Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is highlighting a new interview with “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer as proof that his upcoming book is nothing more than a partisan smear.
“By finally admitting that he omitted key details and has no direct evidence, the author of ‘Clinton Cash’ just confirmed what many media reports had already made clear.” Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin told Business Insider on Sunday, “‘Clinton Cash’ is nothing more than a tangled web of conspiracy theories backed by no actual evidence.”
Schweizer has been generating a flood of critical headlines battering Clinton’s campaign since last Thursday, when multiple news organisations published their investigations based on his work. Schweizer’s book, out May 5, alleges that Clinton doled out State Department favours in exchange for speaking fees to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and for donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Schweizer was on the defensive on Sunday, however, when ABC News host George Stephanopoulos grilled him on the book’s ability to deliver hard evidence that Clinton broke the law. Stephanopoulos, who served in the Clinton administration, also called Schweizer out for not including a fact in his book that might have made the Clintons seem less nefarious.
“You have produced no evidence. And I still haven’t heard any direct evidence,” Stephanopoulos said at one point.
Stephanopoulos placed much of his focus on whether Schweizer had any “direct evidence” that Hillary Clinton acted improperly in one of the most headline-grabbing portions of his book. Using some of Schweizer’s information, The New York Times’ Jo Becker and Mike McIntire called attention to the State Department’s approval of a deal that sold US uranium production rights to a Russian state agency. Many of those who stood to benefit from the deal, the story said, gave millions of undisclosed dollars to the Clinton foundation at the time.
“No, we don’t have direct evidence. But it warrants further investigation because, again, George, this is part of the broader pattern. You either have to come to the conclusion that these are all coincidences or something else is afoot,” Schweizer said Sunday.
The author insisted his more circumstantial evidence, taken together, does ultimately provide a “smoking gun” that should be investigated as a potential crime. He compared his evidence to what often leads law enforcement authorities to investigate other crimes like insider trading.
“The smoking gun is in the pattern of behaviour,” he said. “Here’s the analogy I would give you. It’s a little bit like insider trading. … They look at a pattern of stock trades. If the person has access to that information and then they do a series of well-timed trades. That warrants investigation. I think the same thing applies here.”
Clinton’s allies have also aggressively attacked Schweizer as a partisan due to his work for former President George W. Bush and for his ties to a conservative-leaning website. Schweizer has not responded to requests for comment from Business Insider on their criticisms, but he told Stephanopoulos that the mainstream media investigations based on his book prove “Clinton Cash” is the real deal.
“Well, George, what did I do when this book was completed? I went to the investigative unit at The New York Times, the investigative unit here at ABC. I went to the investigative unit at The Washington Post. And I shared with them my findings,” he said. “These are not cupcakes. These are serious researchers and investigators. And they are confirming what I’ve reported.”
Watch the full ABC segment below:
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