“Clinton Cash”: Disputations

Peter Schweizer generated an enormous amount of publicity for Clinton Cash before its official publication this past Tuesday. The prepublication publicity included the related New York Times story by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire “Cash flowed to Clinton Foundation amid Russian uranium deal.” The Times has gone silent since the publication of that story.

The Clinton machine is now cranking up the war room to hit back. The participation of major media outlets like the Times has complicated the traditional Clintonian approach, but it has only slowed it down a bit. Emily Schultheis reports on the pushback in “Hillary Clinton’s campaign declares war against Clinton Cash.”

The Clinton team has put together a 42-page document on the book: Clinton Cash debunked.” Best of all so far is campaign spokesman Brian Fallon’s video response (below). It is posted on YouTube as “Fact-checking Clinton Cash.” It is a bit long on assertion and short in the Department of Fact.

After checking out the video, please check out the our podcast interview with Peter (below). It helps to put Fallon’s video in context.

A lot of the discussion is devoted to matters related to Frank Giustra. That’s pronounced Juice-tra. As with the name of the late Frank Zappa, Giustra’s name seems to reflect a joking refrence to a deep truth about the nature of the game that is afoot.

Now comes the Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman to review Schweizer’s book in “There’s money to be made” (accessible here via Google). Freeman warms up with this interesting observation:

The Clintons’ most lucrative transactions originate not in places like Germany or Great Britain, where business and politics are kept separate by stringent ethical rules and procedures,” writes Mr. Schweizer, “but in despotic areas of the developing world where the rules are very different.” He then takes us on a world tour of business magnates writing large checks to the Clintons or their foundation and receiving favorable treatment from various governmental bodies—including the U.S. Department of State where Mrs. Clinton served from 2009 to 2013. Where the particular government required to help a Clinton associate was of the less democratic variety, the favorable treatment was sometimes accompanied by Bill Clinton effusively praising the local strongman for his enlightened rule.

Case in point:

Take Kazakhstan, where Mr. Clinton presented himself in 2005 as an ambassador for low-cost treatment of HIV/AIDS. Mr. Schweizer notes that it was an odd place to focus such an effort, since Kazakh infection rates were very low. But the country did have plenty of uranium. And a Canadian company with little experience in the uranium business—but led by a generous Clinton donor—scored a coup when it gained lucrative stakes in Kazakh uranium mines. After a series of deals, the resulting company controlled uranium mines all over the world and was eventually sold to the Russian atomic energy agency. This last deal required the approval of a U.S. government committee that included Mrs. Clinton’s State Department and resulted in Russian control of sizable uranium supplies in the U.S.

The story has generated major headlines, in part because Mr. Schweizer discovered more than $2 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation from the foundation of Canadian mining magnate Ian Telfer, who was among those profiting from the deal. These donations were not reported by the Clinton Foundation, breaking disclosure promises made to the Obama administration when Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state.

The uranium deal is among the biggest, ugliest transactions in the book—not just because of the millions that flowed to Clinton-related entities but also because it gave Vladimir Putin control of much of the world’s supply of an essential ingredient for nuclear energy and weapons. Yet it’s just one float in the global parade of Clinton pals engaging in politically connected investments in exotic locales.

Check out the podcast for more.