Clinton Turns Back on Burkle, $20M

Amount owed from former business deal may have diminished with economy
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2009 9:05 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, acknowledge guests before her ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Bill Clinton has called it quits with Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos, walking away from a payment once estimated at up to $20 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. Clinton began distancing himself from Yucaipa in 2007 as Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House heated up, and continued to do so when multimillion-dollar donations to his charitable foundation by foreign leaders became an issue during her Senate confirmation for secretary of State.

Oddly, Clinton’s Yucaipa connections attracted little scrutiny then, though he served as an adviser to a foreign fund connected to Dubai’s ruler; that fund also invested in a media company with ties to the Beijing government. Beginning in 2002, the former president also served as adviser to two domestic investment funds; he had anticipated the $20 million payout from these three partnerships, though the Journal notes the financial crisis might have trimmed that amount.