Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, joined SiriusXM host Matt Boyle on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss the revelation that more than half the people Hillary Clinton met with as secretary of state were donors to her Clinton Foundation.
“I think we’ve known the road map for a long time, Matt. It’s ‘follow the money’ with the Clintons,” said Schweizer. “I think that this has kind of brought into relief exactly what the street names are on that map, and where they lead.”
What you find is that Hillary Clinton, who is America’s chief diplomat, whose focus is supposed to be enhancing our national security and our foreign policy, is actually engaged in the sort of grimiest elements of politics, which is doing favors and taking phone calls from people who put money in your pocket. That’s where we spent four years, while she was secretary of state.
Boyle asked if the recently uncovered emails that showed top Clinton aide Huma Abedin working to ensure big Clinton Foundation donors enjoyed access to Secretary of State Clinton were “smoking gun” proof that “Clinton Foundation got special access, special treatment by the State Department when she was the secretary of state.”
“I think you’re exactly right,” Schweizer replied, adding:
Look, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be representing the U.S. government, and American citizens, in foreign policy. What you see in the emails that have come out and that are going to continue to come out, by the way – I’ve seen some of the other ones that are going to be released soon – what you find is that she’s spending a lot of time taking calls, and the State Department is doing favors for foreign oligarchs, that, really, you would have no reason for the secretary of state to be doing favors for, other than the fact that they are donors to the Clinton Foundation.
He cited the example of Gilbert Chagoury, “a Nigerian-Lebanese businessman who has been charged and convicted of crimes in Europe, has a very sketchy record in terms of his involvement with dictators in Nigeria, etc. – and yet, he is getting access to Huma Abedin and to the secretary of state.”
“Why? He’s not an American citizen. He doesn’t do significant business in the United States. He’s not a former government official that might be helpful in advancing American interests,” Schweizer pointed out. “He’s a guy who’s donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sponsors speeches by Bill, and he is getting access to America’s top decision-makers.”
We’re all used to retail politics. You know, a guy on Wall Street raises money for an American politician, and then that politician gives him access and favors. But this has been a game up until this point, Matt, played by Americans, because federal law does not allow guys like Gilbert Chagoury, or other foreign oligarchs, to give to American political campaigns. It’s against federal law.
“The Clinton Foundation is the way around that,” he added, “because now, instead of giving money to the Clinton campaign, you can give money to the Clinton Foundation, and if you’re a foreign national, the sky is the limit.”
Schweizer said it was important for American voters to understand that “this is not just traditional pay-to-play; this is now foreign money, giving foreign oligarchs access to our political leaders, through a mechanism like the Clinton Foundation.”
Boyle noted that Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence said in a recent interview that the Clinton Foundation’s announcement it will no longer take foreign money if Hillary Clinton becomes president was like an invitation to make big contributions now–as a “down payment” for favors later.
“First of all, it’s too little-too late,” Schweizer said of the Foundation’s announcement. He continued:
An analogy would be if somebody committed a crime, and then they got caught, and then they said, “OK, well, now I’m going to stop committing the crime, and everything’s okay.” No, you did something wrong; you need to pay the price for it. And I do happen to believe, when it comes to the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s speaking fees, that there were actually crimes committed – that there was pay-to-play, that this was corruption.
“They got caught,” he said. “The emails are now confirming what Breitbart has been reporting, what was in Clinton Cash a year ago. These emails are now confirming that what we were suspicious was going on was, in fact, directly going on.” Schweizer added, “So I don’t view this as anything other than, they’re trying to avoid the consequences of how they managed the State Department while she was secretary of state.”
“The second thing I would say is, look, this needs serious investigation,” Schweizer continued. “We need to have an independent counsel look into this. The Department of Justice has been basically squelching the FBI’s desire to look into certain aspects of how the Clinton Foundation operates.”
“They just can’t be independent. Loretta Lynch basically got her start during the Clinton administration with Bill in the 1990s,” he said of the current attorney general. “Barack Obama, her boss, has endorsed Hillary Clinton. So you’re not going to get a fair rendering from the Department of Justice.”
Schweizer maintained this was not just a story about questionable decisions by former Secretary of State Clinton, but “criminal action with pay-to-play.”
“You can’t just allow this, and wish this to go away, and pretend that it didn’t happen,” he said.
Boyle asked if the new trove of 15,000 emails Clinton failed to submit to the State Department, as required by law, might include evidence that the Secretary of State personally rendered favors to big Clinton Foundation donors, rather than her top aides providing such services.
“I think the first thing we have to realize is that she, Hillary Clinton, signed a legal affidavit to the State Department, when she left, when she turned over what she said were all the emails, saying, ‘I am turning over all the emails,’” Schweizer noted. “She has now completely perjured herself, as regards to that affidavit, and that oath that she took on turning over the emails.”
Furthermore, he imagined that in “those 15,000 emails, there’s a lot of information to be gleaned.” He stated, “But I think that if it’s our hope that there’s going to be an explicit quid pro quo in these emails, we’re not going to see it.”
“The Clintons are more sophisticated than that. They are highly trained lawyers. They’re smart. They know how to parse words. We’ve seen that in the past,” Schweizer said. Elaborating, he asserted:
So I think what we are likely to see again are names, dates, specific subjects in which somebody explicitly says, “I need help on this.” But I don’t think that the Clintons – or, in this case, Hillary or her aides – will write back explicitly, you know, “Favor done.” I think it’s going to be more opaque than that.
However, he observed that the legal standard did not require “an email that shows a quid pro quo.”
This is one of the big myths that the Clinton team has pushed, which is that unless there’s an explicit quid pro quo, there’s nothing to see here. That’s not the legal standard at all, and there are lots of politicians that are being prosecuted, or that are in jail, based on pay-to-play, money for favors deals where there is no “smoking gun,” per se.
Schweizer anticipated the rest of the newly revealed Clinton emails would be “very, very interesting and very, very helpful.” He added, however, “But I think they’re too smart to put in writing an explicit quid pro quo.”
He said the question of a special prosecutor for Clinton comes down to “political will, particularly on Capitol Hill.”
“Look, the President obviously has to go along with an independent counsel. They’re the ones that ultimately appoint them,” he observed, then added:
But Barack Obama’s not going to do this out of the kindness of his heart. He’s not gonna do it out of a sense of justice. He’s got a lot of political capital tied up with Hillary Rodham Clinton running as president and being president, so it really comes down to, on Capitol Hill – Capitol Hill has to press the Obama administration, press them firmly, and basically insist that this appointment be made.
“They do have the power of the purse. There are things they can say and things they can do. The question is, do they have the political will to do it?” Schweizer asked. He continued:
I think that, up until this point, when it’s come to Capitol Hill and Hillary Clinton, they’ve been kind of lukewarm on these issues. The hearings on Benghazi, I think, were very interesting, but on a lot of this pay-to-play stuff, they have been very late to the game, and they’ve been somewhat lukewarm in pursuing it.
I don’t know if it’s that some of them have similar things in their own backgrounds that would cause trouble, or that they just don’t want to have a bruising fight that they fear they’re going to lose, but it’s really going to come down to Capitol Hill pressing the administration and insisting on an independent counsel to be appointed. Otherwise, there’s no way we’re going to get even remotely close to that.
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