Bill Clinton gave 11 speeches during his wife’s tenure as secretary of state, each connected to companies that had business pending before the State Department, according to the author of a new book on the Clinton Foundation, who notes that the business was concluded in their favor following donations to the former president’s nonprofit.
Clinton’s speaking fees spiked after Hillary Clinton took office with President Obama, Peter Schweizer, author of the forthcoming Clinton Cash, said on Fox News Sunday.
“So, the question becomes, why did his speaking fees go up and why did it go up with corporations and with individuals and with people connected to foreign governments who had business before the State Department?” he asked.
Schweizer stopped short of alleging a strict quid pro quo, but he pointed to an extensive pattern of foreign companies donating to the Clinton Foundation when they have business interest pending at the State Department.
“They make large payments and favorable actions are taken,” Schweizer said. “I don’t think that coincidences occur that frequently.”
Lanny Davis, who worked in the White House under Bill Clinton, defended his old boss by suggesting that companies started paying him more after his wife took office because he had a track record of success as a philanthropist.
“It’s more logical that right after he got out of the White House, before the foundation’s activities and before he did so much good around the world, he’s going to be less valuable,” he said.
Davis also argued that the “coincidences” Schweizer noted do not suggest bad behavior. “Of course, it’s a coincidence but it’s a false inference,” he said. “It sounds like if two incidents occur side by side, like the rooster crows and then the sun rises, it’s a coincidence that the sun rises after the rooster crows. The rooster doesn’t cause the sun to rise.” (Although, the rising sun — or, rather, the arrival of morning – might cause the rooster to crow. A recent study suggests that their internal body clocks lead them to crow at that time.)
Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked if the private emails Hillary Clinton deleted might have pertained to the Clinton Foundation’s donations. “Look. Anything is possible,” Davis replied dismissively.