What Did Bill Clinton Do To Get $15M From Ron Burkle?

The campaign press statement accompanying the release on Friday of Hillary Clinton's 2000 - 2007 tax returns includes some useful summary data for the media: Bill and Hillary Clinton's total income over the past 8 years, $109 million; her Senate salary, $1.1 million; his presidential pension, $1.2 million; her book royalties, $10.5 million; his book royalties, $29.6 million; and his speaking fees, $51.9 million.

One big line item is missing from the press summary however: the $15 million paid to Bill Clinton between 2003 and 2007 by Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Global Opportunities Fund.

In fact, the Burkle payments, buried deep in the income tax forms themselves, were the only real news in tax documents, which were made public for the first time.

The Clintons' huge book profits, her salary and his speaking fees, were all well known. Hillary Clinton has been required to disclose details on many of those sources of income in the annual financial disclosure statements she has to file as a member of the U.S. Senate.

But until the release of the tax returns on April 4, the only disclosure Hillary Clinton had made about her husband's financial relationship with Burkle was the fact that Bill Clinton earned "more than $1,000" annually from the partnerships.