The recent publication of what appear to be hacked emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta by Wikileaks sheds new light into what purport to be previously-concealed speeches Hillary Clinton gave to banks and financial firms while a private citizen.
The speeches, which were reportedly given for a fee during the interim period between Clinton’s time as secretary of state and the launch of her presidential campaign in April of 2015, have brought seemingly ceaseless criticism to Clinton throughout the primary and general election as she has refused to release transcripts.
However, among the emails published without authorization by Wikileaks last Friday was one that appears to have been sent by Hillary for America Research Director Tony Carrk to a handful of the Clinton campaign’s top brass.
Attached to the email — the authenticity of which the campaign and Podesta have refused to verify — was a text document that seemingly highlights excerpts from speeches given to banks in 2013 and 2014 that could be potentially damaging to the campaign if they were to leak.
The Clinton campaign and Podesta maintain that Russia was behind a hacking campaign that targeted their emails.
A number of the excerpts related to Clinton’s remarks about regulation of the financial industry.
In one speech purportedly given on Oct. 24, 2013 at the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, the remarks say that the Dodd-Frank Bill — a major financial regulation act that was passed in wake of last decade’s financial crisis — was passed because of “a need to do something because for political reasons.” [sic]
“If you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it’s all the fault of Wall Street, you can’t sit idly by and do nothing,” she said.
In other instances, Clinton appeared to stand up more forthrightly for regulation.
In a speech to Ameriprise, a financial services company, given on July 26, 2014, Clinton told the crowd in reference to several regulatory topics that as a Senator for New York (a position she held before she was Secretary of State): “a lot of my support came from those working in finance, but that didn’t stop me from calling for closing the carried interest loophole, addressing skyrocketing CEO pay, or today, calling for an end to so-called inversion.”
In that speech she claimed to have “raised early warnings about the subprime mortgage market and called for regulating derivatives and other complex financial products that hardly anybody could explain.”
Similarly, a few months later in a speech to another firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Down, in San Francisco, Clinton told the crowd that as a Senator, “I represented and worked with so many talented principled people who made their living in finance. But even thought [sic] I represented them and did all I could to make sure they continued to prosper, I called for closing the carried interest loophole and addressing skyrocketing CEO pay.”
Podesta said on Tuesday that he had been in touch with FBI who had “confirmed that they’re investigating a criminal hack of my email,” but refused to confirm “the validity of the emails.”
At the second presidential debate, held in St. Louis on Sunday, Clinton largely sidestepped questions about the hacked emails never addressing them directly.
And before the debate, her campaign said in reference to the emails and Wikileaks’ founder: “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton.”
The perpetrators of the alleged hack are not yet known.
On the same day that Wikileaks published the purported emails, the U.S. government blamed the Russian government for directing cyber attacks against American political institutions and interfering with the U.S. election. That accusation included the detail that the contents of some of the hacks had been given to WikiLeaks, among others.