by the Swiss.

"We need to know if Mr. Chagoury had any influence in the decision not to designate Boko Haram an FTO, or had any other influence with Sec. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions," Vitter wrote.

This story was updated on 3/20/14 to add comment from Chagoury associate Mark Corallo.

See the full story here on PJ Media
Published March 18, 2015

Clinton Foundation donors have a bribery problem

- by Sarah Westwood | Jun 10, 2015

Nigerian businessman Gilbert Chagoury's connections to the Clintons have come under scrutiny following revelations that State Department policy may have benefited him personally while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.

Chagoury's financial support of the Clintons has raised red flags in the past. In 1996, he was reportedly prodded by a Democratic National Committee fundraiser to give $460,000 to a nonprofit voter registration group that later won the DNC's business... Chagoury's donation was solicited by Mark Weiner...

Nigerian media outlets reported Chagoury and his brother, Jack, were among 80 local officials who were indicted in the Halliburton bribery scandal in 2010. The case alleged the Chagoury brothers were involved in a series of bribes to Nigerian officials that preceded Halliburton's acquisition of lucrative oil contracts in the country.

But Chagoury isn't the only international businessman whose checkered past has raised questions about the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of generous donations from foreigners accused of bribery.

Victor Dahdaleh, a Canadian businessman and trustee of the Clinton Foundation, was arrested in October 2011 for his alleged role in a bribery scheme that funneled kickbacks from aluminum conglomerate Alcoa to Aluminium Bahrain.

Dahdaleh reportedly traveled with Bill Clinton through Europe in 2009, shortly after Hillary Clinton took office, and arranged speaking engagements for the former president dating back to 2005.

See the full story here on the Washington Examiner
Published June 10, 2015

Inquiry 2 - coming soon

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