Twenty-Plus Errors, Fabrications, And Distortions In Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI Versión en español
Republican activist and consultant Peter Schweizer's new book Clinton Cash, obtained by Media Matters ahead of its publication date, is a trainwreck of sloppy research and shoddy reporting that contains over twenty errors, fabrications, and distortions. Schweizer pushes conspiracies "based on little evidence" that are "inconsistent with the facts" and "false"; takes quotes "badly out of context"; excludes exculpatory information that undermines his claims; and falls for a fake press release.
Peter Schweizer Is Releasing Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments And Businesses Helped Make Bill And Hillary Rich. On May 5, HarperCollins Publishers will release Clinton Cash. A publisher's description claims of the book: "Meticulously researched and scrupulously sourced, filled with headline-making revelations, Clinton Cash raises serious questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and ultimately, of fitness for high public office." HarperCollins is owned by NewsCorp, which is headed by Rupert Murdoch and is the sister company of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox. [HarperCollins.com, accessed 4/29/15]
Schweizer Is A Republican Activist And Consultant Who Has Worked For George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, And Breitbart.com. He has also spoken at Republican fundraisers and to conservative groups. [Media Matters, 4/20/15]
Schweizer's Group Has Close Ties To A Billionaire Family Funding Sen. Ted Cruz's Presidential Run. Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI). The Mercer family, which has strongly supported Ted Cruz's presidential run, has donated substantial sums to GAI. GAI has also received support from groups backed by Charles and David Koch. [Media Matters, 4/21/15]
There Are Over Twenty Reasons Not To Believe Clinton Cash. A Media Matters analysis of the book found numerous errors, fabrications, and distortions. Media outlets tore apart Schweizer's allegation that Hillary Clinton played a "central role" in approving a Russian uranium deal for Clinton Foundation donors. He made multiple errors in a section alleging Bill Clinton's speaking fees influenced State Department grants in Haiti. He cited as fact a press release that was revealed as a hoax years before. He took a former U.S. ambassador's words "badly out of context," drawing condemnation from the individual. He erred in his conspiracy about Hillary Clinton's vote on an India nuclear deal. He excluded multiple pieces of exculpatory evidence that undermine his claims. He hypocritically attacked the Clintons for engaging in the same behavior that Schweizer's former boss, George W. Bush, did. And he alleged Clinton conspiracies that, in the words of third parties who reviewed his work, have "no evidence," are "circumstantial," and have "no smoking gun."
Schweizer Has A History Of Shoddy Reporting. Prior to Clinton Cash, reporters and fact checkers have excoriated Schweizer for massive factual problems. A Media Matters analysis found at least 10 separate incidents in which media called out Schweizer for botching his reporting. The following is how reporters have described Schweizer's work: "Incorrect," "inaccurate," "bogus," "a fatal shortcoming in Journalism 101," "the facts didn't stand up," "unfair and inaccurate," "specious argument," "there was nothing there," "suspicious," "the facts don't fit," facts "do not check out," sources "do not exist or cannot be tracked down," "confusion and contradiction," "discrepancies," "admitted a mistake," "neither journalism nor history," "a polemic so unchecked ... that we can't tell the fact from the fiction," sources "have clearly used him," and "tacitly conced[ed] he was wrong." [Media Matters, 4/20/15]
Schweizer Suggested Hillary Clinton Played A "Central Role" In Approving Russian Uranium Deal Because Of Clinton Foundation Donations. Schweizer claimed Clinton played a "central role" in approving the purchase of Uranium One by the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency (Rosatom) and speculated she did so because of money given to the Clinton Foundation and her husband:
Russia wanted the deal for commercial and strategic reasons. The Canadian investors wanted the deal because it stood to make them richer. But politics in the United States would prove critical. Because uranium is a strategic industry, the Russian purchase of a Canadian company holding massive US assets required US government approval. Playing a central role in whether approval was granted was none other than Hillary Clinton.
But however hawkish Hillary might have been on other deals, this one sailed through. The Russian purchase of Uranium One was approved by CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] on October 22, 2010. Hillary's opposition would have been enough under CFIUS rules to have the decision on the transaction kicked up to the president. That never happened.
Still, despite a long record of publicly opposing such deals, Hillary didn't object. Why the apparent reversal? Could it be because shareholders involved in the transactions had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives? Or because her husband had profited from lucrative speaking deals arranged by companies associated with those who stood to profit from the deal? Could it be because Bill -- and possibly she herself -- had quietly helped build the uranium assets for the company to begin with? These questions can only be answered by Hillary herself. What is clear is that based on State Department ethics documents, she never revealed these transactions to her colleagues, the Obama White House, or to Capitol Hill. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 47; p. 54; pp. 54-56]
TIME: Schweizer Offered "No Indication Of Hillary Clinton's Personal Involvement In, Or Even Knowledge Of, The Deliberations." A TIME report debunked Schweizer's Rosatom/Uranium One conspiracy by explaining that it is "based on little evidence." To the contrary, the publication reported that an "official involved in the process said Clinton had nothing to do with the decision":
The suggestion of outside influence over U.S. decisionmaking is based on little evidence -- the allegations are presented as questions rather than proof. The deal's approval was the result of an extensive interagency process that required the assent of at least nine different officials and agencies. A former State Department official who participated in the deal's approval told TIME that Clinton did not weigh in on the uranium sale one way or the other, and her campaign calls the allegations in the book "absurd conspiracy theories."
The State Department's role in approving the deal was part of an extensive bureaucratic process, and the chapter offers no indication of Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in, or even knowledge of, the deliberations. State has just one vote on the nine-member committee, which also includes the departments of Defense, Treasury and Energy. Disagreements are traditionally handled at the staff level, and if they are not resolved, they are escalated to deputies at the relevant agencies. If the deputies can't resolve the dispute, the issues can be elevated to the Cabinet Secretary level and, if needed, to the President for a decision. The official chairman of CFIUS is the Treasury Secretary, not the Secretary of State.
One official involved in the process said Clinton had nothing to do with the decision in the Uranium One case. Jose Hernandez, who as former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs was the State Department's principal representative on the committee, rejected the notion that Clinton's foundation ties had any bearing on the deal. "Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter," he told TIME. A spokesperson for Hillary for America, Josh Schwerin, also attacked the suggestions made in the book. The transaction "went through the usual process and the official responsible for managing CFIUS reviews has stated that the Secretary did not intervene with him," Schwerin says, "This book is twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories." [TIME, 4/22/15]
Schweizer: "No, We Don't Have Direct Evidence." During an ABC News interview, Schweizer admitted he had no "direct evidence" proving Clinton intervened on the issue:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But the assistant secretary who sat -- the assistant secretary of State who sat on the committee said she never intervened on any CFIUS issue at all.
SCHWEIZER: Well, I think that deserves further scrutiny. I would question that. To argue that (INAUDIBLE)...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But based on what? Based on what?
SCHWEIZER: Well, I think based on her (INAUDIBLE)...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence that she actually intervened in this issue?
SCHWEIZER: No, we don't have direct evidence. But it warrants further investigation because, again, George, this is part of the broader pattern. You either have to come to the conclusion that these are all coincidences or something else is afoot. [ABC, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, 4/26/15]
FactCheck.org: Schweizer "Presented No Evidence That The Donations Influenced Clinton's Official Actions." [FactCheck.org, 4/28/15]
Fox's Chris Wallace To Schweizer: "You Don't Have A Single Piece Of Evidence That She Was Involved In This Deal." During an interview with Schweizer about the uranium deal, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace observed: "You don't have a single piece of evidence that she was involved in this deal, that she sent a memo to the person -- the State Department representative who was on this committee and said, hey, we want to approve the Uranium One sale." [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/26/15]
Separate State, Federal, And Foreign Agencies Approved The Deal. From TIME:
Before purchasing a controlling stake in Uranium One, the Russian conglomerate also had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency outside of the State Department's purview, as well as Utah's nuclear regulator. It also received the sign-off of Canada's foreign investment review agency. [TIME, 4/22/15]
Uranium One Deal "Was The Outgrowth Of A Diplomatic Initiative" Started By The Bush Administration. TIME wrote of the Uranium One purchase: "The deal itself was the outgrowth of a diplomatic initiative launched by the Administration of George W. Bush to expand trade opportunities between Russia and the U.S., including in the area of nuclear power." Schweizer worked as a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the Bush White House from 2008-2009. [TIME, 4/22/15]
Uranium One Chairman Said Clinton Foundation Donations Came "Before There Was Any Idea Of This Takeover." The Wall Street Journal quoted Ian Telfer, chairman of Uranium One before its sale, stating that the Clinton Foundation donations started before the deal was known:
Mr. Telfer, in an interview Wednesday, said he made the contributions not for the sake of the Clintons, but to support his longtime business partner, Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining executive and longtime Clinton friend who co-founded the program to spur development in poor countries.
"The donations started before there was any idea of this takeover," Mr. Telfer said. "And I can't imagine Hillary Clinton would have been aware of this donation to this growth initiative," he added.
Similarly, Telfer told the Financial Post that the Clinton Foundation donations occurred when "there was never any thought of influencing anyone because there was nothing to influence." [Wall Street Journal, 4/22/15; Financial Post, 4/24/15]
Schweizer Suggested Hillary Clinton Awarded Haitian Mobile Grants To A Billionaire Who Helped Arrange Paid Speeches For President Clinton. Schweizer alleged that Hillary Clinton's State Department "was quick to send taxpayer money" through a program called the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) to the company of Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien, who had allegedly helped arrange paid speeches for Bill Clinton that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars around the same time:
In the months following the earthquake, the Clintons began pushing the idea of a wireless mobile phone money-transfer system for Haiti. The idea was to enable friends and relatives to send money directly to people in the quake-ravaged country. Hillary's USAID was quick to send taxpayer money via a grant; it also organized the effort. The Bill Gates Foundation also came on board. The Haiti Mobile Money Initiative also offered incentive funds to companies who would establish mobile money services in the country.
The initiative's big winner was Digicel, a mobile phone company owned by Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien. Digicel received millions in US taxpayer money for its TchoTcho Mobile system. (TchoTcho means "pocket money" in Creole.) The USAID Food for Peace program, under direct control of the State Department through Cheryl Mills, chose the TchoTcho system for its money transfers. Haitians were given cell phones and a free TchoTcho account. When Haitians used the system, they paid O'Brien's company millions in fees. They also became users of O'Brien's TchoTcho program.
O'Brien was in turn making money for the Clintons.
O'Brien arranged at least three lucrative speeches in Ireland, for which Bill was paid $200,000 apiece, as well as a speech in Jamaica. Bill's October 9, 2013, speech at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin was his third in three years, "and was mostly facilitated by billionaire Irish tycoon Denis O'Brien," noted Irish Central. "Last year Clinton delivered the keynote address at the Worldwide Ireland Funds annual conference in Cork. ... The year before he was flown over to Ireland on O'Brien's private jet to deliver a speech at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle."
The timing of these paid speeches is also notable. The Haitian Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) was announced in June 2010. Three months later, on September 29, Bill gave a speech at Dublin castle sponsored by O'Brien. The next day, Digicel filed notice of its intent to compete for HMMI contracts. In January of the following year, Digicel became the first company to be awarded funds for participation in HMMI.
On October 8, 2011, Bill gave a speech for the Global Irish Economic Forum, again facilitated by O'Brien. The following day, Digicel was awarded $100,000 through HMMI, which it was to split with fellow cell provider Voila. Two weeks later, Clinton gave a speech in Jamaica for $225,000 on "Our Common Humanity." The speech was sponsored by Whisky Productions, in partnership with O'Brien's Digicel.
On December 2 of the same year, USAID paid the first installment of what would eventually be more than $2 million of taxpayer money into O'Brien's Digicel Foundation, based in Jamaica. According to government databases, Digicel had never received taxpayer money before. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 166-168]
BuzzFeed: Clinton Spokespeople Said Clinton Was Not Paid For The Speeches. BuzzFeed reported that "according to Clinton spokesperson Matt McKenna, neither the former president nor the Clinton Foundation was paid for two of the three speeches Clinton gave in Ireland, and that while the Foundation did receive a donation following his Sept. 29, 2010 speech, Clinton himself was not compensated." [BuzzFeed, 4/28/15]
Schweizer Wrong On Timing Of Jamaican Speech. BuzzFeed reported that contrary to Schweizer's allegation, "the Kingston speech appears to have occurred in October 2010, not October 2011, a full year before Digicel's contract was awarded." Indeed, the note Schweizer uses for support in the book is from the "Jamaica Observer, October 27, 2010." [BuzzFeed, 4/28/15]
Schweizer Wrong On Digicel's Grant History. BuzzFeed wrote: "Schweizer's contention that Digicel had not received USAID grants prior to its involvement with Clinton also appears to be incorrect. According to federal records, Digicel received more than $29,000 in contracts from USAID in 2007 and 2008." [BuzzFeed, 4/28/15]
Gates Foundation Provided Majority Of Money. Schweizer downplayed the involvement of The Gates Foundation in the Haitian Mobile Money Initiative, writing, "The Bill Gates Foundation also came on board." But a 2012 Gates Foundation press release explains, "HMMI is funded by $10 million in awards plus additional funds for related activities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as $5 million in technical and management assistance from USAID." [GatesFoundation.org, 2012]
The Timing Of HMMI Awards Was Tied To Digicel "Reaching" Program Milestones, Not Clinton's Speeches. Schweizer omitted information that the HMMI awards to Digicel were tied to the company reaching specific benchmarks and after finishing "a detailed verification process." As USAID.gov noted on its website:
In January 2011, Digicel received the first award ($2.5 million) for launching a mobile money service in Haiti, TchoTcho Mobile. In August 2011, Voila received the next award ($1.5 million) for being the second mobile operator to launch a service.
In October 2011, the first scaling award of $100,000 was divided between Digicel and Voila for reaching the 100,000 transaction milestone. In June 2012, Digicel and Voila split the second $1 million award for reaching the 1 million transaction milestone. And in July 2012, Digicel and Voila split the final $3.2 million award for reaching the 5 million transaction milestone.
Both operators shared the prize money for reaching the transaction milestones based on each of the operators' proportional contributions to the milestones. All the prizes were awarded after a detailed verification process was completed. [USAID.gov, accessed 4/28/15]
Fox's Chris Wallace: "There's No Indication That Hillary Clinton Or Bill Clinton Took Direct Action." Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace observed of Schweizer's Haiti reporting regarding O'Brien and Digicel: "There's no indication that Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton took direct action. I mean, it's a coincidence or some could say it's more than that, but you don't have the direct action." [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/26/15]
Schweizer Quoted A Former State Dept. Official Saying Clinton "May Take A Little More Credit Than Is Due" On Combating HIV/AIDS. Schweizer attacked the Clinton Foundation's efforts combating HIV/AIDS by using a quote from a former State Department official, Ambassador Princeton Lyman:
The Clinton Foundation did sign some compacts, but prices were already dropping quickly because generic versions of treatment drugs were coming on the market. According to public health experts, the foundation piggybacked on the efforts of other organizations. "He may take a little more credit than is due," admits Princeton Lyman, who served in the State Department under Hillary and dealt with issues related to HIV/AIDS in Africa. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 88-89]
Schweizer Omitted The Same Official Stating Clinton "Deserves A Lot of Credit" On Combating HIV/AIDS. The citation for Schweizer's quote is Michael Takiff's 2010 book A Complicated Man. A look at Takiff's book reveals that Lyman's actual conclusion is that Clinton "deserves a lot of credit" and "uses his [prestige] for good causes." From the book, with the fragment Schweizer quoted in bold:
Princeton Lyman: He may take a little more credit than is due, because a lot of other people are working on these things, too, but he deserves a lot of credit. He's made it a big issue and he's done it.
And then he has the Clinton Global Initiative in New York every year. His personality is very important-- so much, it seems, is wrapped up in the prestige of his own person. But that's the advantage of being who he is. Every ex-president decides how he's going to use his prestige. Clinton uses his for good causes. [A Complicated Man, 2010, via Google Books]
Amb. Lyman To Media Matters: "That Quote Is Really Taken Badly Out Of Context -- He Left Off The Fact That [Clinton] Deserves A Lot Of Credit." Lyman criticized Schweizer for taking his comments about the Clinton Foundation's work "badly out of context." Lyman, who served as an ambassador under President Reagan and President Clinton, said: "It clearly is a misrepresentation if he left out the second half of it because the Clinton Foundation did a lot to bring down the cost of AIDS drugs. That was one of the big inhibiting factors in dealing with them in Africa. And it helped make other people's work much more effective." He added: "Clearly, that quote is really taken badly out of context -- he left off the fact that he deserves a lot of credit. That makes a difference because the first half of the quote may have been something I was reacting to."
Lyman disputed Schweizer's attacks on the Clinton Foundation's work, praising its efforts combating HIV/AIDS in Africa.
"I think it was very helpful, it was at a time when these issues of trade and purchases and prices were very, very complex and getting in the way of mass attacks on the number of people affected," he said. "What the Clinton Foundation was doing with these pacts was to pave the way for what has now become a much more general marketplace whereby countries can get these drugs at a reasonable price."
"When the foundation was doing it, a lot of these issues had not yet been resolved and those pacts I would say paved the way for a general resolution of these issues." [Media Matters, 4/29/15]
Schweizer Quoted Partners In Health Cofounder To Downplay The Clinton Foundation's Role In Combating HIV/AIDS. Schweizer dismissed the Clinton Foundation as simply "a middleman" on the issue of HIV/AIDS, citing as evidence a quote from Jim Yong Kim, cofounder of Partners in Health and current head of the World Bank:
You might get the impression, if you look at the impressive photo displays on the Clinton Foundation website, that they are actually administering drugs to sick people. But the foundation doesn't actually get involved in directly treating people. While organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or Samaritan's Purse establish their own health care infrastructures -- Doctors Without Borders had more than 300,000 HIV patients directly under their care in 20l2 -- the Clinton Foundation effectively has none.
Instead it serves as a middleman. "They've gone around in a very deliberate process of finding what they call 'care partners,'" says Jim Yong Kim, who cofounded Partners in Health, which works with the Clinton Foundation. "That's what Partners in Health is -- our specialty has been working in rural areas."
The world needs its middlemen, of course. But what this really means is that in practice, the foundation's work is heavily geared toward managing relief agency funds provided by foreign governments, such as Ireland, and dealing with health ministry bureaucrats in the developing world. In the relief world the Clinton Foundation works like a management consulting firm, such as McKinsey. But unlike McKinsey or another management firm, specific metrics on specific work by the foundation itself is hard to come by. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 89-90]
Schweizer's Citation Undermines His "Middleman" Attack. The citation for Schweizer's quote is from Takiff's 2010 book, A Complicated Man. Schweizer omitted Jim Yong Kim's conclusion praising the Clinton Foundation's strategy and that Clinton has become "one of the most important people in the global response to HIV/ AIDS." From the book, with the fragments Schweizer used in bold:
Jim Yong Kim: The price reductions have changed developing countries' notions of what's possible. A lot of other factors were involved, but President Clinton's getting it priced down to 140 was incredibly important.
The three-in-one pills are for first-line treatment, but people get resistant to those after time. Now there are second-, third-, and fourth-line drugs available in the United States for people who become resistant, but the prices of those drugs are very high, as much as ten times higher than the price of the first-line drugs. Whom are you going to call to bring those prices down? Most people in this business are relying on the Clinton Foundation.
Jim Yong Kim: The prices were just the beginning of the Clinton Foundation's impact.
They're doing projects on the ground, scaling up treatment in rural areas, taking over in places where no one else wants to be. They've gone around in a very deliberate process of finding what they call "care partners," who can actually do the job. That's what Partners in Health is-- our specialty has been working in rural areas.
Their efforts were not wildly successful all the way across the board, but they had a great team in Lesotho, for instance, where the Clinton Foundation folks took care of the procurement and supply-chain management of drugs, and provided critical, high-level political support.
In Africa he is an absolute hero. People in Africa think that President Clinton was the first American president who cared at all about Africa.
Let me tell you about the work in Lesotho. You can get to the highlands of Lesotho only by single-engine plane. You land on a grass runway on a plateau on top of a mountain-- that's where we built our first clinic. President Clinton convinced the Irish government to give nine million dollars to get this project started. None of us could have gone to the Irish government and asked them for nine million dollars, but he got it done, and the Irish government gave the money to the government of Lesotho to treat poor people living with HIV.
You should see this place. It is in the middle of nowhere, on the side of a mountain, and President Clinton was there. The fact that he visits these places, the fact that what's coming out of his mouth is a positive, optimistic commitment to fixing these problems-- that's the most important thing. That's why I say he's been absolutely one of the most important people in the global response to HIV/AIDS. [A Complicated Man, 2010, via Google Books]
Schweizer Conspiracy: "Money To The Clintons" Swayed Hillary Clinton To Support India Nuclear Deal. Schweizer wrote that Clinton was a "reluctant and questionable supporter of" legislation that would lift restrictions on nuclear trade with India. He claimed that changed when people "began steering money to the Clintons":
Hillary was still a reluctant and questionable supporter of the bill, prompting a headline in the Indian American media that the community was "upset" with her stance on the issue. As the New York Times reported, it was Hillary "whose support is viewed by Indian-American leaders as crucial to winning broader Democratic backing for the plan."
Up to this point the Clinton Foundation had experienced only limited public success in securing contributions from Indians. But now, those with a keen interest in seeing the nuclear deal approved began steering money to the Clintons.
Indian industrialists and elites, who could not contribute to Hillary's political campaigns, much less vote for her, started making highly publicized appearances at Clinton campaign fundraising events. In June 2007 [Sant] Chatwal put together a dinner for Clinton featuring Indian billionaires Srichand Hinduja and Lakshmi Mittal.
Hillary had not been a supporter of the bill; indeed, her closest aides were all publicly opposed to it.
In the end, Hillary pushed for the passage of the Indian nuclear deal, despite the public opposition of her closest advisers and the fact that it was a clear reversal of her previous policy positions. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 69; pp. 73-74]
Schweizer Claimed Clinton "Supported" A Separate "Killer Amendment" On Indian Government. As evidence of Clinton's shift, Schweizer claimed Clinton had originally supported an amendment imposing tougher terms on India's government:
Hillary supported a series of amendments that would impose stricter terms on the Indian government. These included three amendments offered by Senators Barbara Boxer, Byron Dorgan, and Russell Feingold. One was a "killer amendment" that would have effectively gutted the bill by capping India's fissile production. But that amendment failed. The initial legislation passed, but there would be additional legislation that would need to be signed, and Hillary's role was central in getting that approved. Hillary was still a reluctant and questionable supporter of the bill, prompting a headline in the Indian American media that the community was "upset" with her stance on the issue.
Hillary had not been a supporter of the bill; indeed, her closest aides were all publicly opposed to it. But in September 2008, as the bill's fate hung in the balance, Amar Singh sat down for a two-hour dinner in Washington with Hillary. Opposition to the bill had come primarily from Democrats. Hillary had supported the "killer amendment" two years earlier. It was even possible that the Senate might not vote on the bill. Yet in the days following, Singh expressed confidence based on what he heard from Hillary that the deal would go through. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 69; p. 73]
Politico: "Key Fact" Schweizer Used For His "Argument On The Topic Is False." Politico examined Schweizer's chapter and found it contained significant problems undermining his conspiracy:
While Clinton's stance toward India evolved over the years, a review of then-Sen. Clinton's statements and votes while the Indian nuclear deal was under debate shows that one of the key facts in Schweizer's argument on the topic is false -- Clinton actually publicly stated her support for the deal in 2006. Another is in dispute -- Schweizer writes that Clinton voted to cap India's fissile production, when she actually voted against a measure that did that, though she did support a weaker one that imposed some limits. [Politico, 4/29/15]
Schweizer Was Wrong: Hillary Clinton Supported India Deal As Early As 2006. Politico reported that contrary to Schweizer's claims, Clinton supported the legislation in question:
Schweizer writes in the chapter that in 2006, "Hillary was still a reluctant and questionable supporter of the bill." But in June of that year Clinton, a founding member of the Senate India caucus, issued a press release announcing her intention to vote for the legislation and praising Sens. Richard Lugar and Joe Biden, who she said improved upon the Bush administration's initial proposal.
"As India continues to grow stronger and to shoulder more of the responsibilities that come with being a leading nation in the world, we must continue to work towards greater cooperation with our Indian friends to deal with our common challenges in security, energy, economics and health," she wrote. "I hope that this agreement is just the first step on that journey that our countries, and our people, will take together." [Politico, 4/29/15]
Schweizer Problem: Clinton Voted Against A "Killer Amendment." Politico reported of problems related to Schweizer's discussion of Clinton's amendment votes:
Schweizer, who wrote that Clinton voted for a "'killer amendment' that would have effectively gutted the bill by capping India's fissile production," contends that the Clinton camp is trying to "blur" Clinton's position. He says the "killer amendment" the book refers to is the one submitted by Sen. Russ Feingold that would have asked for Indian assurances that American nuclear fuel would not be used to increase fissile material production "in unsafeguarded nuclear facilities" -- which Clinton did vote for. But as Feingold's measure referred specifically to fissile material production within unsafeguarded facilities, it was less restrictive than the one proposed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Clinton voted against Bingaman's measure, which would have mandated a presidential report stating that "India has stopped producing fissile materials for weapons pursuant to a unilateral or multilateral agreement." [Politico, 4/29/15]
*This section and other portions of this item referencing it have been revised to reflect changes to Politico's article.
Schweizer Admitted He Omitted Key Information About Clinton Foundation Donor
Schweizer Suggested Clinton Donor Frank Giustra Influenced 2010 Uranium One Sale Because He Was A Stockholder. Schweizer wrote about the sale of Uranium One to a Russian company by linking Clinton Foundation donors such as Canadian businessman Frank Giustra to the 2010 proposed sale.
As we will see, Bill Clinton would show up at critical times in other developing countries where Giustra had business. As Canada's Globe and Mail put it, "it just so happens that Bill Clinton keeps popping up in places where Giustra is buying resource assets."
Several multimillion-dollar Clinton Foundation donors were at the center of the deal. As we saw in the previous chapter, one of these, Ian Telfer, was chairman of Uranium One. A longtime mining investor and associate of Frank Giustra, Telfer made his fortune as a gold investor and has served as the chairman of the World Gold Council.
As part of the merger with Uranium One, key shareholders, including Telfer and Giustra, were required to hold their shares for at least six months. (Dzhakishev believes that Giustra made $300 million in the deal.) Giustra's firm, Endeavour Financial, continued to act as a financial adviser to Uranium One. In July 2008, for example, they arranged credit for the firm as part of a deal involving several Canadian investment banks. In early 2008, according to Rosatom executive Vadim Zhivov, negotiations had already begun between Rosatom and Uranium One to buy a stake in the company.
Was Giustra an investor in Uranium One via US Global Investor Funds? He did not return repeated calls asking for comment. It is unclear whether by 2010 Giustra was still directly involved in the deal, as he often conducts deals through shell companies. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 34; p. 44; p. 46]
Giustra Actually Sold His Shares In Uranium One Before 2010. Giustra sold his shares in Uranium One years before the 2010 proposed sale. Giustra said in a statement: "I sold all of my stakes in the uranium company -- Uranium One -- in the fall of 2007, after it merged with another company. I would note that those were sold at least 18 months before Hillary Clinton became the Secretary of State. No one was speculating at that time that she would become the Secretary of State." [CEO.ca, 4/23/15]
Schweizer Admitted He Omitted Exculpatory Detail His Book. ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos told Schweizer in an interview that "you didn't disclose in your book that he [Giustra] had sold the interest." Schweizer replied "yes":
STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of focus on the sale of a company, Uranium One, to a -- to a Russian company. Of course, Frank Giustra, who had committed, what, a $130 million, a pledge to the Clinton Foundation back in 2006, had had an interest in this company. But he actually sold it.
SCHWEIZER: Well, he sold his stock, but his firm, Endeavor Financial, continued to do finance deals well after that. And the individuals involved in the book, as you probably read, there are nine -- count them, nine major contributors to the Clinton Foundation who were involved in that nuclear deal. The two individuals who were the financial advisers on the deal of the sale to the Russians, they're both major Clinton Foundation supporters. The chairman of that Foundation, Ian Telfer, whose donations were not disclosed, campaign -- and sorry, a Clinton Foundation contributor. And there are others. So this is not just about Frank Giustra. This is multiple layers (INAUDIBLE)...
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, but you didn't disclose in your book that he had sold the interest.
SCHWEIZER: Yes. [ABC, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, 4/26/15]
Schweizer Suggested Impropriety Regarding Boeing Agreement And Clinton Foundation Donation. Schweizer suggested Hillary Clinton did the bidding of airplane corporation Boeing because of their donation to the Clinton Foundation:
In 2009 Hillary Clinton was in Russia, where she pushed Russian officials to sign a multibillion-dollar airplane agreement with Boeing. The $3.7 billion purchase was a big deal for the aerospace company. Two months after Boeing won the contract, the company pledged $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary's commitment to commercial diplomacy was laudable to the extent that she was committed to helping American firms be competitive in the global marketplace. But in practice it would prove difficult to distinguish the personal and political aspects of this kind of activity. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 95-96]
"No Evidence": NBC News Report Undermines Schweizer's Boeing Suggestion. NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell debunked Schweizer's allegation and cited Sunlight Foundation president Bill Allison stating that there's "no evidence that she changed the policy" based on donations:
ANDREA MITCHELL: Then there's that new book Clinton Cash written by Peter Schweizer, a former Bush aide, charging the Clintons with conflicts of interests. The book cites a 2009 trip to Russia claiming Hillary Clinton pushed Russian officials to sign a multibillion dollar airplane agreement with Boeing. Two months after Boeing won the contract, the company pledged nine hundred thousand dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Boeing told NBC News it has contributed about one million dollars a year to the foundation primarily for schools in Haiti since 2010. And Boeing says Secretary Clinton's advocacy for American goods and services including Boeing airplanes is consistent with U.S. policy and advocacy across administrations for several decades in order to help level the playing field against fierce foreign competition. A government ethics expert agrees.
BILL ALLISON (Sunlight Foundation): There's no smoking gun. There's no - there's no evidence that she changed the policy based on, you know, the donations to the foundation. [NBC, Today, 4/24/15, via Nexis]
Schweizer Connected Hillary Clinton Position Change On Colombia To Donor Influence. Schweizer suggested that Foundation donor Frank Giustra influenced Secretary Clinton to support a free trade agreement in Colombia, where he had business interests. He writes in the book:
In early June 2010 Bill Clinton met Frank Giustra in Colombia to launch a $20 million fund for small businesses. The two had visited Colombia together numerous times: for paid speeches, to look in on Giustra's growing investments there, and to launch a Clinton Foundation project in the country.
Giustra was invested in natural resources in Colombia. And he was looking to expand his holdings in oil, natural gas, coal, and timber. The country had been plagued by violence and narcoterrorism for decades and was slowly coming out of it, thanks in part to a large infusion of American foreign aid. (Colombia was the fourth largest recipient of US foreign and military aid in the world.) It was also desperate to get a free-trade agreement passed in the United States to jump-start its economy.
What that meant was that Hillary, as secretary of state, held much of the country's future in her hands.
In January 2007 Giustra's new company, Pacific Rubiales, signed a pipeline deal with Ecopetrol, the state-owned Colombian energy company. One month after the deal was sealed, Bill, Giustra, and Uribe met at the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, New York. In March, they met again, this time in the Colombian port city of Cartagena.
Obama, of course, went on to win the nomination and the presidency. And Hillary, as his newly minted secretary of state, was quick to change course on the trade pact. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 143-144; p. 151; p. 153]
Politico: Schweizer "Presents Little Evidence That Clinton's Support Of The Trade Deal" Was Linked To Foundation Donor. In examining Schweizer's Colombia claims, Politico wrote that he "presents little evidence that Clinton's support of the trade deal was directly linked to Guistra's contributions or to his close relationship with Bill Clinton." [Politico, 4/22/15, via Media Matters]
Hillary Clinton Was Critical Of Colombian Trade Agreement For Many Years, Despite Foundation Donations. The Los Angeles Times reported in April 2008 that then-Senator Hillary Clinton "pledged" to oppose the free-trade agreement with Colombia. This was long after Giustra had already pledged more than $130 million to the Clintons' charitable works over the previous three years. [Los Angeles Times, 4/9/08; The Wall Street Journal, 2/14/08, via Media Matters]
Clinton Change In Position "Was In Line" With Clinton's Boss, President Obama. Politico wrote:
During the Democratic primary, Clinton and Obama both said they opposed the deal.
The Obama administration said it changed its position only after Colombia made additional commitments about labor rights. And that push was not led by Hillary Clinton, but by then-U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a campaign aide said.
Former Colombian Ambassador: Allegations Are "Inconsistent With The Facts." CNN reported that "Gabriel Silva, the Colombian ambassador to the United States at the time the trade deal was signed," criticized Schweizer's reporting, stating it is "inconsistent with the facts." He reportedly added, "As Colombia's ambassador to the United States during the free trade agreement's ratification in the United States Congress, I saw no evidence that any part of the treaty was impacted by any contribution made to the Clinton Foundation or any other group in the United States." [CNN.com, 4/27/15]
Schweizer Suggested Ericsson Speech Fees Influenced State Dept. Decision On Sanctions. Schweizer connected a speaking fee that telecom firm Ericsson paid to Bill Clinton to a decision by the State Department regarding a lack of sanctions for companies doing business with Iran:
In April 2011 Ericsson was named in a State Department report for supplying telecom equipment for the oppressive regime in Belarus. Separately, on Capitol Hill pressure was mounting and a bill would later be introduced in December 2011 in the House of Representatives to "stop the sale of surveillance technologies to repressive regimes." In June 2011 the State Department started drawing up a list of which goods and services might be covered under expanded sanctions on Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism.
Meanwhile, Ericsson decided to sponsor a speech by Bill Clinton and paid him more than he had ever been paid for a single speech: $750,000. According to Clinton financial disclosures, in the previous ten years Ericsson had never sponsored a Clinton speech. But now it apparently thought would be a good time to do so.
On November 12, 2011, Bill appeared at a telecom conference in Hong Kong and talked in general terms about the role that telecom plays in our lives. One week later, on November 19, the State Department unveiled its new sanctions list for Iran. Telecom was not on the list. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 113]
But Schweizer's Citation Says The Decision Was An "Executive Order" By President Obama. While Schweizer attributed the November 2011 decision solely to the State Department, his actual citation makes clear it was President Obama's decision. The press release states: "On November 19, President Obama signed E.O. 13590, which significantly expands existing energy-related sanctions on Iran." As a civics website explains, "Executive Orders (EOs) are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies." [State.gov, 11/21/11; ThisNation.com, accessed 4/28/15]
Yahoo News On Schweizer's Reporting: "Circumstantial" With "No Smoking Gun." Yahoo News wrote of Schweizer's Ericsson claim:
In a chapter obtained by Yahoo News, Schweizer marshals circumstantial evidence to suggest that Sweden-based global telecommunications giant Ericsson effectively influenced Hillary to spare it from punishing economic sanctions for doing business with Iran by paying $750,000 to Bill Clinton to speak at a Nov. 12, 2011, telecom conference in Hong Kong. There is, however, no smoking gun. [Yahoo News, 4/22/15]
Schweizer: Clinton "Made $6.3 Million From Sales" On His Book Giving. Schweizer criticized Bill Clinton for profiting off sales of his book Giving, claiming he "made $6.3 million from sales":
The Clintons' charitable work puts money in their pockets in other ways, too. In 2007 Bill released a book called Giving that highlighted the charitable work of the Clinton Foundation and those who work with it. He made $6.3 million from sales. The book was widely criticized. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 93]
Schweizer Excluded That Clinton Donated $1 Million Of The Sales To Charity. The New York Times, reporting on the Clintons' tax data, wrote "Mr. Clinton last year earned $6.3 million from 'Giving,' a book on philanthropy, and reported giving $1 million of that to charity." [New York Times, 4/5/08]
But Schweizer's Citation Acknowledged Clinton Donated $1 Million From The Sales To Charity. Schweizer appears to have been aware of the donation, as he cited an anti-Clinton column by New York Times writer Maureen Dowd for the $6.3 million figure. But that column also noted that Clinton donated $1 million of the book's sales to charity. [New York Times, 4/6/08]
Schweizer Criticized Clinton For Issuing Aid Waiver To Ethiopia. In a chapter connecting Clinton Foundation donors to Secretary Clinton's actions on Ethiopia, Schweizer cited a 2011 waiver given to the country:
Less than three months after Hillary announced her presidential bid, Bill was in London for a meeting with a reclusive Saudi sheikh named Mohammed al-Amoudi. Amoudi was the head of a sprawling conglomerate called the Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies (MIDROC), which had extensive interests in Ethiopia including mines, agriculture, hotels, hospitals, steel, and cement.
On May 14, 2007, in a small ceremony, the sheikh announced that he was committing $20 million to the Clinton Foundation. He started things off with a check for $2 million.
In 2012 Ethiopia was among the top sub-Saharan African recipients of US aid, with $707 million in planned aid. As secretary of state, Hillary was required to evaluate whether countries receiving American aid were transparent in how the money was spent. "The Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriation Act prohibits U.S. assistance to the central government of any country that does not meet minimum standards of fiscal transparency." Unless, that is, Hillary decided to grant the country a waiver.
State Department officials determined that Ethiopia failed to meet the transparency requirement.
Despite the lack of compliance and the apparent lack of interest in moving toward transparency, Hillary granted the government of Ethiopia a waiver, which allowed it to avoid transparency requirements.
Someone who has directly benefited from US assistance to Ethiopia is Sheikh Amoudi. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 128; pp. 132-133]
State Department Issued Hundreds Of Millions In Aid To Ethiopia Before Clinton's State Department Term. Contradicting Schweizer's suggestion of impropriety, the State Department's Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided economic assistance for decades, including throughout the Bush administration (Schweizer himself worked for the Bush White House from 2008-2009). USAID writes: "From 1951 through September 30, 2013, the U.S. Government provided through the Agency for International Development and predecessor agencies, approximately $11.7 billion in economic assistance to Ethiopia. (in constant dollars)." [Media Matters, 4/25/15; State.gov, accessed 4/28/15]
Waiver Policy Continued After Secretary Clinton Left Office. Further undermining Schweizer's corruption suggestion, the State Department issued a waiver to Ethiopia on July 10, 2013, after Clinton had left the department. [FederalRegister.gov, 12/18/13]
Schweizer Attacked Clintons For Accepting Donation From Businessman -- But Not Former Boss George W. Bush
Schweizer Criticized Clinton For "Tak[ing] Money From" Gilbert Chagoury. Schweizer spent several pages attacking the Clintons for accepting donations from "businessman Gilbert Chagoury, who has also been implicated in corruption and bribery in Nigeria. Schweizer wrote that "Chagoury's apparent complicity in the looting of Nigeria by a brutal dictator might be enough to deter most people from doing business with him. But not the Clintons. If anything, their relationship has blossomed." Schweizer concluded: "Why the Clintons continue to associate with, take money from, and have transactions with Gilbert Chagoury remains a mystery." [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 139-142]
Chagoury Is A Financial Backer Of George W. Bush, Schweizer's Former Boss. Schweizer worked for George W. Bush from 2008-2009. Chagoury and his brother, Ronald Chagoury, are a sponsor of the George W. Bush Presidential Center's The Art of Leadership exhibit -- an association Schweizer did not criticize Bush for in the book. [BushCenter.org, accessed 4/28/15]
Former Bush Administration Official And Chagoury Spokesman: Chagoury "Has Also Donated To The George W. Bush Presidential Library." Mark Corallo, a Chagoury spokesman and Republican consultant who worked in the Bush administration, said "Chagoury has had no contact with Hillary Clinton for years--predating her time as a U.S. senator" and "while he has had a well-publicized friendship with former President Clinton and has donated to the Clinton Foundation, I would point out that he has also donated to the George W. Bush presidential library." [Free Beacon, 3/25/15; FoxNews.com, 3/28/15]
Schweizer Criticized Bill Clinton For Meeting With Kazakhstan President -- But Didn't Attack Bush And Cheney For Friendship With Him
Schweizer: "Curious" That "Clinton Had Agreed To Public And Private Meetings With The Nation's Dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev." Schweizer attacked President Clinton for having "agreed to public and private meetings with" Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, connecting it with Clinton Foundation donations.
All the more curious was the fact that Clinton had agreed to public and private meetings with the nation's dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had ruled Kazakhstan as president since 1990. Having risen through the ranks of the Communist Party during the Soviet days, Nazarbayev dropped the working-class rhetoric after the collapse of the Soviet Union and reverted to a classic despot. Indeed, "president" was a selected title. Kazakhstan doesn't have elections as we think of them in the West. Nazarbayev regularly wins reelection with more than 90 percent of the vote. (In the last election, the candidates running against Nazarbayev claimed they voted for him.)
So why would former president Bill Clinton bestow an air of international respectability on a backwater billionaire dictator with a treacherous human rights record? And why would he do so on the eve of a national election in that country, when Clinton's mere presence could be read as an endorsement of the dictator's "candidacy"?
It helps to look to Clinton's traveling companion, Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 22-23]
Washington Post: "The Kazakh Leader Has Received Especially Warm Treatment" From Bush Administration. From the Washington Post in 2006:
Three weeks later, the White House is making arrangements to host the leader of Kazakhstan, an autocrat who runs a nation that is anything but free and who has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing the bulk of $78 million in bribes from an American businessman. Not only will President Nursultan Nazarbayev visit the White House, people involved say, but he also will travel to the Bush family compound in Maine.
Nazarbayev's upcoming visit, according to analysts and officials, offers a case study in the competing priorities of the Bush administration at a time when the president has vowed to fight for democracy and against corruption around the globe. Nazarbayev has banned opposition parties, intimidated the press and profited from his post, according to the U.S. government. But he also sits atop massive oil reserves that have helped open doors in Washington.
Nazarbayev is hardly the only controversial figure received at the top levels of the Bush administration. In April, the president welcomed to the Oval Office the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who has been accused of rigging elections. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hosted Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, who has been found to have millions of dollars stashed in overseas bank accounts.
But the Kazakh leader has received especially warm treatment, given that the same government that will host him next month plans to go to trial in federal court in January to prove that he was paid off in the 1990s by a U.S. banker seeking to influence oil rights. Although the banker faces prison time, Nazarbayev has not been charged and has called the allegations illegitimate. [Washington Post, 8/29/06]
President George W. Bush To Nazarbayev: "I Appreciate Your Leadership, Mr. President. And I Welcome You Here To The White House, And I'm Looking Forward To Buying You Lunch." [Office of the Press Secretary, 9/26/06]
Dick Cheney On Nazarbayev: "I Consider Him My Friend." From a transcript of Cheney's May 2006 visit to Kazakhstan: "I'm delighted to be here as a guest of President Nazarbayev today. We met some years ago and I consider him my friend, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to visit him here in this beautiful new capital of Kazakhstan." [Office of the Vice President, 5/5/06]
Schweizer Attacked Clintons For Associating With Rwanda President -- But Spares Former Boss President Bush On "Friendship"
Schweizer Criticized Clinton Foundation For Praising Rwanda President Paul Kagame For His Leadership. Schweizer attacked the Clintons for associating with Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda:
Dictators like Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan, Meles Zenawi from Ethiopia (whom we will meet in chapter 7), and Paul Kagame of Rwanda might have terrible reputations when it comes to human rights, but they are invited guests at Clinton Foundation events where they are praised for their leadership. Kagame, for example, was a "Clinton Global Citizen of the Year" in 2009. He was praised by the foundation as a "brilliant military commander" and given the award for "leadership in public service." What you won't read in his bio is the fact that Kagame arrests his political opponents and censors journalists. Nor is there mention of the fact that the United Nations accuses Kagame's militias of raping and slaying thousands of Hutu. It is widely believed that Kagame is largely responsible for fueling the civil war going on in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Whenever Kagame speaks before the Clinton Foundation or meets with Bill, he is quick to publicize it. He clearly recognizes that partnering with an ex-president grants him added legitimacy. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 92]
President George W. Bush, Schweizer's Old Boss, To Kagame: "I'm Proud Of Your Leadership ... Thank You For Your Friendship." [State Department, 5/31/06]
Kagame To President Bush During News Conference: "We Thank You Very Much For Your Visit, Your Friendship, And Your Support." [UCSB.edu, 2/19/08]
Schweizer: Case Against Donor Was Settled "Just A Few Months After" Clinton Fundraiser. Schweizer wrote that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) settled a case with businessman and Clinton Foundation donor Sant Chatwal "just a few months after" a Clinton fundraiser:
In 1997 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) "sued Chatwal over his role as a director and a guarantor of unpaid loans at the failed First New York Bank for Business," the Washington Post reported. Regulators were frustrated that Chatwal claimed he couldn't repay the money (reported to be "in excess of $12 million"), despite the fact that he continued to live in a New York penthouse worth millions of dollars.
Three years later, with no settlement on the horizon, Chatwal entertained guests in his lavish penthouse for Hillary's Senate campaign, raising $500,000. On December 18, 2000, just a few months after the fundraiser (while the Clintons were still in the White House), the FDIC "abruptly settled" the case against Chatwal, according to the Washington Post, allowing him to pay a mere $125,000 and walk away. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 64]
Schweizer Offered No Evidence Of Bill Clinton Being Involved In The FDIC Decision. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 64-65]
The FDIC Is An Independent Agency. The FDIC notes that it is an "independent agency of the federal government" and "is funded by premiums that banks and thrift institutions pay for deposit insurance coverage and from earnings on investments in U.S. Treasury securities." [FDIC.gov, accessed 4/28/15]
New York Daily News: The FDIC Was "At The Mercy Of Manhattan's Federal Bankruptcy Court." Prior to Chatwal's settlement with the FDIC, the Daily News reported that the FDIC was at "the mercy" of a New York federal bankruptcy court, not the Clintons:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said yesterday it was still trying to recover a fraction of some $14 million in bad loans to Sant Singh Chatwal, the deadbeat businessman who recently funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in soft money to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign.
"I can't say how much at this point," said FDIC spokesman David Barr. "We're getting close to having a final settlement amount ready. The court is looking at it."
But it seemed unlikely the FDIC would be able to recover even one dime.
The FDIC is at the mercy of Manhattan's federal bankruptcy court - where banks, the IRS, the state, the city and dozens upon dozens of creditors have been begging for five years to recoup Chatwal debts estimated at more than $100 million.
In 1998 a court-appointed trustee found that legally, Chatwal had "no property available for distribution" - even as he entertained dignitaries and politicians at his hotels and Bombay Palace restaurants. [New York Daily News, 11/7/00]
Schweizer: After Hillary Clinton Left Office, TD Bank Announced "It Will Begin Selling Its $1.6 Billion Worth Of Shares" In Keystone XL Pipeline. In a section connecting the Clintons' income to TD Bank's support for the Keystone XL Pipeline, Schweizer wrote:
Obama's edict that the pipeline issue not be settled until after the 2012 elections effectively sealed its fate, at least as it related to Hillary's ability to get it approved. By January 2013 she was gone from Foggy Bottom.
Five months later, in June 2013, TD Bank announced that "it will begin selling its $1.6 billion worth of shares in the massive but potentially still-born Keystone XL crude pipeline project." The bank said in a statement, "TD will gradually sell its $1.6 billion take in Keystone XL as the first step toward transitioning away from investment in oil sands extraction entirely."
Too bad for TD Bank. But the Clintons got paid regardless. [Clinton Cash, 2015, p. 111]
The Announcement Was Fake. As ThinkProgress noted, the release Schweizer cited was "revealed to be fake in 2013." A group protesting the pipeline took credit for the release, which was picked up and then pulled from the International Business Times. TD Bank also issued a statement that the release was fake. Schweizer's citation for the press release, TheFreeLibrary.com, was a cache of the IBT article before it was pulled. [ThinkProgress, 4/21/15; 6/28/13; Twitter.com, 6/28/13; TheFreeLibrary.com, 6/28/13]
Schweizer: Anheuser-Busch Donations "Raised Questions As To Whether They Were Tied To Official Favors." Schweizer suggested that in 1999, Anheuser-Busch Companies donated money to the Clinton Presidential Library as a reward for a favorable Federal Trade Commission decision:
Yet even before Clinton left office, the foundation found itself mired in controversy. The timing of certain contributions raised questions as to whether they were tied to official favors. On October 6, 1999, Anheuser-Busch Companies gave the first of five payments totaling $1 million for the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum (or Clinton Library for short), which was funded in part by donations given through the Clinton Foundation. As the New York Times reported, less than a month earlier "the Clinton administration's Federal Trade Commission dropped a bid to regulate beer, wine, and liquor advertising" allegedly aimed at underage drinkers. [Clinton Cash, 2015, pp. 8-9]
Company Spokesperson: Donation Was Unrelated To Any Government Action And They Contributed To Other Libraries. Schweizer does not note evidence undermining his suggestion. An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in 2007 that "the donation was unrelated to any government action and that its foundation had contributed more than $360 million to a wide array of organizations, including the Bush, Truman and Johnson presidential libraries." [New York Times, 12/20/07]
Anheuser-Busch Foundation Donated To Truman Library Renovation Around The Same Time As Clinton Library. A September 1999 Truman Library press release announced Anheuser-Busch Foundation had donated between $250,000 to $499,999 for renovations to the museum. [TrumanLibrary.org, 9/17/99]
"An Independent Review Of Source Material By ABC News Uncovered Errors In The Book." ABC News examined Clinton Cash and said it found "errors in the book," including a conflation of unnamed paid and unpaid speaking appearances. Schweizer told ABC News he would correct them. From ABC News:
An independent review of source material by ABC News uncovered errors in the book, including an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated. Schweizer said the errors would be corrected. But those same records supported the premise that former President Clinton accepted speaking fees from numerous companies and individuals with interests pending before the State Department. [ABCNews.com, 4/23/15]