Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer talked to Breitbart News Daily on Friday about the renewed investigations into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents and pay-for-play corruption allegations against the Clinton Foundation.
Schweizer said it is important to investigate these allegations thoroughly to uphold the rule of law.
“The entire issue of investigating the Clintons has been politicized by the Clintons,” he said. “Their defense has been, ‘Look at who we are, rather than what we have done. Look at the fact that I’m a Democrat, and people have been targeting me for years, and this has been part of a political campaign.’”
“I think what everybody wants, as it relates to the Clintons or anybody else, is just let’s simply look at what a person did, and look at the circumstances, and determine whether it violated the law,” he said. “The politicized nature of this is a result of the Clinton campaign and the Clinton team to sort of muddy the waters. They’ve made it political. I think that’s what people are most frustrated about.”
Schweizer said the Clinton Foundation case raises questions about “whether they complied with certain rules and requirements,” but the key issue is whether there was a “pay-to-play” operation in effect at the State Department under Hillary Clinton.
“In other words, did people make large campaign – or, in this case, foundation – contributions to the Clintons, and did they get favorable treatment in return?” he told SiriusXM host Steve Bannon. “The fact of the matter is, Steve, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence, and there’s also now internal documents that speak exactly to that.”
“One of the things that they don’t want to talk about is that they did an internal review, the Clinton Foundation did, back in 2011,” he recalled. “It was actually ordered by Chelsea Clinton. It was done by Simpson Thatcher, which is a very prominent New York law firm, very heavy hitters; they understand the law. What they found in the review is shocking. They said in their own internal review that there was a culture of pay-to-play at the Clinton Foundation, that major donors had expectations that they were going to get favors in return.”
“Look at some of the reporting that came out as related to Haiti,” he suggested. “ABC News and other outlets have done a lot of reporting on this. You had emails that came out which showed that people who were FOB – Friends of Bill – were put at the head of the line to get contracts for the reconstruction of Haiti.”
“These are not theories. These are not speculations. These are actual facts, and this goes the heart – the basic heart – of American political decision-making. We’ve seen in our history that people from all walks of life, in terms of their political careers, have engaged in this. In the case of the Clintons, it’s the size and the scope of the contributions that are so unique. The amounts of money dwarf anything that we’ve seen historically,” he said.
Schweizer said the case has never been thoroughly investigated and maintained Hillary Clinton was not properly vetted by the Obama administration before becoming secretary of state.
“When she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she had hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the chairman at that time was John Kerry, who would later succeed her as secretary of state,” Schweizer noted. “One of the things that he insisted on, and also President Obama insisted on, to his credit, was that they had to put in a series of structural reforms, or they were structural requirements really, in order for her to become secretary of state.”
“One of the main ones was, ‘You simply have to disclose all the donations that you take.’”
“What you’ll find now is the Clintons tout the fact that, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve put all the donations out there.’ Well, they were forced to do so. They didn’t want to do so. It was a condition for her to get the job,” he recalled.
“The problem is that even that basic requirement of disclosure – a signed agreement with the President of the United States, Barack Obama – they violated! We know that, for example, the chairman of Uranium One, this Russian uranium company, the chairman donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation as that deal was being approved, and it was never disclosed. That’s been confirmed by multiple news outlets. We broke it in Clinton Cash. We found out about that contribution by going through Canadian tax records.”
“At its very basic level, there were concerns early on by people like John Kerry and by Barack Obama and even basic requirements like disclosure they just simply ignored. I think that’s part of the problem that even a lot of Clinton supporters have had: sort of a cavalier attitude in which they have dismissed any sense of accountability,” he said.
Schweizer also stressed the importance of recovering and examining the more than 33,000 emails Hillary Clinton did not surrender to the State Department from her private server.
“The Clinton defense is, ‘Well, you know, there are other people that had private email accounts.’ The key difference is the Clintons not only had private email accounts; they had a private server. What makes that different? Well, you had Colin Powell, one of her predecessors, use an AOL account occasionally for business purposes. The difference is that if Colin Powell decided he wanted to delete his emails, he could delete them off of his laptop, but they were still available on a server that AOL controlled,” Schweizer explained.
“What the Clintons wanted was a private server with complete control and the ability to delete completely the communications she had while she was secretary of state,” he said.
“The process is pretty galling. First of all, they deleted more emails than they actually turned over to the State Department. They deleted 33,000. They turned 30,000 over to the State Department. Their argument was these were all personal in nature. So they’re basically arguing that she sent far more private, personal emails while she was America’s chief diplomat than she did professional ones,” he noted.
“The FBI looked at this and found that, no, there were lots of professional emails that she deleted because they found emails that were of a professional nature in other people’s email accounts. They wanted to erase the ability that we had to see what she was communicating about. I have believed from the beginning that the emails that were deleted are related precisely to these pay-to-play issues,” he said.
“Based on the emails that were released, the some 30,000, we plotted the dates on which those emails appeared,” Schweizer revealed. “What you find is that there are days, sometimes, when she is overseas in Asia, for example, or Africa, where a lot of these deals were going down, where, based on the emails that they turned over, they’re claiming that she didn’t send a single email – over, in some cases, a 72-hour period, which is absurd to believe that America’s chief diplomat traveling overseas did not send or receive any emails over a three-day period.”
“So the timing doesn’t work, and then when you look at certain critical moments – for example, when you talk about this visit she had in Colombia where she showed up as secretary of state in Bogota, Colombia, the same day as her husband, the same day as Frank Giustra, by far the biggest contributor to the Clinton Foundation – and there’s no emails whatsoever concerning meetings that we know took place between her, Bill Clinton, Frank Giustra, and the president of Colombia. It’s gaps like that that clearly indicate they were covering their trails,” he charged.
Schweizer said such clandestine arrangements are contrary to the Freedom of Information Act, which was intended to allow “citizens and journalists to chart official communications.”
“This is a law with real teeth,” he observed. “The problem is that if you have this kind of ability of politicians to erase servers, to hide tens of thousands of emails, that law is meaningless. This was a clear attempt and desire to avoid that law and any scrutiny that it brings.”
Schweizer pointed out that some of the actions involved in the Uranium One case may have exceeded the statute of limitations, but others could be covered by laws with much longer statutory authority, such as the RICO anti-racketeering act.
“A lot of the strategy on these issues for the Clintons has been to just buy time because of these issues of statute of limitations, arguing that this is sort of ‘old news,’” he said.
He also felt that thoroughly investigating the Clinton scandals could provide guidelines for cleaner government in the future, especially when considering opaque agencies like CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
“There are decisions being made by CFIUS yearly that have fundamental importance. It is one of the most complex, mysterious, and lucrative processes that needs to be opened up. This is a great way to do it,” he suggested.
Schweizer said the FBI’s reopening the Clinton Foundation investigation in Little Rock, Arkansas, is important because “one of the problems that has dogged the email investigation and others is, so much of that was steered from the headquarters of the FBI, and like any other government institution, when it’s located in Washington, DC, it becomes much more politicized.”
“This is a fascinating and, I think, important development. The field officers of the FBI are second to none. They are, by my experience, not politicized. We’re going to have an opportunity to really see what the FBI can find, especially if they’re given the sort of subpoena powers that they were denied in the past by the Obama Department of Justice,” he said.
“It’s a little bit like the American military,” he elaborated. “If you are a general officer in the U.S. military, and you get assigned in Washington, DC, the running joke is that you kind of go native, that you start to reflect less the values of the branch of the military you’re in – the Army, Navy, Air Force, whatever – and you start to go native. When they’re in Washington, they’re socializing with political figures. They’re very aware of budgets. They have institutional responsibilities.”
“I think having field offices lead these investigations is far better. These are driven, dedicated, ambitious FBI agents who are looking to get to the bottom of these stories. They don’t have the same kind of political motivations that people at headquarters do,” he said.
“I think, by the way, if the Clinton email investigation had been done much more by, say, the New York branch or other entities, as opposed to the headquarters, I think it’s very possible that that investigation would have been a lot more hard-hitting than it ended up being,” Schweizer added.
Peter Schweizer is the head of the Government Accountability Institute and author of the best-selling book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped to Make Bill and Hillary Clinton Rich.
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