‘Clinton Cash’ Author to Debut Documentary at Cannes

Interview: Peter Schweizer says email scandal a ‘symptom of the larger problem’

/ AP
• May 12, 2016 3:40 pm


Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, is heading to France for the Cannes Film Festival to debut a documentary based off his best-selling book, which is sure to bring the Clinton Foundation back to the forefront of the news this election season. 

In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Schweizer said the FBI investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server is just a "symptom" of the larger problem of the Clinton's using their political power for personal gain.

"It really is a topic that goes to the heart and soul of why people are so frustrated and angry at Washington, which is this perception that politicians go in with relatively modest means and they come out fabulously wealthy," Schweizer said. "And the Clinton’s have done that, there’s no logical explanation other than that they have monetized public service in a massive way."

The documentary is based on the bombshell book, which found dozens of examples of favorable deals between donors of the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, then headed by Mrs. Clinton. The film is being shown in New York City Thursday evening before a special distributor screening at Cannes later this month.

The FBI is wrapping up its investigation into whether classified information was mishandled on the Clinton’s private server. Mrs. Clinton exclusively used a private email account during her tenure as Secretary of State, and her staff determined which of her 55,000 pages of emails were personal or work related to hand over to the government. The State Department recently said emails of the IT specialist who set up the server are "missing."

"If you have the open questions of why did they go to the trouble of setting up the server, why did they want to prevent so many emails from coming out through [Freedom of Information Act] FOIA requests, the only explanation is that they wanted to cover up political or commercial communication that was taking place," Schweizer said.

"To me, the email scandal is really a symptom of the larger problem, which is the way in which the Clintons have always interspersed money and power," he said.

Schweizer faulted the media for failing to ask Mrs. Clinton about the details uncovered in his book, including reporting corroborated by the New York Times. A report last year found that Clinton’s State Department signed off on a deal brokered by Canadian mining industry leaders who were Clinton Foundation donors. The deal gave Russia control of 20 percent of uranium production in the United States.

"This is a story that was front page of the New York Times, a 4,000-word piece where they confirmed the details of the story, they confirmed that there were these hidden donations that the Clintons hadn’t disclosed," he said. "She was asked about it once, in June by a local television reporter in New Hampshire. But nobody from the mainstream media, nobody from the national press has asked her a single question about that. To me that’s kind of stunning."

The documentary is one of two premiering at film festivals this year that could prove damaging to Mrs. Clinton’s White House bid. Weiner, an inside look at the failed New York City mayoral campaign of infamous sexter Anthony Weiner, the husband of Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin, debuted at Sundance. The film, which hits theaters next week, "couldn’t come at a worse time" for Mrs. Clinton, ABC News said.

Schweizer said Clinton Cash, which was written and produced by Stephen K. Bannon, will appeal to conservatives as well as an unlikely audience: Bernie Sanders supporters.

"I think a lot of people that will see the film, if you are a conservative Republican you’ll see the film and you’ll agree," he said. "I also think though that if you are a Bernie Sanders liberal you will watch this film and you will be equally outraged, if not more so."

"Because the basic premise of the film is that all of the things that the Clintons profess are so important to them, whether it’s the environment, labor rights, or women’s rights, they have chosen to monetize relationships with people who reject or run contrary to all of those values," Schweizer said. "And they have actually helped those individuals to enrich themselves by running counter to those values."

"We want people of all political stripes to watch the film because we just think it’s important for them to see the transactional way in which the Clintons have operated," he said. "And how they have aligned themselves with incredibly nefarious people, doing some pretty nasty stuff around the world."

The film includes additional information that came to light after the book was released including segments on Bill Clinton’s speaking fees to foreign countries and companies, which skyrocketed after his wife became secretary of state.

"The Clinton position is that these people are giving this money out of the kindness of their hearts and for educational purposes," Schweizer said. "That’s why they’re paying these astronomical fees for these speeches. I think most people are sophisticated enough to know that there is a lot more to it than that."

Schweizer said he believes the revelations have hurt Mrs. Clinton’s honest and trustworthy numbers, and could continue to hurt her in the fall.

"Her numbers for dishonesty have gone through the roof this year," he said. "And I’m convinced it’s because people remember things from the past and people have a sense that she’s not being straight with them. But when you lay out the pattern of behavior, it becomes impossible to explain away."

Schweizer is not expecting everyone to receive the film well, as critics have followed the lead of the Clinton campaign, who denounced the book as "absurd conspiracy theories." He has even taken additional security precautions for the trip to Cannes.

"I think as much as team Clinton tries to paint me or paint the book as a sort of hysterical, out of control attack, all we simply do is give a timeline and explain a story, a true story, of something that’s happened, and we let people draw their own conclusions," he said. "That tone, you’ll find, is the same in the film. There’s no doubt that there are going to be attacks and criticisms.

"But we believe ultimately that the quality of the material and the quality of the film will win people over. You have to think that, or else why do it?"