Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich is a 2015 New York Times bestselling book by Peter Schweizer, in which he investigates donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities, paid speeches made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the state of the Clintons’ finances since leaving the White House in 2001. It was published by Broadside Books, a division of HarperCollins. It has been adapted into both a film and a graphic novel.
linton Cash is an investigation of the foreign benefactors of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
It investigates alleged connections between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton’s work at the State Department.
The book argues that the Clinton family accepted lavish donations and speaking fees from foreign donors at times when the State Department was considering whether to award large contracts to groups and people affiliated with those donors.
The book has eleven chapters. Some chapters focus on particular transactions or deals, such as the creation of UrAsia Energy and Uranium One in Kazakhstan, and the connection shareholders had and have to the Clintons. Other chapters focus on a broader set of relationships, particularly with regard to Bill Clinton’s paid speeches during the years Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, and whether those paying for his speeches had significant business before the State Department.
Schweizer dubs the Clintons’ blend of government service and private remuneration the “Clinton blur.”
The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News were granted exclusive agreements with the book’s author to pursue the story lines found in the book.
The Times faced considerable criticism for this arrangement from both its readers and from other media outlets.
The paper’s own public editor, Margaret Sullivan, said the arrangement was “troubling” and lacked transparency.Salon wrote that Schweizer was not a responsible journalist and that the arrangement showed that right-wing forces were luring the mainstream press into giving attention to gossip and innuendo much as they had during various supposed Clinton controversies of the 1990s.
In addition,Media Matters criticized these two newspapers for failing to report in a timely fashion on inaccuracies that had been discovered in the book.
The day the book was published, Hillary Clinton’s campaign set up a portal called “The Briefing” on its official website. The Briefing is designed to rebut the allegations made in Schweizer’s book. Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, wrote: “The book has zero evidence to back up its outlandish claims…While we will not be consumed by these kinds of attacks, we will also not let them go unchallenged.”
Various spokespeople for the Clintons disputed the book’s allegations.,
e.g. concerning the charges that Clinton was paid for speeches by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien of Digicel in exchange for help in securing telecommunications contracts in Haiti in 2010.
Clinton Cash debuted at number two on the New York Times Best Seller list. In its first week it sold 31,000 copies and was also second on the Nielsen BookScan ranking for adult nonfiction.
n all the book stayed on the Times bestseller list for five weeks and according to Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, has sold some 200,000 copies (it is unclear if this figure is accurate).
A paperback edition of the book released in 2016 made the relevant Times best seller list as well.
Critical reaction and actions taken
Writing for The Washington Post, academic and political activist (and brief 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential primary opponent of Hillary Clinton) Lawrence Lessig wrote “On any fair reading, the pattern of behavior that Schweizer has charged is corruption.”
Ed Pilkington, writing for The Guardian, described the book as “an unrestrained attack on the former president and first lady.” Pilkington notes that several of the claims in the book have been proven factually false. According to Pilkington, Schweizer does not prove corruption on the part of the Clintons, nor does he provide any evidence.
James Freeman reviewed the book for The Wall Street Journal, writing that “Almost every page of the fascinating Clinton Cash…will be excruciating reading for partisans on both sides of the aisle”.
Following publication and in reaction to areas where it said improvements were warranted, the Clinton Foundation said it would put into place some new procedures for better financial reporting and that it would limit some kinds of foreign donations.
Several weeks after the book’s initial publication, Harper Collins and the author made several corrections to the Kindle edition of the book. Schweizer corrected “seven or eight” passages that were revealed to be inaccurate after the book was released.
In May 2016, a film adaptation of the book, funded by co-founder of Government Accountability Institute and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon (soon to become CEO of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016), was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film’s U.S. premiere was scheduled for July 24 in Philadelphia (ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention there) and the film had a limited release in four other major U.S. cities in early August.
The release has not gained enough attention from professional reviewers to gain scores on either the Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic websites. On that same day, Breitbart News uploaded the film onto YouTube.
A graphic novel adaptation of the book, written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Brett R. Smith, was released by Regnery Publishing on August 8, 2016.
In late summer 2016 this graphic adaptation placed itself atop the Times best seller list for the Hardcover Graphic format.