by Betsy McCaughey | May 18, 2016 12:02 am
When Bill and Hillary Clinton moved out of the White House 15 years ago, they were “dead broke,” said Hillary Clinton. Today, they’re worth up to $150 million. A new documentary, “Clinton Cash,” reveals how they went from broke to filthy rich, with an emphasis on filthy.
The Clintons have made out like bandits compared with another political couple, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The McDonnells were convicted of accepting over $150,000 in gifts while in office from a businessman. The Clintons raked in seven hundred times that amount — $105 million — under the pretext of speaking fees while Hillary Clinton was in public office. Yet the McDonnells face time in the big house, while the Clintons are aiming for the White House
“Clinton Cash” is based on a book by former Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer that has withstood a year of intense scrutiny by critics. It’s fact, not fiction, and the facts are compelling.
The documentary whisks you to corrupt places around the globe where the Clintons personally pocketed six-figure speaking fees or collected billions for their family foundation. How? Trading on Hillary Clinton’s position as secretary of state and possible future presidency. They sold out to titans, dictators and shady characters in Nigeria, the Congo, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, not to mention Goldman Sachs and TD Bank.
Along the way, the Clintons betrayed values they profess on the campaign trail, — human rights, environmentalism and democracy. Schweizer plans a screening to coincide with the Democratic National Convention — to show the party faithful how the Clintons sabotaged liberal principles to amass a fortune.
The Clintons earned the bulk of their money from speaking fees. How could making millions be that simple? It’s not. When Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, it’s suggested that countries and companies hiring him to speak counted on getting more than Bill Clinton — they wanted what his wife had to offer.
For example, a Nigerian newspaper publisher tied to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (anything but democratic) paid Bill a whopping $1.4 million to deliver two speeches in 2011 and 2012. The Clintons closed their eyes to the human rights abuses by Nigeria’s brutal president Goodluck Jonathan.
Instead, Secretary Clinton made an official visit to Nigeria in 2012, congratulating Jonathan on his nonexistent “reform efforts.” American legitimacy bestowed at a bargain price. Just the opposite of what Human Rights Watch had implored Secretary Clinton to do.
Here’s another: TD Bank never paid Bill Clinton to speak during his first eight years out of the White House. But in 2009, four days after Hillary Clinton was nominated secretary of state, Bill Clinton made the first of a string of speeches for which TD Bank paid almost $2 million — an astounding amount.
And guess what? TD Bank was the single largest shareholder in the Keystone XL pipeline, which required State Department approval. Lo and behold, Hillary Clinton decided to support the pipeline — a heresy to environmentalists — and delayed the Obama administration’s rejection of it.
Coincidence? There’s no smoking gun proving those speaking fees came with promises in return. But Schweizer says the evidence points to a pattern of conduct that other politicians would never get away with. They’re sent to jail for less.
Like the McDonnells, convicted of corruption for accepting a Rolex and other luxuries from a businessman. Their lawyers argue they’re innocent because they merely opened doors. They never expressly said, “Pay me and I’ll do what you want.”
The McDonnells appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where their conviction may be overturned. The Clintons must be watching intently. Chief Justice Roberts suggested that politicians shouldn’t be convicted of corruption unless there’s proof of a quid pro quo.
That might be a good rule for courts. But voters can smell the corruption in pay-to-play politics. That’s why on Election Day they should vote against the Queen of the Crooked, Hillary Clinton.
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of “Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution.”
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