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FBI Director James Comey was summoned before Congress to talk about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails. The man cut an imposing figure: Clean-cut, dressed in charcoal gray, a professional in every sense of the word.
Did a private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his superior at the Department of Justice, and former President Bill Clinton sway the decision? Are there any conflicts of interest the American people did not know about?
FBI Director James Comey wouldn't answer questions about the Clinton Foundation, as The New York Times reported in July. The Times wrote:
Mr. Comey refused to answer a question from the committee chairman about whether the investigation the bureau conducted extended to the Clinton Foundation, which has faced questions about donations from foreign officials seeking to influence American policy.
“I’m not going to comment on the existence or nonexistence of other investigations,” he said.
“Was the Clinton Foundation tied into this investigation?” Mr. Chaffetz asked.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Mr. Comey said.
It has been learned since his Congressional testimony that a complex web of relationships ties James Comey to the Clinton Foundation.
The first thing to know about James Comey is that before he became the FBI Director in 2013, he was a top executive at Lockheed Martin from October, 2005 until July 2, 2010.
As former general counsel and vice president of Lockheed Martin, the defense contractor benefited under Comey's leadership from a number of contracts awarded by Hillary Clinton's State Department.
Lockheed Martin has been one of the top defense contributors to the Clinton Foundation:
The International Business Times published an extensive investigation of ties between defense contractors who donated to the Clinton Foundation and actions approved by Hillary Clinton's State Department.
One entry involves a $250,000 payment to Bill Clinton for a speech, just three days before a weapons-export contract was awarded to Lockheed:
Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.
Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor.
Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
An IBT report published separately shows that the State Dept. approved an export deal to Egypt, following Clinton Foundation contributions from the former dictator Hosni Mubarak, involving chemical and biological weapons.
Hillary Clinton's State Dept. would approve 215 speeches delivered by her husband Bill Clinton and a consulting deal worth a total of $48 million. In sum, 17 of 20 countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw an increase in arms exports authorized under Hillary Clinton's State Department.
Lockheed Martin would become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010. But it's not the only company that had extensive ties with the Clinton Foundation in Comey's background.
In 2013, the same year that he was appointed the FBI Director, James Comey became a board member, a director, and a member of the Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee for the controversial London-based bank HSBC.
HSBC is a bank with close ties to the Clinton Foundation that lists among its clients Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate with ties to a Russian uranium deal approved under Clinton's State Dept., and six other major foundation donors listed in a report by The Guardian.
As the publication reports about potential conflicts of interest regarding the Clinton Foundation:
Under US charity law, the non-profit, which was founded by the former president in 2001 as the the William J Clinton Foundation, is not required to disclose the identity of its donors.
However, in late 2008, amid concern over potential conflicts of interest for Hillary Clinton, who was on course to become President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, the foundation launched a public database of its donors along with a rough estimate of the sums they have given.
It reveals seven foundation benefactors linked to HSBC bank accounts in Geneva, who have donated, in total, as much as $81m.
The Clinton Foundation lists its numerous partnerships with the bank HSBC.
The conservative publication Breitbart notes one further connection between James Comey and the Clinton Foundation, this time regarding his brother Peter Comey. As the publication was able to confirm, Peter Comey is the “Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas” for DLA Piper.
Interestingly, Peter Comey took out a mortgage on a home that is owned by James Comey. The $711,000 mortgage substantiates a financial relationship between James Comey and his brother.
DLA Piper is the number six campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton's political campaigns since 1989 with over $939,101 in total contributions. It has also given between $50,000-$100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. If the name DLA Piper looks familiar, it was the firm tasked with auditing the Clinton Foundation.