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Former Clinton Aide Stephanopoulos Defends Clinton

Journalists are supposed to ask tough questions. On Sunday morning’s edition of ABC News’ This Week, however, host George Stephanopoulos pursued Clinton Cash author (and Breitbart News editor) Peter Schweizer with a vehemence that suggested he had reverted to his 1990s incarnation as a spokesman for the Clinton administration. Stephanopoulos looked past the Clintons’ glaring conflicts of interest and focused narrowly on whether the book met a criminal standard of proof.

Schweizer admitted that there was “no direct evidence” that donations to the Clinton Foundation caused then-Secretary of State to approve the 2010 sale of a domestic uranium mining company to a Russian company controlled by the Kremlin. But he noted that there was a pattern of behavior in the Clintons’ overseas dealings, wherein donations to the foundations or speaking fees for former President Bill Clinton appeared to coincide with foreign policy stances at the State Department.

Explaining further, Schweizer noted that similar reasoning had been used in prosecuting former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, as well as  Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The pattern of evidence, he said, warranted further investigation: “You need subpoena power. You need access to records and information. You need access to e-mails. There’s all sorts of things that you can do. You can’t leave it up to an author to say that an author has to prove a criminal case.”

Stephanopoulous did not appear satisfied, and he implied that Schweizer may have been acting out of partisan interest, even if he was also investigating former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: “…[Y]ou used to work for President — President Bush as a speechwriter. You’re funded by the Koch brothers.”

Of course, Stephanopoulos used to work for President Clinton himself, which casts his question in a hypocritical light. That is as clear a conflict of interest as Schweizer could have hoped to show.

This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the uranium mining company was Canadian, though it owned U.S. mines.

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