I have referred to the Clinton Foundation as “Hillary Clinton’s Bain Capital” on the theory that it will connect her to unsympathetic figures and entities who behave badly in something like the way Bain Capital was said to connect Mitt Romney to bad corporate behavior. But now, with word of Peter Schweizer’s new book (to be released on May 5) “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” I should probably just call the Clinton Foundation “Hillary Clinton’s Bane.”
The New York Times obtained an advanced copy of Schweizer’s book. Times reporter Amy Chozick offers a sneak preview.
We have already discussed one of the three cases Chozick highlights. It involves Frank Giustra, a major donor to the Foundation. As reported by the Times, Schweizer presents Giustra’s case as an instance in which large cash donations coincided with shifts in State Department that favored the donor — namely, a free trade agreement with Colombia that benefited Giustra’s investments in that nation. Previously, Clinton had opposed such an agreement.
Another example cited by Chozick involved more than $1 million in payments to Bill Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department. The third involves development projects apparently awarded to a donor in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
To this, we can add as a potential source of even greater embarrassment the case of Victor Pinchuk, which I discussed yesterday. Pinchuk, a major donor to the Foundation, reportedly did business with Iran in violation of the sanctions regime, but was not punished by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
The big picture also holds the potential for major embarrassment:
From 2001 to 2012, the Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million, Mr. Schweizer writes, using a figure previously reported in The Post. “During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and individuals, he writes. “Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”
Speculating about the impact of Schweitzer’s revelations, the Times says:
There is a robust market for books critical of the Clintons. The thinly sourced “Blood Feud,” by Mr. Klein, at one point overtook Mrs. Clinton’s memoir “Hard Choices” on the best-seller list.
But whether Mr. Schweizer’s book can deliver the same sales is not clear. He writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons.
Put aside the Chozick’s strange view that conservatives prefer thinly-sourced books to those that meticulously document their sources. What the Times is saying in a back-handed way is that Schweizer makes a strong case.
If so, Schweizer has probably ensured that the Clinton Foundation will indeed be Hillary Clinton’s bane.