Tags: Hillary Clinton | Clinton Cash | donations | foundation | speaking fees | foreign | donors

'Clinton Cash' Author: No 'Direct Evidence,' but Enough to Warrant Legal Probe

By    |   Sunday, 26 April 2015 11:52 AM

Peter Schweizer, the author of the controversial book "Clinton Cash" said Sunday he has no "direct evidence" of Hillary Clinton granting favors to Clinton Foundation donors while she was secretary of state, but added that the "pattern of behavior" warrants further investigation.

Appearing on two Sunday morning news shows, Schweizer said he believes his findings warrant further investigation of the presidential candidate, including a possible criminal probe, pointing to the examples of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

"In these cases, you didn't have evidence of a quid pro quo," he said. "What you had was funds flowing to elected officials, some gift, some campaign contributions and actions that were being taken by those public officials that seem to benefit the contributors," Schweizer told ABC "This Week"  host George Stephanopoulos Sunday. "Certainly, I think it warrants investigation."

But whether that investigation takes the form of a criminal probe or goes in another way, Schweizer pointed out the evidence is "far more widespread in terms of repeated action" in Clinton's case than it was against McDonnell, who was sentenced to two years in prison earlier this year on corruption charges,  or what is being presented against Menendez, who is facing accusations.

He told Stephanopoulos that the real question concerns the issue of flow to funds to candidates, "whether that's to their campaigns, to private foundations, whether that's to their spouse. Is there evidence of a pattern of favorable decisions being made for those individuals? I think the point that we make in the book is that there is a troubling pattern."

And while Stephanopoulos, who has served in the past as President Bill Clinton's communications director before working as ABC News' chief anchor  argued with Schweizer that the instances of contributions to the Clinton Family Foundation coinciding with other worldwide activities were coincidences, Schweizer disagreed.

"There are dozens of examples of that occurring," he said. "Some people, I think particularly the Clinton camp, would say these are all coincidence. I don't think, when you're talking about 12 instances, you're talking coincidence. I think you're talking trend."

Hillary Clinton's campaign has said that Schweizer hasn't produced "a shred of evidence" saying that she supported contributions to the foundation, Stephanopoulos said, and told the author that an investigation shows there was "no proof of any kind of direct action" or "smoking gun" on Clinton's part.

"It's a little like insider trading," Schweizer replied. "I wrote a book on congressional insider trading a couple of years ago and talked with prosecutors. Most people that engage in criminal insider trading don't send an email that says I've got inside information, buy this stock. The way they look at it, they look at a pattern of stock trades."

And if a series of "well-timed trades" is done, that warrants an investigation, said Schweizer, adding that he thinks "the same thing applies here."

Further, he told Stephanopoulos that The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal last week revealed there are "multimillion dollar nondisclosed donations," in a "direct breach" of an agreement they signed with the White House when she became President Barack Obama's secretary of state.

"That is an issue for them, but it's not criminal," Stephanopoulos replied.

One of the items in Schweizer's book deals with the sale of one of America's largest uranium mining companies in America to a Russian nuclear agency, through a deal signed off by the State Department while Clinton was in charge.

Frank Giustra, a friend of Bill Clinton's and a businessman involved with the company, Uranium One, donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, along with other major Uranium One investors. Stephanopoulos said that Giustra had an interest in the company, but sold it.

"He sold his stock, but his firm, Endeavor Financial, continued to do finance deals well after that," insisted Schweizer. "The individuals involved in the book, as you probably read, there are nine major contributors to the Clinton foundation who were involved in that nuclear deal."

The two who were the financial advisers on the deal were also both major Clinton Foundation supporters, he said.

"This is not just about Frank," Schweizer said. "This is about multiple layers."

"Eight other agencies on board, the Secretary of State, Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission signed off on it," Stephanopoulos argued back. "Even though the State Department was one of nine agencies to sign off on it there is no evidence at all that Hillary Clinton got directly involved in this decision."

Schweizer told him that he thinks the matter warrants further investigation, and that "there were four senior congressmen on national security issues that raised concerns about this."

The author is a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and funded by the Koch brothers, Stephanopoulos pointed out, but Schweizer said that after his book was finished, he went to the investigative units of The New York Times, ABC, and The Washington Post to share his findings.

"These are not cupcakes," he said. "These are serious researchers and investigators and they are confirming what I've reported, so people can look at the facts."

And while Stephanopoulos said the investigators have not confirmed evidence of a crime, Schweizer replied that it is not up to an author such as himself to prove a crime.

"You need subpoena power," he said. "You need access to records and information. You need access to emails. There's all sorts of things you can do. You can't leave it up to an author to say that an author has to prove a criminal case."

Schweizer said he is also looking into former Gov. Jeb Bush's business dealings.

"I've been working on it for four months, looking at land deals and looking at airport deals and some financial transactions involving hedge funds based out of the U.K.," he said. "We have already reached out to several media outlets and we're going to adopt the similar model we have here which is to share that information with investigative journalists and established news outlets and share that information. I think people will find it very, very interesting and compelling."

Schweizer also talked to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace in a less contentious interview.

Still, Wallace raised many of the same questions as Stephanopoulos, including the fact there is no proof of a quid pro quo.

Schweizer admitted he found no such evidence, but as a journalist doesn't have the same access as law enforcement. In the cases of McDonnell and Menendez, he said, any evidence of direct action was found only after criminal investigations began.

Particularly questionable, Schweizer said, is the fact that Bill Clinton made 11 speeches for which he was paid $500,000 or more after his wife became secretary of state and eight years after he had left the presidency.

If his rise in speaking fees was not tied to his wife's new job, he became "dramatically more eloquent than he ever was."

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Peter Schweizer, the author of the controversial book Clinton Cash said Sunday he has no direct evidence of Hillary Clinton granting favors to Clinton Foundation donors while she was secretary of state, but added that the pattern of behavior warrants further...
Clinton Cash, donations, foundation, speaking fees, foreign, donors, Hillary
Sunday, 26 April 2015 11:52 AM
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