Hillary Clinton is facing new questions over her pledge to give the cash she received from Harvey Weinstein ‘to charity’.
Clinton broke her silence on Weinstein’s sex assault scandal this week, and joined a chorus of other Democratic politicians who said they would return Weinstein’s contributions or re-gift them to charity.
Weinstein gave $33,590 to the Hillary Victory Fund and $5,400 to Hillary for America during the 2016 election.
Clinton indicated she will donate the Weinstein’s money out of her own income rather than from the campaign organization.
‘I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that,’ Clinton said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
Confusion: ‘I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that,’ Clinton said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. Now she faces questions on how
Close relationship: Hillary Clinton benefited from hundreds of thousands from Harvey Weinstein for her campaigns and her family foundation – as well as even more
Long-term relationship: Gwyneth Paltrow has stepped forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of harassing her. Clinton claimed she was shocked by the allegations against her friend
WHAT HARVEY GAVE THE CLINTONS…
$250,000 to the Clinton Foundation
$30,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund
$5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign
Unknown millions in donations from friends
…WHAT THE CLINTONS ARE GIVING BACK
EXACT AMOUNT STILL UNKNOWN
Tax experts said under this scenario she would be able to deduct this money from her income taxes.
Julian Block, a former special agent at the IRS and a tax attorney in New York, said her pledge raised significant questions.
‘Is this a situation where her campaign organization is turning over money to her, that goes into her checking account, and then she’s writing a check on that account to make the donation?’ said Block. ‘That would raise some questions as to who’s actually making the donation.’
Chicago tax attorney Robert McKenzie said it could raise problems if Clinton classified the political donations as personal income.
‘I don’t see how she could justify that as being part of her income. I don’t see how she can take that out of her personal return,’ said McKenzie.
McKenzie said one reason Clinton might donate the money herself is if the campaign does not have enough money left in its accounts.
The Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee for Hillary for America and the Democratic National Committee, appears to have enough funds to cover the donation. According to Federal Election Commission records, it has over $400,000 in the bank.
Adding to the confusion: Nick Merrill, Clinton’s spokesman, did nothing to clear up the mechanism of how Clinton will give the cash to charity with a tweet then declined to answer a request for clarity from DailyMail.com
The situation was plunged into further confusion when Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill claimed on Twitter that the donation would be separate from the 10 per cent of her income she gives to charity.
‘It’s 2 separate points. HRC gives 10% of her money to charity, personally. Also, she will donate campaign contributions from HW to charity,’ he wrote.
But he did not respond to questions from DailyMail.com about whether the Hillary Victory Fund would transfer the Weinstein money to Clinton for her to donate as she had appeared to suggest.
Additionally it is unclear if the cash would be included in her current ’10 per cent’ donations.
If it were to be, then it would simply replace other cash she had been going to give.
HARVEY THE DEMS’ CASH MACHINE
Here are just some of the donations and fundraising Weinstein was behind according to public records
$679,275 raised as a ‘bundler’ for Obama’s 2012 campaign – one of the top 40 in the country
$250,000 donations to the Democratic National Committee since 2003
$250,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2003
$30,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund in 2016
$16,200 to Chuck Schumer in total
$5,400 – the legal maximum – to Clinton’s campaign in 2016
$5,400 to Richard Blumenthal in 2016
$5,400 to Martin Heinrich in 2017
$5,400 to Al Franken in 2014
$5,000 to Elizabeth Warren in 2012
$10,000 to Corey Booker in 2013
Clinton has not said where she will donate the money, but it could end up going to her family’s non-profit.
A DailyMail.com review found that 76 percent of Clinton’s charitable giving in the past three years went to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Non-profit records show the former presidential candidate and her husband Bill gave a total of $3.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2014, 2015 and 2016. According to Clinton’s tax returns, she claimed $4.2 million in charitable donations during the same time period.
The Clintons donated the money through a lesser-known non-profit they control called the ‘Clinton Family Foundation.’
Ironically, tax experts said that she needed to move quickly to make the most of the potential tax break – because the 2016 election victor plans to limit how much she would save under his tax reform plan.
‘If the Trump proposals become law…it’s more advantageous to make this contribution before the close of 2017 rather than to wait until 2018 when she might be in a lower bracket,’ said Block.
Under Trump’s plan, the tax rate for earners in the top income bracket would drop from 39.6 percent to 35 percent – meaning it could be a savvier strategy to take any tax breaks this year, in case Trump’s proposals go into effect in 2018.
‘She might in a higher bracket for 2017 than she will be for 2018,’ said Block. ‘If so, the contributions she makes before 2017 would save her more in taxes than she would if she waits until 2018.’
In addition to Weinstein’s donations to Clinton’s campaign, the movie producer also gave between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
A spokesperson for Clinton did not respond to questions about whether the former presidential candidate plans to return the Clinton Foundation donations to Weinstein.