Clintons Sold Drug, Oil Assets To Head Off Any Possible Conflicts Of Interest, Campaign Says - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Clintons Sold Drug, Oil Assets To Head Off Any Possible Conflicts Of Interest, Campaign Says

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton liquidated the contents of their blind trust upon learning it contained investments of $5 million to $25 million that could pose conflicts of interest or prove to be embarrassing to her presidential campaign.

Aides said the Clintons sold the assets in April after they were informed that her Senate approved blind trust would not meet requirements set by the Office of Government Ethics and would have to be opened. Until then, the Clintons, who have had a blind trust since Bill Clinton became president in 1993, were not aware of the contents of the fund and had no control over its transactions.

Once they peered inside it, they discovered it included investments in oil and drug companies, military contractors and Wal-Mart, campaign spokesman Phil Singer said.

The blind trust held stock in pharmaceutical companies, including $250,000 -$500,000 in Biogen Idec and Johnson & Johnson and $100,000-$250,000 in Amgen, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. It also invested in General Electric and Raytheon, two leading defense contractors. The trust had a varied portfolio, with investments in numerous other companies.

The Clinton campaign will disclose the details of the blind trust and other financial activity in a disclosure report to be filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Government Ethics. Hillary Clinton's Senate disclosure report, made public Thursday, only covered activity in 2006 and did not reflect this year's liquidation of the blind trust.

Clinton and other presidential candidates were required to file financial disclosure documents with the Office of Government Ethics by May 15. But Clinton, and Republican candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain asked for 45-day extensions because they all had blind trusts that the ethics office demanded be opened.

``As a presidential candidate, Senator Clinton was required to make her assets public,'' campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said. ``As a result, she had to dissolve her blind trust. Upon its dissolution, she and the president chose to go above and beyond what was required of them and liquidate their assets in order to avoid even the hint of a conflict of interest.''

By liquidating the assets, the Clintons sought to avoid scrutiny over their holdings, which included investments in companies that could conflict with Hillary Clinton's role as a senator or conflict with statements and stands she has taken as a presidential candidate.

Friday's filing comes on the heels of a Senate financial disclosure report showing that former President Clinton traveled the globe last year, making more than $10 million giving speeches at corporate retreats, trade group gatherings and motivational venues.

The report showed that the former president and his presidency-seeking wife had assets of at least $10 million and might have as much as $50 million with no liabilities.

When it comes to family affluence, the reports show that the New York senator is the wealthiest of all members of Congress seeking the presidency. Among all presidential candidates, however, Republican Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, stands alone with assets of between $190 million and $250 million. Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat John Edwards have each reported assets of about $30 million.
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