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Clinton Global Initiative to Close in April as Donations Trickle In

Clinton Global Initiative, an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation, will be officially closing its doors on April 15.
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stands with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after accepting the nomination on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016. Reuters/Mike Segar

Clinton Global Initiative, an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation, will be officially closing its doors on April 15.

The organization filed a WARN notice (required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) with the New York Department of Labor that 22 employees will be laid off effective April 15, saying the “reason for dislocation” was the “Discontinuation of the Cliinton Global Initiative.”

The organization previously terminated 74 employees on Dec. 31, with the WARN notice also citing its plan to discontinue operations.

CGI was founded in 2005 by former Pres. Bill Clinton. The organization held annual conferences that gathered global leaders and high-profile personalities together to address various issues.

A report from Fox News said the closing of CGI is part of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s plan to “downsize” the offshoot organizations of the Clinton Foundation. With the prospect of a presidential victory for Hillary at the time and the Clinton Foundation presenting conflicts of interest if she won, Bill announced in August 2016 that CGI will close its doors for good.

The Clintons’ plan has continued in that direction even when she lost the presidency to Donald Trump. One possible reason could be the dwindling financial support. Norway, one of CGI’s biggest donors, cut off its donations from $20 million in 2015 to $4.5 million in 2016. Australia has not renewed its partnership with CGI.

The organization is, in itself, immersed in controversy. Doug Band, an adviser to Bill, sat on the organization’s advisory board. Band, the co-founder and president of Teneo Holdings, reportedly solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation.

Emails from John Podesta, chairman of Hillary’s campaign, showed exchanges with Band where Band described how he secured deals for Bill from clients of Teneo, such as Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical, WikiLeaks revealed.

The emails also showed that a number of CGI sponsors gave personal income to Bill, who reportedly made millions of dollars through this strategy, according to a memo Band wrote which specifies how much donors had given to the Clinton Foundation and how much they personally gave to Bill.

Brian Morgenstern, Manhattan Republican Party vice president, said CGI was not simply “for charitable ends.”

“As the initiative is closing its doors, you see foreign governments who had pledged tens-of-millions of dollars pulling their donations now that Hillary Clinton will not be the president,” he told Fox News. “That shows a lot of people that this was more than just a charity. This was a way for the Clintons to network and really peddle influence due to their positions in leadership.”

Tags : Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton Foundation, Doug Band, Teneo Holdings, bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, WikiLeaks, Donald Trump