Sri Lanka Express

Watchdog group files to get Rajiv Fernando’s records from the State Dept.

What was the “issue” that prevented the Clinton donor from getting the top level secret clearance?

By Hassina Leelarathna

The conservative watchdog group Citizens United has filed in federal court to force the U.S. State Department to turn over detailed records about Rajiv Fernando that would shed light on why he failed to get the security clearance required to participate in the board meetings of the International Security Advisory Board.

According to ABC News, the August 12 filing asks the court to force the State Department to turn over copies of Fernando’s financial and ethics disclosure filings, “submitted on his behalf to State in May 2011 in connection with a security clearance form.”
“The only reason why Mr. Fernando was appointed to this board of security experts was because of his big donations to the Clinton Foundation,” said David N. Bossie, the president of Citizens United was quoted by ABC as saying. “The American people have a right to see these documents before the November election.”

“We know there was an ‘issue’ that held up Raj Fernando’s security clearance and these two documents will go a long way in explaining the issue,” Bossie said.

Public records show Fernando, who is of Sri Lankan descent, has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and he is a major donor to Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.

Emails previously obtained by Citizens United obtained through an earlier Freedom of Information request and publicized by ABC News reference an “issue” with Fernando’s security clearance. The emails do not explain why Fernando was never issued the secret clearance (at a level known as Top Secret SCI, for Sensitive Compartmented Information) that was required to participate in advisory board meetings. An email from an official with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security says he was provided a temporary clearance, “and all that implies, including his membership in ISAB (but no SCI access).”

The State Department has declined to provide copies of Fernando’s financial and ethics disclosure filings to ABC News in July. Elizabeth Trudeau, a department spokeswoman, said in response to the request that, “While some financial disclosure forms are publicly available upon request, others are confidential.”

Rajiv Fernando sent Hillary flowers, promised to make her "look good"

Rajiv Fernando
Hillary Clinton & Huma Abedin
June 27 - Rajiv Fernando sent flowers to Hillary Clinton and promised to make the then Secretary of State
“look good” if appointed to the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), newly released Clinton emails reveal.


Fernando who is of Sri Lankan descent contributed between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and once traveled with former President Bill Clinton to Africa. 

“If there is any way I can be a part of the list of the final 25 I would be grateful. Please let me know if there is anything you need me to do,” he told Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin in one of the 2009 emails.
The new cache of emails released by the conservative group Citizens United, which obtained them through a lawsuit filed its FOIA requests went unanswered, shed new light on how Fernando got a spot on the ISAB.  He resigned just days after his appointment when ABC raised questions about his qualifications.


Hillary’s latest corruption scandal involves American of Sri Lankan descent  - (click to read)


In one of the emails, Fernando acknowledged he lacked the experience to sit on the advisory board whose members include nuclear scientists, former lawmakers and cabinet secretaries, but assured Abedin that he was talking to two professors who were helping to get him up to speed.

In May 2009, Fernando told Abedin that he had met with another staffer about the board appointment and had written a letter about why he would be a valuable member.

“Everybody on that board is a top-level defense expert, yet I feel like I can add a lot to the group,” he wrote. “I have two professors from Northwestern and one from University of Chicago who are international security experts and are getting me up to speed on the academics behind the field.”

“I know we had you well into our process here,” responded Abedin, who now serves as vice chairman of Clinton’s campaign.

In June 2009, Fernando said he’d recently met with Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., who told him that when he’d traveled on Air Force One he’d noticed that the first speed-dial button had Clinton’s name on it. “That is very cool! I didn’t know that,” Abedin responded.

Abedin asked whether Fernando recently had sent Clinton flowers, as she was unsure who’d sent them. When he responded yes, she said, “So nice of u.”

In September 2009, Fernando emailed Abedin after meeting with a staffer referred to only as Tauscher who had told him she might be able to include him as a possible choice for the board. (Tauscher is believed to be former congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.)

“They will have their list and Hillary will have hers and at the end of the day as long as they don’t have opposition to any of Hillary’s people, they should get in,” he wrote.

“In addition to my previous experiences listed in my resume, I have been meeting with professors from Northwestern, University of Chicago and Yale for the past 6 months,” he wrote to Abedin. “I know I will be able to hold my own and be valued contributor to this board. I promise I will make the secretary look good.”