Schweizer: Clinton Reversed Course on India Policy After Donations

Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer said that Hillary Clinton reversed course on the export of US nuclear technology to India after “a number of Indian interests, including an Indian politician that admits now that his donation to the Clinton Foundation wasn’t even his money” on Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

Schweizer said he had found “a pattern of behavior…the proof is, you look at a series of actions in which money flows to the Clintons, either through speaking fees or Clinton Foundation donors. Hillary Clinton takes a course of action that benefits those donors, in many cases, I think, outlined in the book, she is reversing course on policy prescriptions.”

He explained, “so, you had in 1998 the Indian government conducted nuclear tests, Bill Clinton imposed restrictions on the export of US nuclear technology, because this violated the nonproliferation treaty, Hillary Clinton supported that position. In 2005, the Indian government wanted those restrictions lifted. Hillary Clinton at that time supported a killer amendment to stop that from happening. After 2005, a number of Indian interests, including an Indian politician that admits now that his donation to the Clinton Foundation wasn’t even his money, those donations flowed. In 2008, she reverses course, and supports the export of US nuclear technology. And by the way, her her top aides Bob Einhorn, and others, her top advisers on nonproliferation, were still opposed to that agreement.”

Schweizer added another example, “Hillary Clinton’s State Department did the review on the Keystone Pipeline. Bill Clinton had never given a speech before for TD Bank in Canada. As this review is going on, he does $2 million worth of speeches for TD Bank. Four months after he gets paid for the last speech, the State Department comes out with environmental impact supporting the Keystone Pipeline. Why does this matter? TD Bank is the largest shareholder in the Keystone Pipeline. These patterns get repeated again and again and again, and I think they deserve further investigation.”

When asked if there was anything “indictable” that he had uncovered, Schweizer responded, “I’m not a lawyer, and I say that clearly in the book. I’m not a lawyer, I’m an author. I don’t have subpoena power. I can’t look into Hillary Clinton’s mind. I certainly can’t look at her emails. I don’t have any of those capabilities. But I would compare it to like insider trading, when they prosecute people for insider trading, lots of times they don’t have a smoking gun, but they see a series of well-timed trades.”

Mike Barncile then asked Schweizer about telecommunications company Ericsson, “April 2011, Ericsson’s named in a State Department report for supplying telecom equipment for the oppressive regime in Belarus. Further on down now, on November 12th, 2011, Bill appeared at a telecom conference in Hong Kong, paid for — he was paid by Ericsson $750,000, and talked in general terms about the role the that telecom plays in our lives. One week later, on November 19th, the State Department unveiled its new sanctions list for Iran, telecom was not on the list. Now are you implying that the State Department sprung into action in seven days?”

Schweizer answered, “I’m not, no. I’m not implying that. What I’m saying there, and I show numerous examples. Ericsson, for example, had never paid Bill Clinton to give a speech before. His average speaking fee before Hillary became Secretary of State is about $190,000. Suddenly, out of the blue, while they are named in State Department reports, and there’s several examples, not just the one you cited involving Ericsson and the State Department, they suddenly in the midst of all that decide to pay him $750,000. Is there evidence of a quid pro quo in that case? No, I’m not saying that, but it should be troubling for us that the day of January 2009, Bill Clinton’s speaking fees from foreign overseas interests, governments and corporations, triples, triples. Did he become more eloquent all of a sudden? I doubt it…I think it’s because his wife became Secretary of State and they were glad to take the money.”

Schweizer, when asked what his “end game” is, stated that he simply wants more investigation by other people. He added “what I would point out, though, is the standard that there’s no quid pro quo. If you look at the former Governor of Virginia, who was prosecuted, if you look at Senator Menendez, there’s no quid pro quo, and yet they were prosecuted because there were contributions or payments or gifts given to public officials with the perception, or the belief that there was going to be given something in exchange.”

Host Mika Brzezinski then wondered about the State Department’s “understanding” regarding Bill Clinton’s activities, Schweizer said “Bill Clinton’s speeches were supposed to go under review or vetting by the State Department. I’ve looked at those letters. They came out via FOIA, and what you find is that they never rejected a single speech by Bill Clinton.”

Brzezinski then asked, “so, the State Department allowed it?” Schweizer agreed, “yes, the State Department allowed it, but it was –” before he let Brzezinski finish the question she had started asking, “you say, of even greater concern, this is the setup for the whole book, is that foreign policy players giving money to the Clintons include foreign governments in countries like Russia, India, and United Arab Emirates, where there are major foreign policy issues at stake. There is nothing clearly illegal about these payments, but their source, size and timing raise serious questions. Your book is questions. I just wonder how does that not be interpreted as clearly political? There’s nothing here that’s evidence of illegality.”

Schweizer argued back, “I don’t think the standard at NBC News, or any news organization would be that we only report things when we have evidence of illegality. I think, if you see a pattern of behavior –” to which Brzezinski responded, “I can question the timing of your book. She just announced a run for president.” Schweizer responded, “this book has been in the works more than a year. So, I did not, certainly, coordinate this with her launch of her campaign.” Brzezinski wondered, “did you go after the State Department?”

Fellow host Joe Scarborough then jumped in, “I don’t get this. I’ll be really honest. I’m looking around here, and I don’t get this. I’m certainly — I mean, if Peter’s been reckless, go ahead and say he’s been reckless. But I worked with guys in Congress that went golfing like one or two times in Ireland, and then six months later, put a bill on the floor of the House, and they went to jail, and we’re sitting here going, ‘wait a second, wait, no, maybe he just got paid three times the amount. Maybe Belarus or telecom companies, or maybe this.’ Come on, we’re not naive babes in the woods. And I know you’re playing this game of ‘I’m going to be a tough professional journalist,’ and that’s really awesome. But Mika, Bob McDonnell, let’s look [at] what Bob McDonnell did, what Bob McDonnell did pales in comparison to what’s in this book. And what Bob Menendez did pales in comparison to this book. The Clintons have made $150 million over the past decade because of contacts they made during public service. I will now sit back and let you go ahead and ask those tough questions. I’m just curious, though, why are the Clintons held to a standard that Bob McDonnell’s not held to, that Bob Menendez is not held to, that all of these congressmen that get thrown into jail for going on a — going to a Redskins game or going on a golf trip, compared to $150 million.”

Brzezinski then asked Scarborough, “the golfing trips, your friends in Congress, who called them out on that, and who held them accountable?” Scarborough answered, “what do you mean? The Justice Department did.” She then said, “it wasn’t Peter Schweizer, it was the Justice Department.”

Scarborough replied, “are you saying that news — that newspapers and reporters shouldn’t — shouldn’t go out and report on this? Because I’ll tell you, when Peter Schweizer was talking about Congress insider trading we had him on the set, ‘great job, way to go, you’re great, you’ve called this out.’ ’60 Minutes’ had him on there, ‘great job.’ But it’s the Clintons and suddenly, ‘oh, my God, let’s bow down before Bill and Hillary because if we ask the same questions of them that we ask of every other politician, then oh, my God, we have crossed a line.’ It’s like that — part in ‘Indiana Jones’ where you cross the line and the rock comes after you, and you’ve got to run fast because you dare crossed the Clintons’ line, who made, may I add, $150 million. While dudes get thrown in jail for going on a golf trip in Ireland, and the weather probably even sucked. So, I don’t really understand the shock and awe here.”

Brzezinski then responded, “I am questioning what you have based this book on because I think it helps hash out the questions that are in the book. But I’m also pushing you a little bit because you know what, no one has found anything that is proof of illegality. I think there is perhaps rules that have been bent. I’m curious as to why they are bent for the Secretary of State and her spouse and not other people in the State Department. I want to know if you questioned the Obama administration about this. I would like to hear the answers to those questions.”

Schweizer told her that,, “we contacted a lot of people for comment and input on this….and really no responses whatsoever, from any of the investors, from the Clintons, and others, etc. The bottom line is that the Clintons signed a memorandum of understanding with Valerie Jarrett and with President Obama’s transition team, that they were going to correspond with a certain number of agreements, including the disclosure of all contributions,” which he added did not happen and that he had proof of it. Brzezinski did concede “that’s important.”

Schweizer concluded by saying that if he could ask the Clintons one question, he would “did you consider the e-mails related to the Clinton Foundation the private ones that were deleted? There’s a lot of transactional behavior in the book, and it relates to far flung corners of the world, that I would love to see e-mails, or information related to any correspondence they had, related to major Clinton Foundation supporters, people sponsoring speeches, and official actions that were taken.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett