Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer - Read Online
Clinton Cash
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Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their considerable wealth through lucrative book deals and speaking gigs that sometimes paid as much as $750,000. But who paid these fees, and why?

As Peter Schweizer reveals, the Clintons typically blur the lines between politics, philanthropy, and business. Consider the following: Bill flies into a third world country where he spends time in the company of a businessman. A deal is struck. Soon after, enormous contributions are made to the Clinton Foundation, while Bill is commissioned to deliver a series of highly paid speeches. Some of these deals require approval or review by the US government and fall within the purview of a powerful senator and secretary of state. Often the people involved are characters of a kind that an American ex-president (or the spouse of a sitting senator, secretary of state, or presidential candidate) should have nothing to do with.

This blockbuster exposé reveals the mysterious multimillion-dollar Foundation gift from an obscure Indian politician that coincided with Senator Clinton’s reversal on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty; how Secretary of State Clinton was involved in allowing the transfer of what was projected to be 50 percent of US domestic uranium output to the Russian government; how multimillion-dollar contracts for Haiti disaster relief were awarded to donors and friends of Hillary and Bill . . . and more.

Clinton Cash raises serious and alarming questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and, ultimately, of fitness for high public office.
Publicado: HarperCollins el
ISBN: 9780062659439
Enumerar precios: $11.99
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DEDICATION

FOR RHONDA

CONTENTS

Dedication

Introduction

CHAPTER 1The Lincoln Bedroom Goes Global

CHAPTER 2The Transfer: Bill’s Excellent Kazakh Adventure

CHAPTER 3Hillary’s Reset: The Russian Uranium Deal

CHAPTER 4Indian Nukes: How to Win a Medal by Changing Hillary’s Mind

CHAPTER 5The Clinton Blur (I): Bill and Hillary’s Global Nexus of Philanthropy, Power, and Profit

CHAPTER 6The Clinton Blur (II): The View from Foggy Bottom

CHAPTER 7Podium Economics: What Was Bill Being Paid For?

CHAPTER 8Warlord Economics: The Clintons Do Africa

CHAPTER 9Rainforest Riches: Hillary, Bill, and Colombian Timber and Oil Deals

CHAPTER 10Disaster Capitalism Clinton-Style: The 2010 Haitian Relief Effort

CHAPTER 11Quid pro Quo?

Acknowledgments

Notes

About the Author

Also by Peter Schweizer

Copyright

About the Publisher

INTRODUCTION

Investigating the Clintons is never easy.

Having spent the past five years of my writing career focusing on bipartisan congressional members, I turned my attention, in early 2014, to the Clintons. Why focus on just them? Well, no other political couple had created such a massive foundation, having raised some $2 billion during the time Bill was in private life and Hillary a US senator and then Secretary of State. And no other political couple had ever become so fabulously wealthy ($150 million plus) by pocketing speaking fees and other forms of compensation while one of them was in public service. When it comes to the flow of money, the Clintons are clearly in a class by themselves.

Working with a research team, I spent close to a year tracking the money flows to the Clintons. We looked at the classic w’s: who, what, where, and when. And we hoped to offer explanations as to why. What we uncovered was truly news breaking.

Knowing how explosive the material we uncovered would be, we made a concerted effort to get advance copies of this manuscript into the hands of some of the best investigative reporters in the country—the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, and Fox News, among others. They did what you would expect America’s leading investigative units to do: they analyzed our fact-patterns, and vetted our sources and conclusions independently before following up with their own additional reporting. The New York Times ran a front-page 4,000-word piece on the Russian uranium deal featured in chapter 3. They confirmed the key findings, including the fact that the Clinton Foundation had failed to disclose contributions from the chairman of Uranium One, which was seeking approval from Hillary’s State Department to sell its uranium assets in the United States to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The Washington Post followed up on our reporting on Haiti, including the fact that Hillary Clinton’s brother was involved in a Haitian gold-mining deal.

I have to say I found the reporters to be fair and interested in following the facts wherever they might lead. They did this in the face of what everyone in the journalistic community recognizes about the Clintons: they can be positively mafia-like in their attacks of journalists who don’t follow the party line. If you write a piece criticizing the Bushes, for example, you can expect to get a nasty email or phone call from Team Bush. But the Clintons take the job of discrediting their critics to a whole new level. One reporter for a major newspaper famously wrote a piece on the Clinton Foundation that was not entirely positive. Team Clinton, according to sources, sent six people to talk to the reporter’s bosses to pressure them to demote the reporter. The gambit failed, but the message was sent.

Clinton Cash was leaked by Team Clinton, which had managed to get a copy of the book about a month before it was supposed to be released. According to media accounts, the Clinton campaign tasked an eight-person team with trying to kill the book before its release. All these stories from the Washington Post and New York Times confirming my reporting didn’t prevent Team Clinton from attacking me as a way to avoid having to deal with the book’s revelations. They circulated a twenty-five-page dossier to the media, leveling disingenuous and ferocious personal attacks. (Reporters at some of the biggest media outlets in the country were sent this dossier. I heard about it because someone in the mainstream media sent me a copy. It made for amusing reading, and had no effect on the media coverage.) Longtime Clinton advisor James Carville went to the airwaves, attacking me personally. This is straight out of the Clinton tactical handbook: make the author the issue to deflect from the scandals uncovered. It had worked for them in the past, why not try it again?

Some of the heavy lifting was done by former Clinton aide and now ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos. (Robbie Mook, the Clinton campaign manager, had been an intern for Stephanopoulos.) His producers had been insistent: he wanted to be first, before anyone else, to interview me about the book. I certainly knew about his past ties to the Clintons; he headed up the war room and did the work to counter the so-called bimbo-eruptions in the 1992 presidential campaign. But he had left politics years ago; I assumed he would play it straight and fair. As soon as I sat down on the set for the interview I knew he was going to come hard. Anchors and news personalities usually shake your hand and make eye contact before an interview. Stephanopoulos was muted; his producer told me he had made numerous notes in the margins of his copy of the book. Out of the gate he tried to frame the debate: I couldn’t prove that a crime had been committed; I had no smoking gun.

This was a strange standard; did ABC News only run stories where they had proved a crime had been committed? Of course not. I pointed out that the fact-pattern was the problem and that it was the job of prosecutors to show that a crime had been committed. I felt that the material deserved to be investigated. After the tense exchange I left the set and saw members of the panel who were going to follow me. Later, one of those panelists told me that Stephanopoulos had said on the set that I had held my own during the interview.

The interview seemed to be designed to frame the discussion of my book in the light of the fact that I hadn’t proven a crime had been committed. (Most journalists found it refreshing that I wasn’t exaggerating my claims.) The Stephanopoulos standard happened to be the same as the Clinton campaign: I couldn’t prove a crime had been committed. Bill Clinton took it from there, referring to the Stephanopoulos interview during a Clinton Global Iniative event ten days later and saying even the guy that wrote the book had to admit under questioning that he didn’t have a shred of evidence for this.¹ Which is, of course, not what I said.

Stephanopoulos failed to get much support from his colleagues. ABC News’ own investigative unit had received an advance copy of the book and confirmed what I had reported. As they put it: Records supported the premise that former President Clinton accepted speaking fees from numerous companies and individuals with interests pending before the State Department.²

I moved on from the Stephanopoulos interview and didn’t give it another thought, until the Washington Free Beacon uncovered that Stephanopoulos was an active contributor to the Clinton Foundation. Going through public records, they uncovered three contributions from Stephanopoulos for a total of $75,000. He was an active donor. He had grilled me on my findings about the Clinton Foundation and failed the most basic test of integrity: come clean with conflicts of interest.

The Washington Free Beacon went to Stephanopoulos for comment. But rather than respond, the ABC anchor tried to manipulate his way out of it: he went to Politico and came clean about the conflict, but only after the Free Beacon contacted ABC for comment on its findings. If you see a pattern here—that Stephanopoulos is not interested in truth but in framing events for his benefit—you are paying attention.

Further investigation by our researchers at the Government Accountability Institute found that Stephanopoulos wasn’t just a contributor to the Clinton Foundation; stunningly, he had been actively involved in Clinton Foundation events for years as a speaker and moderator for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Stephanopoulos apologized repeatedly for what he did—but journalists were outraged. Legendary ABC and CNN reporter Jeff Greenfield was stunned. I was completely dumbfounded, particularly in the conversation with Schweizer. I couldn’t believe as he was making a whole conversation about the foundation, that it didn’t occur to him to say, maybe I should disclose that I’ve given them a lot of money and participated in a lot of their events. It simply is an indication that very smart people can sometimes be very foolish.³ Greenfield later commented, "You wonder to what extent Stephanopolous was trying to repair relationships with the Clintons because the book he wrote in 1999, All Too Human, really put him on the outs with the Clintons.⁴ Another former ABC heavy-hitter, onetime anchor Carole Simpson, added: I thought it was outrageous, and I’m sorry that, again, the public’s trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business."⁵

Legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward declared, I want to know what he was thinking. . . . It’s a mistake—a big mistake.

Amid widespread denunciations from top journalists, Stephanopoulos apologized three times for failing to disclose that he was a major Clinton Foundation donor. Furthermore, the onetime Clinton operative agreed not to host any presidential debates out of partisan concerns he might sway outcomes.

With the release of Clinton Cash, Team Clinton reverted to form: attack the messenger to avoid dealing with the message. Only this time . . . it didn’t work. As John Heilemann of Bloomberg put it: "[Schweizer’s] got all this prepublication publicity but it’s better than publicity, because it’s now publicity that comes with the imprimatur of the [New York] Times and the [Washington]Post. They are now vouching in some sense for the reporting he’s done in the book, which helps to inoculate him from the charges that he’s a partisan hack. That’s super important because that is the key to what the Clintons do to book authors."

Bill Clinton was forced to respond. In an interview with NBC News, he defended the need to charge high speaking fees and bag large Clinton Foundation checks. I gotta pay the bills, he pleaded.

Joe Scarborough, the cohost of Morning Joe on MSNBC, made precisely this point one morning when Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, kept attacking me personally and avoiding any discussion of the details of the book. He eventually cut off Howard Dean. "That has nothing to do. . . . The New York Times, Newsweek, other publications are following these leads. . . . Peter Schweizer, right now, he could go off to Vegas and go on an eight-year bender. And it wouldn’t change the fact that it’s the New York Times now that Howard Dean and James Carville and Clinton Inc. are calling right-wing operatives. It was the Washington Post that came up with the 1,100 donors that weren’t disclosed. It was the New York Times that has come up with one story after another."

As tempting as it might be, I decided not to go on a Vegas bender. But as the attacks from Team Clinton continued, something unexpected happened. Several figures on the Left ended up coming to my defense—or at least joined in by criticizing the Clinton Foundation and confirming the book’s findings. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who runs the Earth Institute at Columbia University, went on MSNBC and agreed that the way the Clinton Foundation was operating was a problem. There is a lot of money sloshing around and everything is blurred and it’s not good. And there’s a lot here that’s real, whether it’s quid pro quos or not, who knows. But the amount of schmoozing involved and crossing lines and one person putting money in a foundation, and then Clinton getting unbelievable amounts for his speeches, and then contracts going one way or another, it’s not good. Those blurry lines have been seen by many people over the years. This book describes them.¹⁰

Sachs, who has spent most of his professional life working in the area of redevelopment, confirmed what Clinton Cash had to say about Haiti. People that work in places like Haiti, for example, saw this massive machine of State Department/Clinton Foundation/private businesses, money flowing in every direction. Clinton getting awards with massive price tags that he charges, then money going to the foundation, then contracts going to the businesses that were giving the awards. Nobody liked it and people saw it for years.¹¹

Lawrence Lessig, a professor at the Harvard Law School and a longtime critic of corruption and money in politics, went to the pages of the Washington Post. On any fair reading, the pattern of behavior that Schweizer has charged is corruption.¹²

The release of Clinton Cash spawned additional investigative work by major news outlets. The revelation in Clinton Cash that the Clintons had received millions in donations that they had failed to disclose led both the Washington Post and Bloomberg to uncover more than 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation.¹³ As of this writing, the Clinton Foundation has still failed to release the names of these donors.

Clinton Cash ended up having a global impact. We heard from journalists around the world, from India to Colombia to Japan. (A Japanese edition of Clinton Cash was released in early 2016.) We also received a note from Sheikh Al Amoudi from Saudi Arabia, who took issue with how things were presented in the book. In the interest of letting his views be heard, we posted a statement from him on my website.

Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi takes exception to several of the allegations made in Clinton Cash. The book states that he committed $20 million to the Clinton Foundation, but it did not report that his actual donation was only $6 million and that he also provided $16 million to independently fund an international conference to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, a cause the Sheikh has long supported. The book quotes an unsigned letter from an alleged Ethiopian human rights group which implies that the donation was made on behalf of the Ethiopian government and that Sheikh Al Amoudi is not known for philanthropy. Sheikh Al Amoudi confirms that the donation was entirely his own and that he has a long history of funding numerous humanitarian causes. He also notes that the group has no identified mailing address or website and points to another 2009 letter by multiple Ethiopian NGO groups rejecting the points raised in the other letter, praising the integrity of his donation and stating that it is no secret that the Sheikh has been involved in humanitarian activities in Ethiopia for decades. Clinton Cash also implicitly suggests that there was a political quid pro quo by which the donation’s purpose was to obtain favorable decisions by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning aid to Ethiopia. However, Sheikh Al Amoudi asserts that he made the donation on his own behalf, that it was not given to influence decisions of Secretary of State Clinton related to Ethiopia and he has no knowledge of any actions taken by Secretary of State Clinton regarding her policy decisions about Ethiopia. For a more detailed response, please see http://peterschweizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Clinton-Cash-Response-Amoudi.pdf

Fair enough, but the Sheik’s response doesn’t speak to the fundamental issue raised by the book: Why were the Clintons putting themselves in the position of soliciting foreign donors who may be affected by the decisions of the Clinton State Department?

The release of Clinton Cash coincided with the launch of a major FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s homebrew email server and her handling of classified material. According to Fox News, there was also a parallel investigation at the FBI, which began as the book was being released, into the Clinton Foundation and influence-peddling at the State Department. According to former US Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova, Clinton Cash is required reading. "The fact that FBI agents are now assigned—first thing they are told is read Clinton Cash the book, and then come and start your investigation," he told one audience.¹⁴

For their part, the Clintons plan to proceed with their self-enrichment and money-making if Hillary is elected president. When asked by NBC reporter Cynthia McFadden: If Hillary is elected will you continue to give speeches?

Oh yeah, said Bill Clinton. I’ve gotta pay our bills.

CHAPTER 1

The Lincoln Bedroom Goes Global

Ask Team Clinton about the flow of tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation (the formal name is the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, originally called the William J. Clinton Foundation) from foreign governments, corporations, and financiers and you typically get an interesting explanation: it’s a sign of love. As president, he was beloved around the world, so it should come as no surprise that there has been an outpouring of financial support from around the world to sustain his post-presidential work.¹

Ask Bill about the tens of millions of dollars he has made in speaking fees around the world, paid for by the same cast of characters, and you will get an equally charitable explanation: it’s evidence of his desire to help people. By giving these highly paid speeches, Clinton says, I try to help people think about what’s going on and organize their lives accordingly.²

Millions of dollars as a sign of pure affection; millions more for helping people think about their lives. By this logic, politicians who raise millions of dollars a year must be the most beloved people in America—and the most charitable.

The reality is that most of what happens in American politics is transactional. People look for ways to influence those in power by throwing money in their direction. Politicians are all too happy to vacuum up contributions from supporters and people who want access or something in return. After politicians leave office, they often trade on their relationships and previous positions to enrich themselves and their families.

The law dictates how much politicians can collect in campaign contributions, limits their ability to make money on the side, and requires the disclosure of those contributors. Hopefully, politicians are also limited to some extent by their conscience. A sense of decency and good judgment ought to prevent politicians on both sides of the aisle from engaging in certain transactions—even if they think they can get away with it.

But while there is ample debate about which transactions should be limited and how, there is near-universal agreement that the game, however muddy, should be exclusively played by Americans. For this reason, it has long been illegal for foreigners to contribute to US political campaigns. In 2012 two foreign nationals challenged the constitutionality of that law. The US Supreme Court decided 9–0 declaring the law not only constitutional, but eminently reasonable.³

The Clintons, however, often take money from foreign entities. And that money, donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid in speaking fees, comes in amounts much larger than any campaign contribution. Indeed, the scope and extent of these payments are without precedent in American politics. As a result, the Clintons have become exceedingly wealthy.

The big question is whether taking such money constitutes a transaction. The Clintons would undoubtedly argue that it does not. The evidence presented in this book suggests otherwise.

Any serious journalist or investigator will tell you that proving corruption by a political figure is extremely difficult. Short of someone involved coming forward to give sworn testimony, we don’t know what might or might not have been said in private conversations, the exact nature