WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, almost all of it from foreign companies, according to financial documents filed by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that $4.6 million of the former president's reported $5.7 million in 2008 honoraria came from foreign sources, including Kuwait's national bank, other firms and groups in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal and a Hong Kong-based company that spent $100,000 on federal lobbying last year.
Executives at many of the firms that paid honoraria to Bill Clinton have also donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation, according to documents it released last year as part of an agreement with Congress on Hillary Clinton's nomination as secretary of state. That agreement was aimed at preventing the appearance of any conflict of interest between the ex-president's charitable organization and his wife's new job as the United States' top diplomat.
In addition to Bill Clinton's income from speaking fees, Hillary Clinton reported joint holdings of between $6.1 million and $30.3 million in a blind trust as well as cash, insurance and retirement accounts worth between $1 million and $5.2 million.
Hillary Clinton made between $50,000 and $100,000 in royalties from her 2003 memoir "Living History." Bill Clinton earned between $100,000 and $1 million in royalties for his 2004 autobiography "My Life," the documents show. The Clintons reported no liabilities.
All senior officials in the Obama administration are required to complete a detailed disclosure of their personal finances, including spouse and children, which is updated yearly.
The two men selected to serve as Hillary Clinton's deputy secretaries of state, Jacob Lew and James Steinberg, also filed financial disclosure forms.
Lew, a former Clinton administration official who recently headed Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit, reported 2008 salary income of just over $1 million along with numerous investments, including between $50,000 and $100,000 in State of Israel bonds.
Steinberg, another former Clinton administration official who recently was a professor at the University of Texas, reported receiving $35,000 in 2008 for foreign speaking engagements, including three before Japanese media firms and one before the Confederation of Indian Industries in New Delhi.
The most Bill Clinton got from a foreign source was $1.25 million for appearing at five events sponsored by the Toronto-based Power Within Inc., a company that puts on motivational and training programs around North America, according to Hillary Clinton's submission.
For one Power Within speech alone, delivered in Edmonton in June 2008, Clinton was paid $525,000, the most for any single event that year. For one event, he got $200,000 and for three others he received $175,000 each, the documents show.
The Hong Kong firm, Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Holdings, paid Clinton a $300,000 honorarium on Dec. 4, 2008. Twenty five days later, on Dec. 29, a man listed as the company's chief financial officer, Jack Xi Deng, made a $25,000 cash donation to the Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Hong Kong firm paid at least $100,000 in 2008 to lobbyists on immigration issues.
The other foreign honoraria Bill Clinton received in 2008 are:
• $450,000 from AWD Holding AG, a German-based international financial services company.
• $350,000 from the state-owned National Bank of Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the foundation's disclosure.
• $300,000 from Value Grupo Financiero SA de CV, a Mexico-based financial holding company, whose chief executive officer, Carlos Bremer Gutierrez, is one of the Clinton Foundation's leading donors. Gutierrez donated between $250,001 to $500,000 to the foundation, according to foundation's documents.
• $250,000 from Germany's Media Control Gmbh, which bills itself as the world's leading provider of entertainment data and was founded by Karlheinz Koegel, who contributed $100,001 to $250,000 to the Clinton foundation.
• $200,000 from Malaysia's Petra Equities Management on behalf of the Sekhar Foundation run by Malaysian multimillionaire Vinod Sekhar who donated between $25,001 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to its documents.
In addition to the foreign earnings, Bill Clinton made just over $1 million from domestic speaking engagements, including $250,000 from MSG Entertainment, $225,000 from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, $200,000 from the United Nations Association, $175,000 from the ING North America Insurance Corp., $125,000 from the Rodman and Renshaw Capital Group and $100,000 from the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.