Clinton Collected $500K From Japanese Firm for...Nothing?

Pricey non-speech could raise difficult questions for Hillary
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 5:38 AM CST
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a benefit gala for the Clinton Foundation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 2006.    (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
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(Newser) – The Senate panel considering Hillary Clinton's secretary of state nomination today may ask why her husband's most expensive speech was one he never gave, the Los Angeles Times reports. Clinton received $500,000—double what he received for other speeches on the same tour—for the canceled speech he was due to give to Sakura, a short-lived Japanese company.

The little-known firm's name does not appear on the disclosed Clinton Foundation donor list. A foundation spokesman said this was because Clinton gave the money straight to the foundation without taking a tax deduction. Hillary is under no legal obligation to provide details about Sakura or any of her husband's other donors, according to a former House general counsel—but failure to do so could raise conflict of interest questions and hamper her foreign policy work.