Gilbert Chagoury: What You Need To Know | NTK Network Gilbert Chagoury: What You Need To Know

Gilbert Chagoury: What You Need To Know

The Nigerian businessman has longstanding ties to the Clintons, but it’s his ties to terrorism that are raising eyebrows…

By NTK Staff | 08.31.2016 @2:30pm
Gilbert Chagoury: What You Need To Know

Chances are you’ve never heard of Gilbert Chagoury. The truth is, very few Americans have.

But Chagoury, a Lebanese-born billionaire, may have considerable access to a Hillary Clinton White House. And for that reason, every American should know more about the businessman and philanthropist who now calls the African nation of Nigeria home.

Chagoury’s name hangs in the Louvre in France; he’s given significant sums to St. Jude’s Children’s Research hospital; and, perhaps most pertinent to the American electorate, he’s donated between $1M-$5M to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. (The Foundation only supplies lifetime donation ranges.)

During Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, documents contained on Clinton’s private email server revealed that Clinton Foundation representatives worked with Clinton’s State Department employees to set up meetings between top U.S. diplomats and Clinton Foundation donors.

One such email exchange from 2009, obtained through a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, showed longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band emailing longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and asking to put Chagoury in touch with the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon because of Chagoury’s business interests there.

In a follow-up email, Band stressed that Abedin call Chagoury immediately, adding: “This is very important.”

As the AP reported last week, that kind of access was not uncommon among Clinton Foundation donors at Foggy Bottom. An AP analysis of Clinton’s schedule found that at least “85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs…”

But the case of Chagoury is particularly troubling due to his checkered past and questionable business dealings. Chagoury made much of his money in the 1990s under the rule of a Nigerian dictator who stole billions in public funds, some of which was traced to accounts owned by Chagoury.

In 2010, Chagoury was added to the Department of Homeland Security’s no-fly list due to his suspected ties to terrorism. In 2013, under suspicion that Chagoury’s money was being funneled to terrorist group Hezbollah, his visa was denied.

Last year, he applied for a visitor’s visa to go to Los Angeles. That request was denied, too, citing terrorism-related concerns.

Chagoury released a statement, through a spokesman, denying much of the recent reporting that has stemmed from these now-public emails. The statement begins by saying Chagoury “doesn’t understand all of the media concern over the Clinton Global Initiative” and claims his 2009 request of Band was him “simply passing along his observations and insights about the dire political situation in Lebanon at the time.”

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure if Chagoury’s Clinton Foundation donation and subsequent access was actually a “pay to play” arrangement. But with countless editorial boards calling on the Clintons to separate themselves from their foundation and nearly two-thirds of voters saying they do not believe Clinton is trustworthy, it seems the damage has already been done.

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