CLAIM

Former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman has gone "missing."

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

Since at least October 2016, some social media users have been echoing the belief that former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman is missing or in peril. Braverman, an attorney, headed the foundation from 2013 until he resigned that position in 2015.

Braverman took to Twitter on 19 January 2017 to announce he had accepted a position with a California-based charity. He will take charge of the philanthropic arm of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Foundation.

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Family Foundation also posted the following statement to their web site:

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group today announced that Eric Braverman has joined as President of the organization to oversee all philanthropic and non-investment efforts for the Schmidts. Chuck Chai remains President and Chief Investment Officer of the Hillspire investment group. Maria Seferian continues to serve as General Counsel across the Schmidt organization.

Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt said: “Now more than ever, there is important work to be done as we bring the power of both technology and people together into networks that can help address this century’s greatest challenges. As we look to increase our impact, Eric Braverman’s insight into growing solutions that work and his experience with leaders in government, philanthropy, and business will be central to our efforts. We are very pleased to have Eric working closely with us to direct our family office and to lead and continue to innovate in our philanthropic efforts.” Braverman is now a member of the board of each active philanthropic entity, including The Schmidt Ocean Institute and The 11th Hour Project.

Rumors regarding Braverman’s whereabouts began swirling after a leaked document published via WikiLeaks showed his name mentioned in e-mails between Clinton staffers who believed he was furtively releasing information about the foundation’s financial doings. The only evidence offered, however, was his lack of social media use.

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…

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.

We found no evidence that Braverman had ever gone missing. Although he has never contacted us directly, we found no evidence he had ever talked on the record to the media. When we called police departments on the East Coast, where he was previously located, we found no evidence he was listed as a “missing person” by any law enforcement agency.

The conspiracy theory that the Clintons have killed or disappeared numerous people they find politically inconvenient has been swirling for decades, but it reached a new fever pitch during the 2016 presidential election. On 24 October 2016, the conspiracy-mongering web site WhatDoesItMean.com started a false rumor claiming Braverman, an attorney and businessman, had applied for asylum in Russia after his name was revealed in the WikiLeaks dump.

Sources:

Alexander, Rachel.   “The Mysterious Disappearance of Former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman.”
The Stream.   29 December 2016.

Vogel, Kenneth.   “Eric Braverman Tried to Change the Clinton Foundation. Then He Quit.”
Politico.   1 March 2015.

Vrachnos, Christina. “Eric Braverman Joins The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group as President.”
Schmidt Family Foundation. 18 January 2017.