Is it irresponsible to speculate that the Clinton Foundation took millions from a Canadian firm after the State Department signed off on selling the firm’s uranium assets to Russia? Why, the liberal NY Times says “It’s irresponsible not to.”
At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.
Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
Gosh, this seems all scary and stuff. Where did this speculation come from? A meticulously researched source, correct?
The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.
Well okay then. So, the Times, researching Schweizer’s information and doing their journalistic due diligence by taking it with an entire mine’s worth of salt based on the source’s antipathy towards the Clintons, and all but accusing Hillary Clinton of taking money for State Department favors, wouldn’t print this without solid evidence of payola, right?
Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.
Oh. So now the NY Times is working for News Corp marketing, after making a shady deal with Schweizer to print his book’s speculation as news and to advance the author’s agenda without actually being able to corroborate the accusations. The news story is literally “We think this makes Hillary look bad.” She should probably resign as Secretary of State or something.
The story behind this deal with Schweizer seems like a story that should be checked out by an actual news outlet, yes?
But it gets better. (or worse?)
You see but this is just part one of Schweizer’s plan for 24/7 irresponsible to not be speculating from all the major news outlets, because his next target is apparently Jebby according to Bloomberg’s Joshua Green.
“What we’re doing is a drill-down investigation of Jeb’s finances similar to what we did with the Clintons in terms of looking at financial dealings, cronyism, who he’s been involved with,” Schweizer told me on Thursday. “We’ve found some interesting things.”
Schweizer says he and a team of researchers have been pouring over Bush’s financial life for about four months. Among other things, they’re scrutinizing various Florida land deals, an airport deal while Bush was governor that involved state funds, and Chinese investors in Bush’s private equity funds (something I wrote about for Bloomberg last year).
As he did with the Clinton book, Schweizer is hoping to partner with media organizations interested in reporting on and advancing his examination of Bush’s finances—an arrangement Schweizer feels has been mischaracterized in the media. “With the Clinton book, we didn’t just give it to reporters with the expectation that they would report on the book,” he says. “We shared it early on with investigative reporters at ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post because we wanted that additional scrutiny [of the book’s subjects]. And we want similar scrutiny for this project.”
It’s a pretty good con, Hillary vs Jeb is booooooooring and we’ve got 18 months of this crap to fill, so let’s make things interesting for both sides, right?
It would be irresponsible not to.