Did the Clintons’ Greed Endanger U.S. National Security?

Although Peter Schweizer’s new book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” will not hit bookstores until May 5, it has already set off a firestorm of controversy that foreign governments bought influence with the Clinton’s – including when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State – by contributing millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and paying the Clinton’s millions in speaking fees.

Bill Clinton, according to Schweizer, earned $48 million in speaking fees while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State.  Although Hillary Clinton claimed she and her husband were “dead broke” in 2000, their current net worth is estimated between $100 million and $200 million.

The Clinton’s and their attack dogs have already launched an offensive against Schweizer’s book and are trying to discredit him because he is a conservative.  Several media organizations, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Breitbart news have advance copies of the book and exclusive rights to the research compiled by Schweizer.

Most press stories on the Schweizer book have focused on the impropriety of the Clinton Foundation taking large foreign donations while Clinton was Secretary of State and how those donations may have influenced U.S. foreign policy.  Mrs. Clinton also has been criticized for tens of millions of dollars in contributions to the Clinton Foundation while she headed the State Department from regimes that persecute women such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.

A more troubling angle in the Clinton Foundation scandal surfaced over the last few days: that foreign donations to the foundation may have put U.S. national security at risk.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, some of these contributions involve Uranium One, a Canadian uranium mining company that was taken over by the Rosatom, the Russian atomic energy agency.  The Uranium One takeover gave Russia control of one-fifth of U.S. uranium production and advanced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal of controlling most of the global uranium supply chain.

Because uranium is considered a U.S. strategic asset with implications for national security, this deal had to be approved by a several U.S. government agencies, including the State Department.  According to the Times article, while the Russians were gradually assuming control of Uranium One from 2009 to 2013, the Uranium One chairman used his family foundation to make $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.  The Times article states that “those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clinton’s, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.”

According to an April 18  Newsweek article, the Clinton Foundation also accepted donations from a firm that was violating nuclear trade sanctions against Iran.  Interpipe, a Cyprus-incorporated company owned by Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, sold oil pipelines to Iran in 2011 and 2012 in violation of U.S. sanctions but was not sanctioned for these sales while Clinton was Secretary of State.  Fox News host Megyn Kelly reported last night on “The Kelly File” that between 2009 and 2013, Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.  Kelly reported that Pinchuk also pledged more than $20 million more to the foundation.

The Fox News Channel will air a special report anchored by Bret Baier, “The Tangled Clinton Web” on the Clinton Foundation scandal on Friday, April 24 at 10 PM ET.

For years, the Clinton’s have glided past the sea of scandals that engulfed Bill Clinton’s presidency and Hillary Clinton’s complicity in the Obama administration’s foreign policy disasters.  I believe the Clinton Foundation story dwarfs all previous Clinton scandals because it appears to be an unprecedented case of foreign governments and entities buying influence with a U.S. government official.  But the Uranium One and Pinchuk contributions could make this story significantly worse since they suggest the Clinton’s were prepared enrich themselves even at the cost of endangering U.S. national security.

The Clinton Foundation scandal obviously requires media attention, congressional hearings, and an investigation by the Justice Department.  Despite their unmatched skill at deflecting controversy and blaming their enemies, could this this scandal be too big even for Bill and Hillary Clinton to skate by?

About Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz is President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He recently served as a Deputy Assistant to President Trump and Chief of Staff to National Security Adviser John Bolton. He previously worked in national security positions for 25 years with CIA, DIA, the Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read his complete bio here. Follow Fleitz on Twitter @fredfleitz.