Clinton Cash

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Clinton Cash:
The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich
File:Clinton Cash cover.jpg
Author Peter Schweizer
Audio read by Walter Dixon
Language English
Subject Political Science/American Government
Publisher Harper, Broadside Books
Publication date
May 5, 2015
Pages 256
ISBN 978-0062369284
OCLC 906020748
Preceded by Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money
Website www.clintoncashbook.com

Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich is a 2015 New York Times bestselling book by Peter Schweizer, in which he investigates donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities, paid speeches made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the Clintons' personal enrichment since leaving the White House in 2001.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News were granted exclusive agreements with the book's author to pursue the story lines found in the book.[1] In the wake of the book's publication, the Clinton Foundation admitted that it made mistakes in disclosing some of its contributions, and it implemented new rules increasing financial reporting and limiting foreign donations.[2]

In May 2016, a film adaptation of the book, funded by Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.[3][4] The film's U.S. premiere is scheduled for July 24 in Philadelphia (ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention there) and the film will have a limited release in four other major U.S. cities in early August.[3][4]

Synopsis

Hillary Clinton being sworn in as Secretary of State in 2009. Her husband and former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, holds the Bible.

Clinton Cash is an investigation of the foreign benefactors of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.[5] It investigates alleged connections between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton’s work at the State Department.[6]

The book argues that the Clinton family accepted lavish donations and speaking fees from foreign donors at times when the State Department was considering whether or not to award large contracts to groups and people affiliated with those donors.[7]

The book is organized into eleven chapters. Some chapters focus on particular transactions or deals, such as the creation of UrAsia Energy and Uranium One in Kazkakhstan, and the connection shareholders had and have to the Clintons. Other chapters focus on a broader set of relationships, particularly with regard to Bill Clinton’s paid speeches during the years Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, and whether those paying for his speeches had significant business before the State Department.[7] Schweizer dubs the Clintons' blend of government service and private remuneration the “Clinton blur.” [8]

Publication

For Clinton Cash, Schweizer granted exclusive agreements with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News to use his research for their own reports prior to the book's publication. The New York Times called the book "the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle.”[9]

The first New York Times article generated from the outlets exclusive agreement with Schweizer centered on the complicated history of Uranium One, a company which controls 20% of U.S. uranium production capacity and which eventually ended up in Russian hands. The acquisition needed to be approved by several government agencies, including the State Department. While Hillary Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, her husband's foundation was receiving millions of dollars from people with financial stakes in Uranium One. The Times concluded that it is "unknown" whether the donations played a role in the deal's approval, but that they presented "special ethical challenges."[5] Schweizer echoed that conclusion in an interview where he stated that there is "no direct evidence" that Hillary Clinton intervened on the issue but that the donation is part of "a broader pattern" that "warrants further investigation."[10]

The day the book was published, Hillary Clinton's campaign set up a portal called "The Briefing" on its official website. The Briefing is designed to rebut the allegations made in Schweizer's book. Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, wrote: "The book has zero evidence to back up its outlandish claims...While we will not be consumed by these kinds of attacks, we will also not let them go unchallenged."[11] Various spokespeople for the Clintons disputed the book's allegations.[12]

Reception

Clinton Cash debuted at number two on the New York Times Best Seller list. Writing for The Washington Post, academic and political activist Lawrence Lessig wrote "On any fair reading, the pattern of behavior that Schweizer has charged is corruption."[13] Ed Pilkington, writing for The Guardian, wrote that "Even in the hyper-partisan world of American political publishing, the storm generated by the latest book about the Clintons has been impressive." Pilkington writes that Schweizer does not prove corruption on the part of the Clintons, but that he reveals several "glaring conflicts of interest."[2] James Freeman reviewed the book for The Wall Street Journal, writing that "Almost every page of the fascinating Clinton Cash...will be excruciating reading for partisans on both sides of the aisle" and that "The fact that even liberal media outlets are taking the book seriously suggests that a post-election payday is getting harder to achieve."[14]

PolitiFact.com confirmed that since leaving the White House in 2001 and 2013, Bill Clinton made thirteen speeches for which he commanded more than $500,000. Eleven of these thirteen speeches were made while Hillary was at the State Department.[15]

Several weeks after the book's initial publication, Harper Collins and the author made several corrections to the Kindle edition of the book. Schweizer corrected “seven or eight” passages that were revealed to be inaccurate after the book was released.[6] FactCheck.org found Schweizer's assertion that Clinton, as Secretary of State, could have stopped Russia from buying a company with extensive uranium mining operations in the U.S. to be false.[16] PunditFact found the assertion that Clinton changed her views on a nuclear deal with India in response to donations to her family's foundation to be false.[17] A spokesman for Bill Clinton disputed charges that Clinton was paid for speeches by Dennis O’Brien of Digicel in exchange for help in securing telecommunications contracts in Haiti in 2010.[18]

Impact

Journalist and former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos donated a total of $75,000 over several years to the Clinton Foundation, but he did not disclose the donations to ABC News, his employer, or to his viewers.[19] Stephanopoulos did not reveal the donations even on April 26, 2015, while interviewing Schweizer about Clinton Cash.[19] After exposure of the donations by Politico on May 14, 2015, Stephanopoulos apologized and said that he should have disclosed the donations to ABC News and its viewers.[19][20] The story was broken by The Washington Free Beacon which had aggressively questioned ABC News regarding the matter.[21] The donations had been reported by the Clinton Foundation, which Stephanopoulos had considered sufficient. ABC News characterized this as "an honest mistake."[20]

Based on Stephanopoulos' donations to the Clinton Foundation and his behavior during prior interviews and presidential debates, Republican Party leaders and candidates expressed their distrust and called for him to be banned from moderating 2016 presidential debates due to bias and conflict of interest.[21][22] He agreed to drop out as a moderator of the February 2016 Republican presidential primary debate.[23]

See also

References

  1. Sullivan, Margaret (April 23, 2015). "An ‘Exclusive’ Arrangement on a Clinton Book, and Many Questions". New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pilkington, Ed (May 5, 2015). "Clinton Cash: errors dog Bill and Hillary exposé – but is there any 'there' there?". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joshua Green, 'Clinton Cash' Has Been Made Into a Movie, Bloomberg Politics (April 28, 2016).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Clinton Cash film aims to cause likely Democratic nominee maximum damage, The Guardian (May 12, 2016).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Becker, Jo; McIntire, Mike (April 23, 2015). "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Karni, Annie (May 14, 2015). "'Clinton Cash' publisher corrects '7 or 8' inaccurate passages". Politico. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wofford, Taylor (May 1, 2015). "Everything You Need to Know About 'Clinton Cash'". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  8. Green, Joshua; Epstein, Jennifer (April 25, 2015). "Author Alleges Bill Clinton Just Quit Education Company Because of 'Clinton Cash'". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  9. Chozick, Amy (April 19, 2015). "New Book, 'Clinton Cash,' Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  10. 'This Week' Transcript: 'Clinton Cash’ Author Peter Schweizer", This Week, April 26, 2015. Accessed: April 28, 2015.
  11. Haberman, Maggie. "Clinton Team Bolsters Its Defense Ahead of Negative Book’s Release", The New York Times, May 4, 2015. Accessed: May 6, 2015.
  12. Stanton, John (April 28, 2015). "Spokesman Disputes Book: Bill Clinton Not Paid For Series Of Speeches". buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  13. Lessig, Lawrence (May 8, 2015). "Democrats embrace the logic of ‘Citizens United’". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  14. Freeman, James (May 6, 2015). "There’s Money to Be Made". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  15. Carroll, Lauren (April 26, 2015). "Fact-checking 'Clinton Cash' author on claim about Bill Clinton's speaking fees". Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact.com. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  16. Kiely, Eugene (April 28, 2015). "'No ‘Veto Power’ for Clinton on Uranium Deal". FactCheck.org. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  17. Carroll, Lauren (May 6, 2015). "'Clinton Cash' author: Hillary Clinton changed positions on India nuclear deal". PunditFact. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  18. "'Spokesman Disputes Book: Bill Clinton Not Paid For Series Of Speeches". buzzfeed.com. April 28, 2015. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Byers, Dylan (May 14, 2015). "George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation". Politico. Washington, DC. Retrieved 15 May 2015. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Stephanopoulos made $25,000 donations to the 501 nonprofit founded by former President Bill Clinton, the foundation's records show. Stephanopoulos never disclosed this information to viewers, even when interviewing author Peter Schweizer last month about his book "Clinton Cash," which alleges that donations to the foundation may have influenced some of Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Gerry Mullany and Steve Eder (May 14, 2015). "George Stephanopoulos Acknowledges Giving Money to Clinton Foundation". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2015. His gifts to the foundation of at least $50,000 were first reported Thursday morning by Politico. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Jeremy W. Peters and John Koblin (May 14, 2015). "George Stephanopoulos’s Gifts to Clinton Foundation Reinforce G.O.P. Doubts". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2015. But his disclosure of the contributions — made after the conservative Washington Free Beacon started asking ABC News questions — seemed only to deepen Republicans’ distrust in the most recognizable political journalist at the most-watched news network in the country. 
  22. Peters, Jeremy (May 14, 2015). "Rand Paul: George Stephanopoulos Shouldn’t Moderate 2016 Debates". New York Times. New York. Retrieved 14 May 2015. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said that the donations and Mr. Stephanopoulos’s close ties with the Clintons should preclude him from moderating any debates in the 2016 presidential campaign. 
  23. Bash, Dana (May 15, 2015). "Stephanopoulos seeks to move past Clinton donations scandal". CNNMoney. Atlanta, Georgia. Retrieved 15 May 2015. On "The Daily Show" last month, Stephanopoulos said that when foreign governments and other entities give millions to the Clinton foundation, "everybody" knows there's "a hope that that's going to lead to something, and that's what you have to be careful of." 

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