Monday night on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because “corruption has consequences,” and added that the continuous narrative of pay to play at the Clinton Foundation, former President Bill Clinton’s speaking fees and the email scandal bothered voters.
Partial transcript as follows:
BOLLING: Joining me now to remind liberals just why Hillary Clinton lost the election is the author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” Mr. Peter Schweizer. Peter thanks for joining us. Let me start with this. How rich are Bill and Hillary Clinton?
PETER SCHWEIZER, “CLINTON CASH” AUTHOR: Well, they’ve made about $250 million since they left the White House, which if you compare that to other ex-presidents, that’s maybe eight times what any other previous ex- president has made. So they’re very wealthy, and they’ve taken in a whole lot more than anybody else has in their position.
BOLLING: OK, Peter, that’s amazing. First of all, that’s — that’s almost blows my mind, eight times any other former president. But is it corruption? Is it cronyism? And by the way, are either and all or both of these illegal?
SCHWEIZER: Yes. I think there was a lot of illegal activity. Look, I think if you were to give a subtitle to this election, it’s that corruption has consequences. People don’t like corruption. If you look at the surveys, the exit surveys, three out of four Americans believe there was wide spread corruption in D.C.
So when Hillary Clinton, whether it’s the Clinton Foundation, whether it’s Bill’s speaking fees, whether it’s the e-mail scandal, when people hear about that repeatedly, it bothers them. And the Democrats don’t seem to think it did bother people.
But look, far before the hacking took place, going back into 2015, some 70 percent of the American people did not trust Hillary Clinton to be honest and trustworthy. And that has major consequences, particularly when independents vote.
BOLLING: OK, let’s talk a little bit about the money coming in and the money going out. Start with the money coming in. A lot of pay-to-play accusations — tell us about whether it’s legal or illegal, some of the activities that may be questionable.
SCHWEIZER: Well, if you perform a favor for somebody in exchange for money, whether it’s explicit or not, that is a crime. And whether that goes to a charity you control, like the Clinton Foundation, or ends up in your pocket, it’s a crime. If you look at something like…
BOLLING: A crime punishable by what?
SCHWEIZER: By going to jail. It’s — it’s — it’s a violation. If you are a federal government employee, whether you’re the president of the United States or someone else, to do a favor, an official government favor, in exchange for somebody (sic) else, the notion of pay-to-play. Now, proving that is not always easy, but you can prove it sometimes, of course, if you have a videotaped confession or if you catch something on audio, the FBI is listening in. You can also, though, be charged, as happened to Senator Menendez…
BOLLING: But they use these shell corporations and these kind of…
BOLLING: … brokers for the money to go into these areas, and then it comes back to them. Is that enough I guess — well, plausible deniability for them?
SCHWEIZER: Oh, absolutely, it’s plausible deniability. But if you look at the recent prosecutions, whether it’s former governor of Virginia, you look at the former governor of Alabama, who’s in jail right now, you look at Senator Menendez — in none of those cases was there an explicit quid pro quo or was there a videotape or an audiotape. It was all based on money flowed and favors were given in return.
So the notion that the Clintons didn’t do anything illegal is incorrect. And that’s why you have five offices, field offices of the FBI investigating the Clinton Foundation, and they’ve been doing it since last year.
BOLLING: Right. I have only about a minute left, so that’s the money coming in, still questionable, and I guess these FBI offices will continue to investigate. The money going out — are they abusing the way they’re spending the money of the Clinton Foundation?
SCHWEIZER: Oh, absolutely. And you don’t have to go any further than the internal evaluation that was done for them by Simpson Thacher, the law firm that Chelsea requested. And in that review they asked Clinton Foundation employees to rate the effectiveness of the charity and the way it spent money on a scale of one to 10. Clinton Foundation employees gave it a four for effectiveness. Some employees gave it a one. That internal review, by the way, Eric, also said that they found evidence of quid pro quo expectations between donors and the Clintons. So it is a settled case that the Clinton Foundation was ineffective and that there was pay-to-play. You don’t need to go anywhere else than that internal review.
BOLLING: I want to stay on these outflow of funds for the foundation. Someone has got to pay for the travel. Someone has got to pay for the restaurant. Someone has to pay for the security. Should the Clinton Foundation be paying for all the Clintons and their whole family structure to be living this lifestyle?
SCHWEIZER: No. What they do is sort of double bill. So Bill Clinton takes a trip to India, and it may be business related. He may be giving a speech. But because he has a conversation with somebody there about the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Foundation picks up the travel tab. No, it’s not appropriate. And the IRS needs to look at the tax status and how they’ve spent money and the activities of the Clinton Foundation as well. That’s a huge problem. They spent $50 million in travel over the course of five years, much of it paying for the luxurious travel of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
BOLLING: Wow. We’re going to leave it right here. Peter Schweizer, thank you very much.
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