You might think that by now, “Blockbuster Clinton allegations on the way!” wouldn’t exactly be a headline to rouse breathless anticipation in anyone who isn’t already a committed Republican. But as we have now learned, there’s a new book coming out that supposedly could transform the presidential race with charges of corruption involving the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
Color me skeptical, to say the least, but here’s what the New York Times reports:
“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer — a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities — is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy.
The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.
“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.
His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.
The book won’t be released until May 5, and unfortunately, that last paragraph is all that’s been said publicly about the specifics of what it contains. But the essence of its argument seems to be that Bill and Hillary were running a corrupt operation: foreign interests would give money to the Clinton Foundation, and in return would get favorable treatment from the State Department. When the book comes out, we’re going to have to be very careful to sift through its charges to see what’s actually troubling and what’s based on coincidence and conjecture. When it comes to allegations about the Clintons, the media doesn’t exactly have a good track record of making these distinctions.