Hillary Clinton – wife of former US president Bill Clinton – announced earlier in April that she would be competing in the 2016 race for the White House. And up until a couple of days ago, most political pundits could have pictured her as the first female president of the country.
But a lot has changed since news of the Clinton Foundation receiving millions of dollars from certain people and companies, surfaced in the media. Most of the news agencies have also suggested that the donors were favoured in some way or the other by Clinton.
Take, for example, the case of the company Uranium One. It is one of the world's largest uranium producers – with a portfolio of assets located in Kazakhstan, the United States, Australia and Tanzania – of which Russia's Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, owns 100% of outstanding common shares (through its affiliates).
And according to the New York Times, Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, while Canadian records show a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.
After the takeover, Russians control one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. And since any acquisition of uranium assets needs to be approved by a committee of representatives from a number of US agencies, the state department then had given its consent to the deal, which was headed by Hillary Clinton.
Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from Uranium One
According to Fox News, the Clinton Foundation reportedly received millions of dollars from the head of a uranium company -- and a firm promoting its stock – as Russians sought approval for a takeover of the company.
At the time Bill Clinton had received $500,000 (£330,000) for a speech he delivered in Moscow from a Russian investment bank that was promoting stocks of Uranium One.
Moreover, when the deal was being considered Rosatom and the US government had promised to ease concerns about ceding control of Uranium One's assets to the Russians. But records show that those promises have been repeatedly broken.
Now, whether the donations were in return of favours granted, is not known, but the Clinton Foundation managed to accumulate $250m in assets.
Donations or bribe?
Soon after media reports accused the former secretary of state of supporting the interest of donors, the presidential campaign spokesperson released a statement saying: "[No one] has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation. To suggest the state department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the US government's review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless."
He had also emphasised that apart from US agencies, the Canadian government had also signed on the deal.
Foreign donations not acceptable in US political campaigns
According to the country's laws, foreign donations cannot be used in political campaigns. However, foreigners are allowed to make donations to foundations in the US. And ahead of the announcement of her candidacy for the US presidential elections, the Clinton Foundation had claimed that it had limited donations from foreign governments and was accepting funds only for its health care segment.
With the Democrat candidate facing a storm ahead of her presidency campaign and accusations being made on the lines "You can pay Bill to get to Hillary", it remains to be seen, whether the former first lady would manage to quell tempers and calm the rough seas in time for the elections.