On Monday, Hillary Clinton insider and former Clinton Special Counsel Lanny Davis stunned C-SPAN Washington Journal viewers when he compared Clinton Cash author and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer to none other than Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
“When I was raised in the 1950s, I’m showing my age, there was a gentleman named Senator Joseph McCarthy who held up a piece of paper: ‘I have here in my hand, 400 people working at the State Dept. who may be Communist.’ Headlines across the United States. The words ‘maybe’ are no different than Mr. Schweizer,” said Davis on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
Davis then quickly tried to tamp down his explosive rhetoric by adding, “I give credit [to Schweizer] for never saying I have a single fact suggesting a speaking fee or a donation is connected to Sec. Clinton’s policy decisions,” a statement Schweizer has never made.
Whether Davis’s “Joe McCarthy” comments are part of a broader strategy by Hillary Clinton’s communications apparatus led by Brian Fallon presently remains unclear. Yet Davis’s bombastic rhetoric comes at an inopportune moment for the Hillary campaign, as committed and noted progressives have begun rallying around the Clinton Cash revelations, which have been confirmed and proven to be accurate numerous times by the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, Bloomberg, National Journal, Wall Street Journal, and others.
Indeed, several noted progressives are now endorsing Clinton Cash:
Renowned progressive economist and Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs: “There is a lot here that is real,” said Sachs on MSNBC. “Whether it’s quid pro quos or not, who knows? But the amount of schmoozing involved and crossing lines and one person putting money in a foundation, and then Clinton getting unbelievable amounts for his speeches, and then contracts going one way or another, it’s not good.”
Speaking of the Clintons’ actions during the Haiti relief effort, Sachs added: “There were too many friends around, too many ad hoc plane flights in to do this deal or that deal, and there was not the systemic approach that one needs after a devastation. That’s the sad part of it.”
Sachs also tweeted: “The new book Clinton Cash is compelling reading on how Bill and Hilary have mixed personal wealth, power, and influence peddling.”
Progressive columnist Eleanor Clift: “It’s a mistake for the Clinton campaign to write off conservative author Peter Schweizer as a right-wing hack. It won’t work, and it’s not true. If he were as off-base as the campaign and its allies portray him, would a high-quality publication like The New York Times risk its reputation by partnering with him?” wrote Clift on the Daily Beast.
Clift added, “And would Common Cause, the gold standard for good-government groups, which is currently chaired by former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, be calling for an independent review that would be made public of all large donations to the Clinton Foundation?”
Harvard University Law School Professor and Lawrence Lessig in the Washington Post:
Clinton Cash, “the Clintons and their defenders insist, is not corruption because Schweizer has provided no smoking gun. He has offered ‘no evidence’ of a quid pro quo trade. Welcome to Wonderland: Were the alleged influencers the Koch brothers, with the same kind of pattern charged against them — their channeling support to Republican representatives, those representatives in turn acting in a way that reflected the desires of the Kochs — there would be no doubt that Democrats would rally to attack that influence as Exhibit No. 1 in the case against the corruption of Washington.”
Progressive Columnist Jonathan Chait writing in New York magazine: “The news today about the Clintons all fleshes out, in one way or another, their lack of interest in policing serious conflict-of-interest problems that arise in their overlapping roles,” wrote Chait. “The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was staffed by their own loyalists and made up the rules as it went along. Their experience running the actual government, with its formal accountability and disclosure, went reasonably well. Their experience running their own privatized mini-state has been a fiasco.”
Nomi Prins, Senior Fellow at the progressive Demos in Monday’s Forbes: “Schweizer lays out compelling patterns in which the timing of policy decisions or international deals relative to donations, transcends coincidence – or at least, merits closer inspection… The book runs 245 pages with an impressive 56 pages of endnotes. It might be tempting to dismiss Clinton Cash as a product of Schweizer’s own conservative leanings. Yet, his more recent works, Throw Them All Out and Extortion, have examined shenanigans on both sides of the aisle.”
Soros-Backed Democracy 21 President Fred Werthemer quoted in Sunday’s Washington Post:
“Fred Wertheimer, president of the reform group Democracy 21, said the couple should completely withdraw from the charity if Hillary Clinton wins: ‘Change the name of the foundation, and make a clean break.’”
The Hillary Clinton campaign has yet to disavow Lanny Davis’s McCarthy comparison.