December 30, 2016
As the FBI continues its widespread investigation into the foundation, Braverman’s vanishing act has the internet wondering and the mainstream media curiously disinterested.
Eric Braverman, the Clinton Foundation CEO from 2013 until 2015, has apparently been missing since October. His absence has fueled speculations in the blogosphere but so far has been ignored by the media.
Some speculate, with good reason, that Braverman may have gone into hiding after an email mentioning his name was released by Wikileaks on October 22 of this year. In the March 2015 email exchange, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden told Clinton campaign manager and confidant John Podesta there was a mole within the Clinton Foundation. Podesta in his reply told Tanden the mole was Braverman.
Braverman had abruptly resigned from the Clinton Foundation shortly before this email exchange took place. And then, after the email exchange was made public by Wikileaks, Braverman vanished from the public eye.
This seems like a story that someone might want to report.
The last evidence of Braverman’s public activity was October 12, when he posted his last tweet on Twitter. (Usually he tweets about once a month. His “husband,” Neil Brown, hasn’t tweeted since August, although he rarely tweets.) I left a voicemail on Braverman’s personal phone and sent him an email, but received no response. He is still listed as a lecturer at Yale University and, contrary to some reports, there is a record of his lectures going back several years. I contacted the press office and Braverman’s department at Yale and received no response.
Braverman, the Podesta Leaks and the Clinton Foundation
Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told The Daily Mail that Podesta’s emails were leaked to the organization by a disgruntled insider, not the Russians. Consequently, there are suspicions it may have been Braverman. (Though some of the Podesta emails are dated after Braverman’s tenure with the foundation, if he had Podesta’s password, he could still have accessed his email after leaving.)
Re: Tweet from @JoeNBC
Date: 2015-03-08 19:48
Subject: Re: Tweet from @JoeNBC
Sent from my iPhone> On Mar 8, 2015, at 5:23 PM, John Podesta <email@example.com> wrote:
> Eric Braverman
> –Sent from my iPad–
> For scheduling: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> On Mar 8, 2015, at 4:49 PM, Neera Tanden <email@example.com> wrote:
>> @JoeNBC: A source close to the Clintons tell @ron_fournier to “follow the money” and find the real HRC scandal. http://t.co/lPTQY0L0o4
>> I’m hoping someone is keeping tabs on Doug Band. Quote in here is from someone who worked in Clinton Foundation.
Politico ran a long story about Braverman’s ouster in 2015. Based on email correspondence released by Wikileaks, Braverman was apparently hired by Chelsea Clinton to clean up the corruption in the foundation, but then forced out of the foundation by longtime Clinton loyalists; sources say Podesta made him a target.
In 2011, Podesta’s leaked emails show that Chelsea was aggressively calling for an internal investigation. For example, former President Bill Clinton had raised over $1 billion though the foundation to rebuild 100 villages in India, but only $53 million was spent on the project. Also, Braverman resigned at the time Hillary was arranging one of her notorious “pay to play” deals with foreign leaders: a $12 million contribution from the king of Morocco in exchange for giving a speech.
Did Braverman Request Asylum From the Russians?
A Russian blogger reported that Eric Braverman requested asylum with the Russian embassy on October 23.
So far Braverman’s apparent disappearance has only been discussed by bloggers and fringe websites, which often mix the fact that he has gone silent with other unconfirmed claims. For instance, the site WhatDoesItMean.com reported that Braverman requested asylum in Russia on October 23. The information apparently came from a Russian blogger, who reported it in a rambling blog post on LiveLeak.
That’s pretty thin evidence. Moreover, WhatDoesItMean.com is known for posting questionable news stories. The left-leaning, myth-debunking site Snopes labeled the news site’s account of Braverman as false, but based its judgment on the fact that website publishes false stories. Aside from this circular argument, Snopes provides no independent evidence for its judgment. I contacted the Russian embassy and received no response. So at the moment, the claim that Braverman requested asylum from the Russians is an unconfirmed rumor.
Could Braverman be in FBI Protective Custody?
There are also rumors that Braverman is in FBI protective custody, perhaps in exchange for testifying against the Clintons. Sources within the FBI have said it is likely there will be indictments handed down over the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play schemes. Senior FBI officials told CNN that the investigation into the Clinton Foundation had never ended and is still ongoing. According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, that probe now involves as many as five FBI bureaus across the country: New York, Little Rock, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami.
Would the FBI have hustled Braverman to safety once it was known Podesta had pegged him as a mole? This theory seems plausible, given what we know. But there is still no independent evidence of it.
All Questions, No Answers
If Braverman is in hiding to protect his life, is it because he leaked the Podesta emails to Wikileaks, and/or is he preparing to testify against the Clintons? The one thing we know is that Braverman has disappeared from the public eye, and that neither he, his “husband” Neil Brown, nor his family, nor his Yale employers, has made a single public statement to dispel the speculations.
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