Former Secretary of State John Kerry has found himself embroiled in a major scandal after it was revealed that he was aware the State Department funneled millions into his daughter’s charity.
The Daily Caller reported that back in 2014, Kerry praised a program run by his daughter’s nonprofit as he announced an extension of its non-competitively awarded Department of State funding.
“What we’re talking about here is a multi-million dollar effort that will strengthen the capacity of healthcare workers to deliver lifesaving HIV services,” Kerry said in December 2014, at a World AIDS Day event. “[I]t will build on the Global Health Service Partnership with Peace Corps and Seed Global Health.”
These comments directly contradict claims that the State Department later made that he “played no role” in official decisions to funnel more than $9 million in sole-source contracts with the nonprofit that recruits volunteer doctors and nurses to medical schools in Third World countries.
The $9 million was sent to Seed Global Health, a nonprofit founded and managed by Dr. Vanessa Kerry, through the Peace Corps. Vanessa started the GHSP program began in 2012 when her father was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts and chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps.
In 2015, the program was awarded a four-year extension for $6.4 million of Department of State money. The State Department also extended the nonprofit’s work with the Peace Corps to a seven-year total, which violates an agency policy that limits contracts to five years.
Despite the fact that there is a clear conflict of interest here, the State Department still denied it.
“There is absolutely no conflict of interest here,” said agency spokesman John Kirby. “As we have previously made clear, Secretary Kerry played no role in this decision making while in the Senate or subsequently while at the State Department.”
“No conflict of interest exists in our partnership with Peace Corps and the US government,” Seed spokesman Mark Marino added.
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