Brent Budowsky: The ‘Clinton Cash’ con

Brent Budowsky: The ‘Clinton Cash’ con
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This week has brought the long awaited and dramatically overhyped publication of Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich — a title that reads like a negative campaign ad!

First, let me state my conclusion: Comparing known and undisputed facts with the innuendo-laced suggestion that the book reveals Bill and/or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE performed even one wrongful act leads me to conclude that this project is a politically motivated con.

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Even Schweizer, interviewed to promote his book, claims there is a need to begin more investigations to see whether any wrongful acts were committed, which he admits his own investigation failed to prove. Schweizer is not Sherlock Holmes catching the villain in the act!

Schweizer would have been better advised, pecuniary interests aside, to have forgone publishing a book and turned his findings over to the partisan, taxpayer-subsidized House Select Committee on Benghazi, whose sole purpose seems to be permanently investigating Hillary Clinton, pursuing her the way Inspector Javert pursued Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

Clinton Cash proved two things we already knew: that Bill and Hillary Clinton raise a lot of money, and that Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. What Schweizer-as-Holmes fails to prove, and House Republicans-as-Javert have failed to prove throughout their inquisitions against Clinton, is that anything wrong was done.

Any suggestion that this book proves even one act of wrongdoing is an outright con. It does not.

Everything discussed in the book should be objectively reported by serious media, including the fact that it proves no wrongdoing.

Media coverage of this book has not been a high point in the history of journalism, including by The New York Times, whose reporter, Amy Chozick, wrote that the book is “potentially more unsettling” (whatever that means) because news organizations, including the Times, have “exclusive agreements with the author” (whatever that means).

These “exclusive agreements” should be fully and publicly detailed in writing by The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News.

Similarly, as it is fair game to report about any donations to the Clinton Foundation, it is equally fair game for the Times and other news organizations to report about whether there have been donations to Schweizer’s Government Accountability Institute from large ideological conservative or politically partisan donors. Should a partisan conservative Republican such as Schweizer attack donations to the Clintons, which they disclose, without disclosing his own donors?

Finally, how about detailed reporting about the great number of good works the Clinton Foundation performs around the world to help the poor, the needy and the hurting? In fact, the foundation itself promotes income equality by raising money from the super wealthy and using it to lift the lives of the extremely poor, which is powerfully relevant to the kind of president Hillary Clinton would be.

Among Democrats, the book has backfired. Democrats are more solidly behind the former first lady than ever, and as the Times reported Wednesday in a story about a recent New York Times/CBS poll: “Americans now view Mrs. Clinton more favorably and more see her as a strong leader than they did earlier in the year, despite weeks of scrutiny about her ethics.”

It is possible that the 2016 election will show there is a Teflon quality to Bill and Hillary Clinton. She can certainly be defeated in 2016, but it will not be because of hit job cons written by partisan authors with ulterior motives in books of innuendo that reveal no wrongdoing.

Yesterday, I wrote that the teachings of Pope Francis, the world’s most admired public figure, give an enormous lift to liberals championing equal pay, income equality, action to combat climate change, programs to reduce poverty, immigration reform and preferring diplomacy to war when possible.

If Hillary Clinton champions these causes, the Clinton Cash con will soon be forgotten, as it should be.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.