Media Admit Schweizer Reporting Contains “No Smoking Gun”

Serial misinformer and GOP activist Peter Schweizer's forthcoming book Clinton Cash speculates that Clinton Foundation donors may have influenced State Department activities during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Consistent with the author's long history of shoddy reporting, media are highlighting how the book presents “little evidence” and “no smoking gun” proving that speculation.

Serial Misinformer Peter Schweizer To Release New Anti-Clinton Book

Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary RichTo Be Released May 5. On May 5, HarperCollins Publishers will release Clinton Cash, which the publisher described as: “Meticulously researched and scrupulously sourced, filled with headline-making revelations, Clinton Cash raises serious questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and ultimately, of fitness for high public office.” [HarperCollins.com, accessed 4/23/15, via Media Matters]

Schweizer Is A GOP Activist, Former Bush Speechwriter

Schweizer Worked For The Bush White House As A Speechwriting Consultant From 2008-2009. [PeterSchweizer.com, accessed 3/26/15, via Media Matters]

Sarah Palin Hired Schweizer To Advise Her On Foreign Policy. Schweizer received $106,250 from Palin's Sarah PAC in 2011-2012, according to Federal Election Commission records. [The New York Times, 5/25/11; FEC.gov, accessed 3/27/15, via Media Matters]

Schweizer Speaks At Republican Party Fundraisers, Conservative Groups. Schweizer headlined 2012 Republican fundraisers for the Wakulla Republican Committee in Florida and the Republicans of Hoboken in New Jersey. He has also spoken to conservative groups and conferences, including the Charles Koch Institute, the 2012 National Conservative Student Conference, and the 2015 Conservative Leadership Conference. [WakullaCountyChamber.com, accessed 3/25/15; The Jersey Journal, 3/28/12; YouTube, 2/10/14; CSPAN, 8/3/12; Sched.org, accessed 3/26/15, via Media Matters]

Schweizer Has A History Of Shoddy Reporting

Media Matters Analysis Found 10 Incidents Of Significant Errors, Retractions, Or Questionable Sourcing By Schweizer. Reporters and fact checkers have excoriated Schweizer for massive factual problems over the years. A Media Matters analysis found at least 10 separate incidents in which the media called out Schweizer for botching his reporting.

The following is how reporters have described Schweizer's work: “Incorrect,” “inaccurate,” “bogus,” “a fatal shortcoming in Journalism 101,” “the facts didn't stand up,” “unfair and inaccurate,” “specious argument,” “there was nothing there,” “suspicious,” “the facts don't fit,” facts “do not check out,” sources “do not exist or cannot be tracked down,” “confusion and contradiction,” “discrepancies,” “admitted a mistake,” “neither journalism nor history,” “a polemic so unchecked ... that we can't tell the fact from the fiction,” sources “have clearly used him,” and “tacitly conced[ed] he was wrong.” [Media Matters, 4/20/2015]

Media Find “Little Evidence” To Support Schweizer's Clinton Cash Allegations

Politico: “Schweizer Presents Little Evidence That Clinton's Support Of The [Colombia] Trade Deal Was Directly Linked To” Foundation Contributions. In a chapter obtained by Politico, Schweizer reportedly implies that the Colombian business interests of Clinton Foundation donor Frank Giustra, who has pledged over $100 million, persuaded Clinton to support a 2011 free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia. However, according to Politico, Schweizer “presents little evidence” to support his implication that “there was a blurred line between Bill Clinton's charity work and Hillary Clinton's work at the State Department -- ultimately leading to her support of the trade deal.” [Politico, 4/22/15]

Time: “The Suggestion Of Outside Influence Over U.S. Decisionmaking Is Based On Little Evidence.” According to Time magazine, Schweizer's suggestion that Clinton Foundation donors wielded undue influence over the State Department's approval of Russia's Uranium One acquisition is “based on little evidence” :

The suggestion of outside influence over U.S. decisionmaking is based on little evidence -- the allegations are presented as questions rather than proof. The deal's approval was the result of an extensive interagency process that required the assent of at least nine different officials and agencies. A former State Department official who participated in the deal's approval told TIME that Clinton did not weigh in on the uranium sale one way or the other. [Time, 4/22/15]

Time: Schweizer “Offers No Indication Of Hillary Clinton's Personal Involvement In, Or Even Knowledge Of, The Deliberations.” According to Time, Schweizer offers “no indication of Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in, or even knowledge of, the deliberations.” In fact, “the State Department's role in approving the deal was part of an extensive bureaucratic process” involving multiple other federal agencies. [Time, 4/22/15]

Yahoo News: Schweizer's Chapter On Iran Sanctions Includes “No Smoking Gun.”  According to Yahoo News, Schweizer “marshals circumstantial evidence” to suggest that a telecommunications firm influenced Hillary Clinton to water down economic sanctions against Iran by paying Bill Clinton speaking fees:

In a chapter obtained by Yahoo News, Schweizer marshals circumstantial evidence to suggest that Sweden-based global telecommunications giant Ericsson effectively influenced Hillary to spare it from punishing economic sanctions for doing business with Iran by paying $750,000 to Bill Clinton to speak at a Nov. 12, 2011, telecom conference in Hong Kong. There is, however, no smoking gun. [Yahoo News, 4/22/15]

Fox's Ed Henry Admits “There's A Lot That's Murky” In The Allegations. On the April 23 edition of Fox & Friends, FoxChief White House Correspondent Ed Henry noted that Schweizer “says he can't connect all the dots,” and that “there's a lot that's murky” in his allegations about the Clinton Foundation donations. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/23/15, via Media Matters]

CNN's Cuomo: Examples In New York Times “Not Impressive.”  On the April 23 edition of CNN's New Day, co-host Chris Cuomo pointed out that “the examples that have come out so far in [The New York Times] were not that impressive.” Guest Patrick Healy of the Times agreed that the allegations were “not smoking guns.” [CNN, New Day, 4/23/15]

ABC News: Book Contains “No Proof” That Clinton Acted To Benefit Donors. An ABC News report noted that Schweizer's book “offers no proof that Hillary Clinton took any direct action to benefit the groups and interests that were paying her husband.” [ABC News, 4/23/15]