Under pressure to lift the veil of secrecy over who bankrolled his Canadian charity that’s affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, Vancouver-based mining mogul Frank Giustra late Friday released the names of 21 of its largest donors, most with connections to the mining and oil-drilling industries.
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) did not list the amounts of the various donations. It said it only disclosed the identities of those leading contributors who provided written authorization, while releasing a second legal opinion asserting that under Canadian law, the rest of its 1,100 contributors should be kept confidential unless they agree to be identified.
Those named include Giustra, a major Clinton Foundation benefactor who has forged a globetrotting philanthropic partnership with former President Bill Clinton, Giustra’s estranged wife, Alison Lawton, and his family foundation.
The partnership’s secrecy has triggered controversy because the contributors’ money ultimately benefited the U.S.-based foundation that Clinton built into a global force to fight poverty and disease, posing possible undisclosed conflicts of interest for his wife, Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.
Disclosures about these entanglements – and questions about whether some are being concealed – are now dogging Hillary Clinton as she seeks the Democratic presidential nomination.
Before she took office, the Clinton Foundation agreed to disclose all of its donors and to limit donations from foreign governments. On its website, the foundation lists the names of more than 300,000 donors, organizing them by dollar ranges, and says it will update the list quarterly during her presidential candidacy.
The Canadian affiliate said Friday it has taken no donations from foreign governments.
While Giustra says the Canadian partnership turns over all of its revenue to the Clinton Foundation, it operates as a separate entity. Giustra said this week that $16 million of the money was raised at a star-studded 2008 gala on Toronto’s waterfront, which was attended by some 1,200 people.
Most of the donors identified Friday fit into a tight ring of Giustra’s present and former mining industry friends, associates and financiers.
Prominent among those listed was Ian Telfer, whose company, Uranium One, swallowed Giustra’s firm, handing him windfall profits, after it won the right to mine key uranium deposits in Kazakhstan and in the United States. The New York Times has reported that Giustra’s UrAsia Energy Inc. consummated a deal for the Kazakhstan deposits in 2005, days after Giustra and Bill Clinton met with the country’s president, though Giustra has contended the purchase would have gone forward anyway.
Public records reviewed by McClatchy show that Telfer’s Fernwood Foundation, which also was among those named, donated $2.45 million to the Clinton Giustra Canadian partnership over several years.
Sergey Kurzin, a Russian-born engineer who has publicly taken credit for arranging the meeting involving Clinton and Kazakhstan’s president, also acknowledged donating. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported in 2008 that Kurzin pledged $1 million at the gala. Kurzin also gave $50,000 to $100,000 directly to the Clinton Foundation.
However, the biggest donors to the Canada partnership were Giustra, who has pledged $100 million to the Clinton Foundation and donated more than $30 million directly so far, and his Radcliffe Foundation, which gave more than $18 million between 2007 and 2013, according to public records.
Others on the list include:
--Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., a Canadian petroleum firm in which Giustra invested and which pursued drilling interests in Colombia.
--Gran Colombia Gold Corp., a Canadian firm with mining interests in the South American nation.
--Endeavour Mining Corp., a Canadian-based gold mining firm, and its chief executive officer, Neil Woodyer.
--Stephen Dattels, a British-based mining industry financier.
--GMP Securities, LP, a Canadian firm that has been instrumental in underwriting mining ventures.
-- B2Gold Corp., a Canadian gold-mining firm.
--Sam Magid, a former business Giustra business partner.
--The London-based Dragon Group of companies, which deal in silver, copper and diamonds.