State Dept. Emails Shed Light on How Clinton Donor Was Named to Intel Board

Emails recently released by the State Department give more information on how a securities trader and Clinton donor controversially ended up on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), a group that advises the Secretary of State on nuclear weapons and other security issues.

ABC News reached out to the State Department in 2011 to ask what qualified Rajiv K. Fernando for a seat on the board, since his background was in high-frequency trading, not nuclear policy.

The newly released emails (relayed to ABC News via the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them via a Freedom of Information Act request) appear to reveal that he was added to the panel by then Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills. ““Raj was not on the list sent to [the Secretary of State]; he was added at their insistence” reads one 2011 email from Wade Boese, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, to a press aide.

Fernando’s appointment even confused some staffers, the emails reveal. One press aide wrote internally, “it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” and “it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members.”

Fernando declined to comment at the time, and promptly resigned from ISAB. He has donated heavily both to the Clinton Foundation and to Hillary Clinton’s two presidential campaigns.

He did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment after they obtained the emails, and the Clinton campaign declined to comment, instead referring to the State Department, which put out a statement saying ISAB is meant to reflect “a balance of backgrounds and points of view.”

Read more at ABC News.