The GOP pounced on an Associated Press report published on Tuesday that revealed former President Bill Clinton had a pass-through, or shell, company that was reportedly “designed to channel payments to the former president.”
Clinton’s company, WJC LLC, features his initials in its name. According to the Associated Press it has “no apparent employees or assets,” but “demonstrates the complexity” of the finances of Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The story about the company is the latest of a series of revelations about the family’s personal wealth that have cast a shadow on the early days of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Shell companies can be used to give tax and legal protection to those involved with the business.
Though Clinton’s campaign team said they were not required to include the company on her financial disclosure reports, Republican National Committee Reince Priebus demanded an explanation for the business in a statement issued after the Associated Press story was published.
“The revelation that the Clintons had a secret shell company that went unreported on Hillary Clinton’s financial disclosures further demonstrates they are not giving voters the full picture of their wealth. Clearly, there’s a lot that they don’t want voters to see. Hillary Clinton needs to come forward immediately and explain what this company did, and what her knowledge of it was prior to it being exposed by the media,” Priebus said.
Priebus wasn’t the only Republican who used the story to attack the Clintons. Joe Pounder of the GOP research firm American Rising issued a statement where he referenced Hillary Clinton’s now-infamous comment she was “dead broke” when the family left the White House. He characterised the existence of the company as proof of a pattern the Clintons are eager to obscure the sources of their income.
“The existence of a secret LLC that was used as a ‘pass-through’ for Clinton income is yet another example of the ‘dead broke’ Clintons doing anything to avoid disclosure,” Pounder said.
The Clintons have made tens of millions in speaking fees since President Clinton left office. Donations to their family foundation have also been scrutinised in the weeks since Hillary Clinton launched her campaign last month.
Clinton’s campaign referred Business Insider to a spokesperson for President Clinton for comment on the Republican attacks. In a statement, President Clinton’s spokesperson Angel Urena described the company as a routine business arrangement.
“President Clinton set up a commonly used mechanism to manage his personal business affairs. All of the income has been reported and is accounted for. Anyone trying to paint this as anything more than that is playing politics,” Urena said.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.