Reporters were routinely prohibited from covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches before some of the nation’s most exclusive Wall Street financial investment firms, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
The names of the Wall Street firms that barred reporters from covering her speeches reads like Who’s Who of the country’s largest and most prestigious wealth management companies. Those confirmed by TheDCNF to have excluded reporters include: the Goldman Sachs Group, UBS Wealth Management, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Company, the Carlyle Group, Apollo Management Holdings, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, and Golden Tree Asset Management.
Combined, the companies represent $10.5 trillion of assets under management.
These off-the-record speeches were delivered after Clinton left the Department of State as the nation’s chief diplomat in early 2013 but before she announced her second bid for the White House in April 2015, according to TheDCNF investigation.
Clinton laughed off a request Friday at a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. to release transcripts of speeches she delivered before the Goldman Sachs Group, one of Wall Street’s best known investments firms. Goldman Sachs paid $675,000 for three Clinton speeches in 2013.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s chief opponent for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, has publicly mocked Hillary’s six-figure fees on the campaign trail. She received on average $225,000 for each speech before financial institutions, according to federal tax returns examined by TheDCNF.
Sanders, who represents Vermont as an independent and self-avowed socialist and caucuses with Democrats in the U.S. Senate, has a standard applause line in his campaign speeches about Clinton’s ample speaking fees, “You got to be really, really, really good to get $250,000 for a speech.”
But now, the secrecy surrounding the $250,000 remarks before exclusive financial firms could emerge as another problem for Clinton.
Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, raised more than $25 million together in speaking engagements from 2014 until the middle of last year, according to mandatory financial disclosure documents released under federal election rules.
The income did not include some speeches Bill Clinton delivered under the auspicious of the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton’s booking agent, the Harry Walker Agency, included clauses in her speaking contracts during that period that required her remarks remain closed to the press.
A copy of her contract for one firm stated, “speaker’s participation at the event, including the speech and reception, will be closed to the press, unless otherwise agreed in writing.”
The contract also ruled out recordings of her remarks and stated, “It is understood and agreed that recording the speaker’s remarks for any purpose, including the sponsor, is not permitted.”
Closing the events to reporters could raise questions about promises or commitments Clinton may have made to Wall Street special interests.
“Were people paying for promises?” asked Tom Fitton, president of the non-profit government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Fitton told TheDCNF given the Clinton’s history of “trading public favors and using her public office to advance the interest of her supporters, one can suppose that, what was going on was inappropriate.”
The Clinton campaign did not reply to an inquiry by TheDCNF.
This report, by Richard Pollock, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.