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Clinton foundation

Political Ruling Class Families

What binds all these politicos together? How did the Obama administration perfect the practice of “smash and grab?” What are the behind closed doors dealings of some of the potential 2020 presidential candidates? What was Tiny Dancer’s cut after leaving the Obama White House? "Clinton Cash" and "Secret Empires" author, Peter Schweizer joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Politicians’ Get Rich Schemes Exposed

How did Penny Pritzker, sister of IL gubernatorial candidate J.B., advance her family’s financial interests through the rise of Barack Obama when she was Secretary of Commerce? What other of Obama’s Chicago buddies benefited during his administration? "Clinton Cash" author, Peter Schweizer, joins Dan and Amy to discuss his new book, "Secret Empires".

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Proft: Top of the morning, Dan and Amy, and let's get right to it, because we've got a guy whose book in 2016 really changed the nature of the 2016 Presidential Election, of course the New York Times Best Seller "Clinton Cash" is the book I'm referring to. We're STILL litigating and talking about the cases, the business dealings that Peter Schweizer documented in "Clinton Cash"; think, for example, Uranium One. We're still asking questions, the American people are still asking questions, about whether Federal law enforcement will start getting answers to some of the questions that were raised in Peter Schweizer's book. He's got a new book out that's equally compelling, and it's bipartisan in nature, the political ruling class. It's called "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends", and there are some particularly interesting stories of business dealings from some household names in politics, how you go in with a certain amount of cash and you come out of office with exponentially more, or even you continue to accrue it while in office and it goes largely unreported...but not by Peter Schweizer. Also, he's got a very interesting case study that's particularly relevant to Illinois...and we'll start there. Peter Schweizer, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Schweizer: Hey, it's great to be back on with you, thanks for having me! Proft: Really fascinated by your book, this is some really good reporting, investigating and then reporting, and translating it into a format that's very accessible. I want to start with "A real estate mogul goes to Washington", and we're not talking about Trump, we're talking about Penny Pritzker. And as you undoubtedly know, Peter, we've got another heir to the Hyatt fortune running for office in Illinois, named JB Pritzker, and so Penny's experience as Secretary of Commerce, and her relationship with Barack Obama, it couldn't be more TIMELY for our gubernatorial election this year. But, help us distill how Penny Pritzker advanced her family's financial interests, and her financial interests, throughout the rise of Barack Obama and then including when she was Secretary of Commerce. Schweizer: Well I tell you, it's massive conflicts of interest, and sort of things that if Trump were to engage in, there would be massive outrage. That's not to say that we shouldn't watch what Trump is doing, but in the case of Pritzker, it was so overt and obvious! Just to pick a very simple one, she started a real estate investment firm, PSP, while she was in Washington DC in the Obama Administration, and one of their key business fixtures was leasing office properties to the Federal government, including the Commerce Department when she was Commerce Secretary! That's a huge conflict of interest. Some of the real estate investments, buildings, that she purchased were then leased by entities like the National League of Cities, National League of Counties, who were actively lobbying the Commerce Department, and were also receiving grants from the Commerce Department. So, this is Ethics 101, and you know, you have these tentacles of financial ties and government power that overlapped, that really went largely undetected during her tenure as Commerce Secretary. Proft: The other thing about this, too, is this whole big show that politicians, particularly those that come to the table with a lot of wealth like Penny Pritzker did, make of divesting themselves from their financial interests. You report that, really, it was a little bit of...of kind of press release politics. It was a show of divesting from some companies that were not as material to her financial interests as some of the big ones. Schweizer: That's exactly right, and then there were just really simple...you know, breaches of what I would call the Ethical Code. I mean, for example, one of the things that was claimed in her Ethics filings is that she was not going to be involved AT ALL with her businesses, she was going to have an arms'-length relationship and not manage it. And yet there are accounts of her as Commerce Secretary going and having "brown bag lunches" at the companies that she was supposed to be having nothing to do with. And conducting, you know, meetings and seminars and things, actually at those companies. You know, another overt thing that was very troubling while she was Commerce Secretary, her company, PSP, actually gets the head of the real estate arm of the government's General Services Administration to quit his job and come work for HER, again raising all kinds of questions. So, you know, this is...this is a problem, an issue...certainly in the Era of Trump, but it didn't start with Trump, and the bottom line is that we have to sort of get rid of the notion that people who are very wealthy, are NOT going to be interested in cutting corners while they're in office (Proft: Absolutely!). It's ultimately not an issue, it's ultimately not an issue of money, they don't do it because of the money. They do it because they feel entitled, they do it because they feel that they can get away with it, and they do it because they feel like the rules shouldn't apply to them. Just because somebody has money, doesn't mean that they're not going to do things to cut corners and violate ethics rules. Proft: Such a great point. SUCH a great point. Jacobson: Yeah. And JB Pritzker was jealous that his sister Penny rose to the level of, you know, Secretary of Commerce, but what other friends did President Barack Obama help out? Schweizer: That's a great question! There's a friend, that a lot of people in the country don't know, he's better known in Chicago, and that's Marty Nesbitt. (Proft: Oh yeah. Jacobson: Oh yeah, Marty!) And so, you know, when Barack Obama is re-elected in 2012, Marty Nesbitt starts an investment fund called Vistria, and it has in the corporate documents the purpose of Vistria is to invest in, quote unquote, "Highly regulated industries". Now, that's a great business model...if you happen to be best friends with the "Regulator in Chief", which would be the President of the United States, and what you find with Vistria, you find with other entities as well, with people that are close to Barack Obama, that they engage in what I call "Smash and Grab". Barack Obama would go in and Smash a company, say that he didn't think it was a good company that's serving customers well, Smash it with regulations, that would drive down the valuations, down to pennies on the dollar. And then, a friend would swoop in and buy it on the cheap, only to then have the regulatory wait-listed. And in the case of Marty Nesbitt and Vistria, the classic example is the University of Phoenix, which is, you know, a for-profit college. The Obama Administration said "We don't like this school, so we're going to not allow the Pentagon to use GI Bill money to let soldiers attend that school." You can imagine what happened to the stock price, it went down from something like $100 a share down to like $3 a share, at which point Marty Nesbitt swooped in and bought it, bought it for pennies on the dollar. Only after that did the Obama Administration say "You know what? We think that we WILL allow GI dollars to flow back to that school." (Jacobson: It's criminal!) You see that pattern, you see that pattern over and over again. Proft: Wow, yeah and even when they don't swoop in and buy it, they swoop in as consultants to, you know, to...help, yes, fix it, to get regulatory relief...I mean, so it's the same...that, this is like...that, that trick is as old as Chicago Lobbyists. But, I mean, it's great to document specific examples of this. I also want to get to this story...tell us the story of "Scranton Joe"! His son, Hunter Biden, and John Kerry's stepson, Christopher Hines, get together and partner with a Ukrainian natural gas company! Schweizer: Yeah, this is one of the reasons I call the book "Secret Empires", is that you look at a guy like Joe Biden, he'll say "Well look, you know, my family doesn't have any money, look at my financial disclosure!" But what's done is the deals are funneled through your adult kids, and you don't have to disclose the assets and income of your adult kids. So, in the case of Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, and Chris Hines, and a guy named Devin Archer, who is a longtime Kerry aide, they're doing deals with people from Ukraine to China. In the case of Ukraine, there's an oligarch named Igor Kolomoisky, who is a notorious oligarch. Now, you know, if you know anything about Ukraine, oligarchs can be bad enough, but if you're the most NOTORIOUS of the oligarchs, that's saying something! And that's who Igor Kolomoisky is. This guy puts Hunter Biden on the payroll of his energy company, to help him on "Compliance Matters", whatever that means. And of course, we don't know how much he made, but you can imagine it was a pretty penny for, you know, Hunter Biden to take a job like this. But, here's where it gets interesting! So, Kolomoisky, among owning an energy company, also owns a bank. Joe Biden, Hunter's father, Vice President of the United States, is responsible for the flow of US aid dollars to the Ukraine, and that aid is funneled through PrivatBank, which is owned by Kolomoysky, who again, is paying Hunter Biden large sums of money. US taxpayer dollars disappear in Kolomoysky's bank, more than a billion dollars, and a lot of people in the Ukraine believe that Kolomoysky himself siphoned that money off. Now here's where it gets interesting. When Donald Trump was inaugurated in January of 2017, in the last days of the Obama Administration, where was Joe Biden? He wasn't in Washington DC, he wasn't in Scranton, PA. He was in the Ukraine, and he was working to eliminate an investigation of Igor Kolomoysky, who of course is the oligarch that was paying his son. (Proft: Unbelievable!) Dirty dirty stuff, just dirty dirty stuff! Proft: So, the Vice President's son, at the time he's Vice President...the Secretary of State's son...at least in part of the time that he was the Secretary of State, John's stepson, John Kerry...and they're in bed with this Ukrainian...corrupt Ukrainian oligarch and sending billions of dollars of American money, taxpayer money, to cement the relations...I mean, this is the kind of remarkable stuff in this book, you almost think this is like a John LeCarre novel, but it's not, and it's well-documented. I want to get to another example, let's go to the Republican side; Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao...of course, a Cabinet Secretary before, a Cabinet Secretary again...and how their net worth has gone from as little as $3M 15 years ago to as much as $36.5M today, (Jacobson: How did that happen?) well part of it I know is Elaine Chao comes from wealth, a family shipping company, but connect the dots for us on that explosion in net worth. Schweizer: Yeah, I mean, China figures large in this book, because China has basically embarked on a strategy, and they'll say this openly; a strategy of seeking favors from American political leaders by doing lucrative deals with their families. And that's certainly the case with Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell, as you said, married to Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary in the Trump Administration...her father launched a shipping business, but the shipping business didn't really take off until 1993, when then-Senator Mitch McConnell, who had just married Elaine, and his father-in-law go to Beijing, China. The trip is not an official government trip, it's not a government delegation...they are there as guests of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, CSSC, which as the name implies, is wholly owned by the Chinese government. And they basically say to McConnell and Chao "We will set you up in a major way in the shipping business...we will build your ships, we will finance the construction of those ships, we will provide crews for those ships, we will provide contracts for you to ship government-owned companies' goods around the Pacific." And they say they're in, and of course the rest is history. They make a fortune, the relationship is so close between this family and the Chinese government that Elaine Chao's father and sister joined the Board of Directors of CSSC Holdings, which is one of the largest military contractors in Beijing, China. And so, they're getting rich courtesy of the help of the Chinese government. Mitch McConnell's Senate career...something very interesting happens. He was a very critical voice against China when it came to human rights, military expansion, trade issues. Then when the deal was struck, he started to change, and today, he nary has a bad word to say about the Chinese Government, and I would argue it's precisely because he knows that the family fortunes are tied up with the good graces of the Chinese Government. And that net worth increase you mentioned comes almost entirely because James Chao, the father-in-law, made a gift of between $5M and $25M to Senator Mitch McConnell, so you know, who wouldn't wish to have in-laws like THAT, right? Proft: Yeah, and you know, McConnell's been very skeptical, openly, of Trump's, you know, trade policy with respect to China, and the point is, even if Mitch McConnell was a free marketeer, it doesn't matter because of this relationship and his financial interests, he's hopelessly conflicted in his pronouncements in this area. I mean, if we could, if we...I mean, this is why this is so great, we didn't even have time to get to "The Princelings of Chicago" and Mayor Daley, former Mayor Daley's deals with the Russians and the Chinese, which is why you need to get this book. "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends", this is just great stuff, important stuff. Peter Schweizer, the author of "Clinton Cash" is the author of this book. Peter, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Schweizer: I enjoyed it, thanks a lot.

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New York investor and Wall Street whistleblower Charles Ortel, who gained notoriety in 2008 for correcting assessing the problems with GE’s financials before it’s stock crashed in 2008, joined Dan & Amy this morning to discuss his findings after a 15-month deep dig on the Clinton Foundation. What he found and the conclusions he draws are startling and are sure to impact the POTUS campaign.

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Dan Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Donald Trump has tweeted his reaction to the crash of that Egypt airplane overnight that was travelling from Paris to Cairo. Amy Jacobson: I hope he was sensitive. Dan Proft: He tweeted, “Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!” We don’t know that yet, but certainly there are some indicators that something other than pilot error or mechanical error were at play with the crash because there was no distress call that has been reported to this point, and there was communication with the pilot, and then the pilots went dark and they went into the Mediterranean. Amy Jacobson: And 2 minutes after they last spoke with Greek Aviation Authorities, one of the pilots checked in 2 minutes after that, when they went into Egyptian airspace. The plane went 90 degrees right, then 360 degrees left, and then it just disappeared off of the radar screen. Dan Proft: So we don’t know for sure yet, we’re updating this as information becomes available, but we’re particularly thinking about the Egypt airplane crash that was bombed out of the sky with tourists that were vacationing in Sharm el Sheik last year, Russian tourists, and then Russia subsequently banning Egypt air from its airspace. You have to at least contemplate the possibility of a terrorist attack, so we’ll continue to update that as we know. But turning to the Clinton Foundation, and this is going to be an issue that reasserts itself in a general election. So all the talk last year into the fall in that book by Peter Schweizer, “Clinton Cash” came out, about the Clinton Foundation; it’s curious accounting, it’s curious relationships, the funding that it accepted; that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton had agreed as a predicate to Hillary being elevated to Secretary of State; they had agreed with the Obama administration that they would not accept; all kinds of questions, including, basically, the FBI investigation looking into her e-mail server. Also, a lot of reports suggesting that they are also looking into how she used the Secretary of State’s office in connection with the Clinton Foundation. Was she leveraging the office to do the bidding of the Clinton Foundation? A lot of questions here; Charles Ortel, who is an investor and a financial analyst, gained recognition back in 2008 for correctly identifying the problems with GE’s financial statements. He has now set his sights on the Clinton Foundation and he spent the last 15 months investigating the financial reporting of the Clinton Foundation. Let’s find out what he found out. We welcome to the show Charles Ortel, private investor based in New York, financial analyst. Charles, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Charles Ortel: Thanks for having me on. Dan Proft: So what were some of the highlights from your year plus investigation into the Clinton Foundation? Charles Ortel: Well, it’s actually a pretty sad set of findings. You start with the fact that a presidential charity actually is the perfect vehicle for fraud, because who would suspect that anything operated by a former president, whatever your politics may be, would allow itself to be submitting documents to the federal government and then to all the states - including your own state of Illinois – that are false to materially misleading and then raising billions of dollars, choosing to declare only some of those as incoming receipts? So what I did, I actually am interested in setting up a new business, caring for people who believe this country is exceptional, who have wealth and want to keep it, and who want to find good charities in which they’ll send some money. I decided hearing about the Clinton Foundation; it was so complicated that I had to look at its papers, just understand what was really going on. And last year I reached the conclusion that it was a fraud. And I wrote an article for [inaudible] and I began then putting detailed reports up on my site, www.charlesortel.com. And then I started contacting state authorities, and nothing happened. And it finally reached the point where I said this is such a big fraud. People are sending money into this thing as we’re on the radio right now. They solicit using the internet, they haven’t corrected their false and materially misleading forms, and I’ll give an example of somebody that’s been defrauded, very famous person – I may not pronounce his name properly – is Fred Eychaner. Dan Proft: Sure, in Chicago, yeah. Charles Ortel: Starting in 2004, his very well run foundation called the Alphawood Foundation, all of these papers are publically available, shows that foundation gave money to an entity called Clinton Foundation, HIV-AIDS initiative Inc, which was never formerly approved as a charity; and these grants are substantial. And the money then went supposedly into China to fight HIV-AIDS. Chinese charity fraud policies are severe; death is the penalty. And if you’re not registered properly in the United States, you cannot possibly be registered properly in China, and that’s just one small example. We’re talking there about less than 10 million cumuli into the Chinese example. Amy Jacobson: Well, Charles, before we dig any deeper, just remind us again, who benefits from the Clinton Foundation? Who has been helped by them? Charles Ortel: Well, it’s virtually impossible to say, because foundations of this size are required to provide an audit, a real audit, not a fake audit, and these audits generally are quite tough. You check and double check that the amount sent by the foundation was received by the foundation. This entity which started October 23rd 1997 has never gotten a real audit. So they like to claim that the biggest operation is fighting HIV-AIDS, but that operation was never lawfully authorized anywhere. And there are big holes in amounts that people claim they’ve sent; the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation is a group in Switzerland, which says it sent 600 million dollars to the Clintons for this operation, the HIV-AIDS. The entity that performs that group, that work, that initiative, is based in Boston, and had its license to operate involuntarily revoked on March 31st 2008. As the Clinton Foundation was receiving from the Swiss thing 700 million dollars of which about 100 million disappeared in the period 2007-2008. So nobody seems to have done a cross checking that you can do, that I’ve been doing for the last 15 months. UNITAID, which is that donor, publishes public financial statements which are online. And the Clintons are online and they don’t foot. The Gates Foundation has given money. Its disclosures do not foot. Governments have given money. Those disclosures do not foot, and actually, this is an Illinois issue. Bill Clinton is the honorary chairman of the American India Foundation, another fraud that has recently held a fundraiser in Illinois, even though it had its license to operate revoked twice. I happen to know Bruce Rauner, I’ve spent some time with him. He’s a great guy, and I think he may have the problem that many states have, that the apparatus, the regulatory apparatus of these charities is controlled by Clinton allies. Dan Proft: Right, like Lisa Maddigan, the attorney general here, in terms of any investigation, in terms of improper paperwork, or as you suggest, the dissolution – or never filing paperwork – of charities and so the oversight there. It’s interesting, so Fred Eychaner is a left-ist donor and philanthropist, and this American India Foundation in Illinois. Is this just the case like the Clintons have said in the past when they’ve had to refile tax returns, “A little sloppy book keeping”? Little sloppy book keeping, maybe we didn’t file the right papers, you know, blame the accountant game, but all the work is real and all of the money that’s been received has been put to good use; is that possible? Charles Ortel: It is absolutely impossible. Let me give you another piece of the puzzle. A central figure in these frauds is someone who’s spent time in your city, a man called Rajat Gupta, who is Chairman of McKinsey, and who’s spent some time in prison recently for insider trading. He began to get involved with the Clinton Foundation and the American Indian Foundation in January 2001, and the public record shows clearly that Rajat Gupta was working with Vinod Gupta – no relations – of InfoGroup, and that’s the case where InfoGroup, this Vinod Gupta guy looted money from a public trading company and sent it through an LLC corporation in Nevada called Mind Spirit into the hands of Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton, before 2002-2008; and that is a matter of public record. So Rajat Gupta was also centrally involved as a co-chairman of the American India Foundation, and I’m trying to get people to put these links together. This is a matter of grave concern, to me personally, because I care about good charities; I hasten to add that I’m not interested in elected politics. I don’t like either party, I don’t like the Clintons, I don’t like the track record; I’m not a political operative, I’ve no interest in being in any government role whatsoever. I just feel it’s actually the poor people, bottom 80% of this country, gives the most to charity, and they expect a charity with the president’s name on it to be run properly. And so I want to make sure this thing is exposed, I want to make sure that people who are guilty of fraud are punished mercilessly, and I think this should be a good example to make sure people around President Obama, when he operates the charity that’s being set up in your city, that they are operated scrupulously; because the presidential charity do a lot of good work if it’s run properly. Dan Proft: Are you suggesting that what the Clinton Foundation effectively is is like the charitable version of Bernie Madoff, that the money being sent is real, but all of the work is imaginary and it’s just being used for lavish lifestyles for Clinton Inc.? Charles Ortel: That’s exactly what I’m suggesting, and the scale is massive. It’s not simply the Clinton Foundation. In addition, Rajat Gupta and the Clintons have been involved with something called the Global Fund, which is gigantic fund that is a fraud; that is run with taxpayer money around the world. Rajat Gupta was chairman of that. There’s a 13 billion dollar fraud in Haiti. I’ve been on the phone recently with some aggrieved people in Haiti, and the record suggests that there the Clintons have been operating a massive scam and the people of Haiti are poorer than they’ve ever been. This is an area where I think people on the left and the right can agree that whatever the purpose of the charity, whether it’s progressive or conservative, a charity should be run as a charity, and not as a scheme to enrich insiders around the charity and government leaders who want to live high once they leave their government position. This is an awful track record, and the evidence is there, in the public domain, unlike Switzer stuff, you can find this just googling, as I have done. Amy Jacobson: It’s surprising that they’re not in jail. I mean, really. Dan Proft: Well… Charles Ortel, private investor based in New York; we’re going to be continuing to watch your work, because you do your one man investigation of the Clintons. Charlesortel.com is the website where you can get more details on everything that you’ve discovered through your research, and we look forward to speaking to you again. Thanks so much for your time. Charles Ortel: Anytime.

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