Official: FBI investigating Clinton Foundation ‘for months’

The US Justice Department has opened a new inquiry into the Clinton family’s non-profit organisation, the Clinton Foundation, US media report.

The Attorney General and FBI will reportedly investigate claims Hillary Clinton engaged in so-called “pay-to-play” politics for donations.

Mrs Clinton’s spokesman on Friday labelled the inquiry a “sham”.

He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions was doing President Trump’s bidding to distract from the Russia probe.

What will inquiry focus on?

The FBI has been quietly investigating the Clinton Foundation for months, according to people familiar with the inquiry, US media report.

The investigation is reportedly being led by FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation was founded.

They have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, reports the Hill, a Washington DC political news outlet.

Agents are said to be looking into whether policy favours were traded for unspecified donations to the foundation while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

But figures within the Justice Department and FBI doubt any charges will be brought, the Washington Post reports.

Why is the foundation controversial?

US media outlets including the New York Times in recent years have scrutinised the Clinton Foundation.

Some reports have linked contributions and speech fees relating to the charity with decisions by Clinton’s State Department that benefited donors.

Many of the allegations were detailed in conservative author Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book Clinton Cash.

Founded in 1997 by former US President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation has become a multi-billion dollar organisation.

It has projects around the world focusing on women’s heath, climate change and economic development, according to its website.

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