Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer said an independent counsel was needed to investigate potential “trading favors for money” between then-Secretary Clinton’s State Department and her family’s organization the Clinton Foundation given the “level of sophistication” Bill and Hillary Clinton had.
Schweizer said, “Well, I think if the hope that Clinton critics had that there’s an email out there that says I will do this for you in exchange for that money, that sort of email is not going to exist. The Clintons are too smart to put things in writing in that regard. That said, and I responded in this way to George Stephanopoulos at the time, the expectation of me as a journalist, as a reporter, using public source information, is going to prove a crime is committed is I think a ridiculous standard. What I encourage people to do is look at recent prosecutions for political corruption in the United States—former governor of Alabama who’s in jail, the case involving former governor of Virginia, which the Supreme Court has said needs to be retried, Senator Menendez of New Jersey. In none of those cases do you have a smoking gun or quid pro quo. It’s a misnomer when Stephanopoulos say you have to show quid pro quo, that certainly hasn’t been the case in recent political corruption cases.”
He continued, “The level of sophistication the Clintons operate is at a very high level. Still, if you’re trading favors for money, it is still criminal regardless of under what guise you do it. I think speaking fees are a huge problem for the Clintons. You’re quite right. every ex-president from Eisenhower to George W. Bush has hit the lecture circuit. Every single one, over time, saw speaking fees go down. In the case of Bill Clinton, he’s getting $150,000 to $200,000 per speech, which is a lot of money. When his wife becomes secretary of state, literally overnight, those overseas speaking opportunities sky rockets. It triples overnight. Places like Nigeria, Russia, who had not sponsored a speech before are lining up to pay these speeches. That’s something that deserves investigation. One can argue it wasn’t intentional on the part of the Clintons. The Clintons have been called a lot of things by friends and opponents, naive isn’t one of them. They know exactly what’s going on. That’s why I called for independent counsel to investigate these matters so we can get to the bottom of it.”
He added, “This is not just about the Clintons. This is a widespread problem. I wrote a book a couple of years ago, “Throw Them All Out,” about insider trading on the stock market by politicians. The book came out. We did a story on “60 Minutes.” Congress and President Obama signed this great bill to Stock Act, which eight months later they basically gutted in the dark of night. This is not just unique to the Clintons. What is unique to the Clintons, which is precisely what you mentioned earlier—foreign money. We know business, labor unions, et cetera, donate to campaigns and candidates because they want access, favors, but it’s been an American game. Foreign entities can’t. With the foundation that’s changed, oligarchs in Nigeria making massive pledges, millions of dollars to The Clinton Foundation.”
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