WASHINGTON -- It turns out that 17 years ago Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was lucky that, at the end of his long pursuit of President Bill Clinton, he could fasten upon a DNA sample left by the president on Monica Lewinsky's dress to prove that Clinton was lying when he said, "I did not have sexual relations with woman, Miss Lewinsky." Otherwise Starr might still be pursuing the wily ex-president.
At the beginning of "Clinton Cash," an excruciatingly thorough investigation of the Clintons' massive accumulation of wealth ($136.5 million since Hillary said they were "dead broke"), Peter Schweizer describes how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waived or ignored department restrictions on the Clintons' cosmopolitan circle of donors. Schweizer writes: "Any serious journalist or investigator will tell you that proving corruption by a political figure is extremely difficult." What a shame that "journalists and investigators" could not come across a DNA sample proving Bill and Hillary had lied about, say, that State Department concession to the Russians over their purchase and shipment of American uranium. The Russians needed her approval, as did dozens of other dubious recipients of State Department concessions. With scientific proof of wrongdoing in hand, both Clintons could be indicted. Possibly they will be indicted, but a DNA sample would have made it so much easier. Ask Ken Starr.
As Schweizer says, he has established many patterns of misconduct between the donation of millions of dollars to the Clintons' foundation and to Bill's speaking fees ($500,000 about 10 times! $700,000 once in Nigeria! Millions more in smaller tranches!), all demonstrating the Clintons' prehensile ways. With Schweizer's help, investigative journalists at The New York Times and The Washington Post are on the case. Still, after reading this book I am astounded that the Clintons were not caught earlier. In my book "The Clinton Crack-Up," I laid bare the millions of dollars that Bill had hauled in during his first five years on the tour, but since then Schweizer proves Bill's fees ballooned with Hillary's arrival at State. Why did we have to wait for Schweizer to document this?
Moreover, why did no other journalists notice Bill's complicity with infamous tyrants like Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and proven crooks like Gilbert Chagoury whose donations to the Democratic National Committee began in 1996 and who has sponsored Bill's speeches and committed $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative? The Clintons have placed at least four foreign-born figures on the Foundation's board of trustees who have been charged with or convicted of financial crimes, namely Vinod Gupta, Sant Chatwal, Victor Dahdaleh, and Rolando Gonzalez-Bunster. Schweizer asks, "Is there another foundation anywhere in the world that has faced similar problems?" The answer is no.
"During Hillary's years of public service," Schweizer writes, "the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions (either as private citizens or government officials) with foreign governments, corporations, and private financers." As a consequence, the Clintons have become rich and their Foundation is worth a whopping $2 billion. Yet through this enormous accumulation of wealth the world has become more dangerous. There is the Russians' control of worldwide uranium and their concomitant advances in nuclear technology. There is India's thwarting of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which President Clinton once greeted with sanctions but ex-President Clinton, after receiving millions in donations from Indians -- often corrupt Indians -- has reversed himself on along with Hillary. Finally there are the dictators around the world who are welcomed to Clinton Foundation events, people like Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Perhaps you can imagine their donations going to the Clintons' noble causes, but can you hear the bones breaking in their prisons?
Schweizer reports on Clintons' enormous graft and corruption in this book. The Times, the Post and Fox News are following up on his stories. Maybe he has a number wrong here or a date wrong there. After all, "Clinton Cash" has been an arduous undertaking. But I know the picture he has drawn is essentially true and the case indictable. The fact is that the Clintons have been acting in this way ever since their Arkansas days. There never has been a family like this in American history, not the Longs of Louisiana, not the scamps at Tammany Hall. The Clintons are a first, and with the help of journalists and then investigators they could be the last.