Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, bestselling author of Clinton Cash, joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to speculate on how electing a president who is under FBI investigation might work out for America.
“Certainly in the modern era, we’ve never had a situation where a candidate for president who was ahead in the polls, seemingly, is under FBI investigation for major criminal activity,” said Schweizer of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
“When you look at American history, American presidents who apparently were involved in corrupt practices – you could look at President Grant, for example – in none of those cases did there seem to be any evidence before they took office that they were actually engaged in criminal conduct.”
“This is uncharted territory. You have a candidate who is pretty much known to have engaged in behavior that has caught the interest of the FBI, and then for the FBI to actually be investigating them – we haven’t been here before, and it’s very troubling,” he said.
“What I’ve seen – and I always caveat and say I’m not a lawyer, which is true. What I’ve seen, and the people I’ve talked to, says that a president can pardon themselves. There’s nothing in the statute that precludes them from doing it. And I think if we know anything about the Clintons, going back to the Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment, if that’s what it takes, they’re definitely going to do that,” Schweizer predicted.
Marlow wondered if pardoning herself might be a bit much even for Hillary Clinton, as it would probably invite impeachment proceedings.
“The question is, will Republicans – let’s say Hillary wins, and let’s say the Republicans lose the Senate…are they going to be able to, the Democrats, be able to enforce discipline, to ensure that they don’t have a majority of the Senate?” Schweizer replied. “I think, based on history and the way the Clintons roll, yes, they probably will.”
“You made a great point and a very astute observation that there is a preemptive action that Barack Obama can take, that he can basically pardon her preemptively and just make this whole thing go away. He’s gonna be reluctant to do that because he’s very concerned about his legacy, and this would destroy a lot of his legacy – but if that’s what it takes, I think he’s prepared to do that,” Schweizer said.
In addition to the renewed FBI interest in Hillary Clinton’s email irregularities, Schweizer said the Clinton Foundation issue is not going away.
“Let me just say, I have it on good authority – I can’t go into detail how – but I have it on good authority that this is the major vein of the Clinton investigation,” he said. “The emails are important. They are looking at the emails. Important issues are raised. The Clinton Foundation investigation has been longer, it’s been more intense, it’s involved more divisions of the FBI than has the email scandal. What the FBI does a lot of is white-collar crime investigation, and that’s what’s taking place right now.”
“I think this is not going away, by any stretch of the imagination, and the question is again, let’s assume for a second that Hillary does win. I think you are going to have active, open warfare between the White House and the FBI,” he predicted. “The FBI director – it’s an independent agency – he does not answer to the president. Certainly, there are things the president can try to do to make life miserable for the FBI Director, but then it comes down to Jim Comey, and is Jim Comey gonna stand his ground and press for the investigation against major, major headwinds from the White House? This is going to be something that I think is going to be lurking with us, as a country, for quite some time.”
“The first thing the FBI is trying to figure out is, can they find a jury somewhere that they can present a pay-to-play case to that the jury will understand and that the jury will convict based on?” he said. “I think there are people in the FBI that are very convinced that pay-to-play has taken place, that they were selling influence, that there were quid pro quos, but you want to make sure that you’ve got a case that you can go.”
“That’s the first part of it,” he continued. “The second part of it is how the email case collides with the Clinton Foundation investigation. Remember, Huma Abedin has these 650,000 emails, which to me is a mind-boggling number of emails, sitting on her laptop. Those were obtained by the Violent Crimes Division of the FBI, who is investigating Anthony Weiner. That’s the division of the FBI that’s looking into his case. The Violent Crimes division has obtained those emails, but those emails are now accessible to the white collar criminal division, which is investigating the Foundation, and the national security division, which is investigating the email case.”
“So the other question then will be … among those 650,000 emails, are there some of Hillary’s private emails, and do they offer either evidence of…remember the question of intent. Comey asked if we can prove intent, that she intended to break the records laws. There may be intent in those emails – or there may be really clear-cut evidence of quid pro quos as it relates to the Clinton Foundation,” he speculated. “Those, to me, are the two big things that are outstanding, and I have it on pretty good authority – I can’t go into detail – that the FBI is convinced that there is pay-to-play that took place, and they have some pretty good evidence of that.”
Marlow noted that the mainstream media’s standard boils down to a demand for “smoking-gun” evidence of corruption before Clinton can be suspected of wrongdoing.
“Yeah, that’s right. I mean, that’s what comes out in the Podesta emails,” Schweizer noted. “There’s more than a dozen emails about Clinton Cash, and they’re spinning to the media was that because we could not prove that we had the smoking-gun evidence, there’s no case here. In other words, the case begins and ends in journalism. If journalists can’t prove the crime was committed, there’s no reason to go further. Let’s forget about the FBI looking into it. Let’s forget about depositions. Let’s forget about talking to witnesses. Let’s forget about the entire chain of process.”
“That’s what a lot of the Podesta emails are about, on this case and others. It’s all about management. It’s about media management and image management. And I think that’s one of the big takeaways about how the Clintons operate. They try to frame things their way, and won’t step away. In the current dispute with the FBI and Jim Comey, notice they have no substance at all to say about anything related to the emails or Anthony Weiner. They’re focused on framing this as all about Comey and his political motive. It’s the old saying from Oscar Wilde: if you can’t deal with the message, go after the messenger,” he said.
“So that, I think, is what their strategy is. That strategy, though, has failed,” Schweizer pronounced.
Marlow saw parallels between the Democratic character assassination of Mitt Romney in 2012 and the campaign being waged against James Comey, a similarly clean-cut man who became a sinister figure overnight in Democrat mythology when he became an obstacle to Clinton’s campaign.
“It’s scorched earth,” Schweizer agreed. “And here’s the thing: James Comey is head of the FBI. He’s also, obviously, a lawyer. Be very clear: he has testified and communicated with Congress numerous times that the investigation was closed, because it was closed. Then you had the Anthony Weiner – he has a legal obligation to let Congress know that he needs to modify his testimony. If he fails to do that, he could have been charged with lying to Congress.”
“He testified before Congress. He’s been communicating with Congress when they released some of the FBI records, and in that communication, he repeatedly said, ‘This investigation is closed’ because it was closed. For him to not go back – had Congress found out later, which they would have, that the case had been reopened, regardless of how it ends up – they could have very easily said, ‘You lied to Congress. You failed to tell us that there was a change in the status. We are going to charge you with lying to Congress,’” Schweizer elaborated.
“And for somebody who is a lawyer, who operates by the books like Jim Comey, that’s real legal jeopardy. So he really didn’t have a choice. People who are saying that, well, he could have waited – he couldn’t have waited. When you testify before Congress and you realize that either something has changed or you made an error, you better darn well correct the record before Congress finds out about it, or they are gonna bring you up on lying-before-Congress charges, which is, of course, an additional thing that Hillary Clinton is facing, as it relates to the emails,” he pointed out.
In parting, Schweizer said, “We probably shouldn’t expect too much more from the FBI side between now and the election.”
“I think it’s gonna grind along, as these investigations do – but it’s lurking, and it’s big, and it’s not gonna go away,” he said.
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Listen to the full audio of Schweizer’s interview above.