Internal emails acquired under the Freedom of Information Act show that although Rajiv K. Fernando was unqualified, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff appointed him to a nuclear intelligence advisory board.
Fernando, a known Democratic donor, helped raise more than $100, 000 for Hillary Clinton and donated $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation. He was selected to the International Security Advisory Board which included nuclear scientist, members of Congress and former cabinet secretaries.
The board advises on arms control and related issues. According to the group’s code, members “may receive compensation for the time served at the rate of GS-15 step 10, plus transportation and per diem for overnight travel.” That is the highest level of pay for typical federal government employees.
Nick Merril, a Clinton spokesman defended his qualifications and claimed that it was an unpaid position.
“This was an unpaid, volunteer advisory board, and one of several foreign policy-focused organizations that he was involved with. As the State Department itself has said, the ISAB charter calls for a diverse set of experiences for its members. That’s all there is to it.”
In an interview with Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that the appointment of Fernando to the board that advises on the use of nuclear weapons is “even more significant” than the news about her private emails.
“He was appointed to the group, which has some of the most sensitive secrets because it looks at Pakistan, North Korea, Russia,” Gingrich said. “It is very clear that this was just pure corruption. This was cash for a seat on a board.”