‘Clinton Cash’ book alleges foreign donations to family foundation linked to political favors

Former President Bill Clinton (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) watch their daughter and Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation Chelsea Clinton. (Reuters/Samantha Sais)
A new book accuses the Clinton Foundation -- run by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, her husband Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea -- of accepting quid pro quo donations from foreign sources while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

The book -- “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” -- will no doubt ignite a new level of scrutiny over the political ambitions of Hillary Clinton, currently the lone candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Clinton’s campaign has asserted that the 186-page investigation by Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, is yet another right-wing hatchet job that leans on bias and innuendo.

Under the microscope are cash infusions to the charitable Clinton Foundation, as well as speaking fees incurred by former US president Bill Clinton, during Hillary Clinton's four years as secretary of the US State Department under President Barack Obama's administration.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer wrote in the book, according to the New York Times, which gained access to an advanced copy.

The Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012, Schweizer wrote in the book, echoing a figure reported by the Washington Post. The Post, New York Times, and Fox News all have agreements with Schweizer to expand further on the storylines he pursued in the book, the Times reported.

“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and wealthy individuals, he added.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, payments to Bill Clinton for speeches went up: “Of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state,” Schweizer wrote.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton: What to know about her recent controversies, scandals

In 2011, for example, Bill Clinton made $13.3 million for 54 speeches, most of them made overseas, the book reported.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s young presidential campaign, said Schweizer’s book is part of the conservative attack machine that will certainly continue to target Clinton with unrelenting fervor.

The book, he said, consists of “twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories,” and that “it will not be the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about the Clintons’ record, and we know it will not be the last.”

Recent books on the Clintons’ political dealings -- including “Blood Feud" and “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine” -- have been accused of being thinly-veiled attack efforts that are low on credibility. “Clinton Cash,” however, relied on extensive investigative reporting with detailed source citations to tax records, government documents, and the like, the Times reported. Though Schweizer also makes clear in the book he is no fan of the Clintons.

This is not the first time the Clinton Foundation donors and their relationship to the most powerful family in US politics have been questioned.

As RT has reported, from 2009 up to 2013, the year the Ukrainian crisis erupted, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, calling into question whether the donations were an attempt to curry favor from the US State Dept. Several alumni of oligarch Pinchuk's program have already graduated into the ranks of Ukraine’s parliament, while a former Clinton pollster went to work as a lobbyist for Pinchuk at the same time Clinton was working in government.

According to the International Business Times, the Clinton Foundation accepted million of dollars from a Colombian oil company before then-Secretary of State Clinton changed her previous position and supported a US-Colombia trade deal, controversial for its links to human rights violations. In addition, after the deal was finalized, Clinton's State Department "never criticized or took action against the Colombian government for alleged violations of labor rights at Pacific Rubiales," the oil company "at the center of Colombia’s labor strife," IBT reported.

In early April, McClatchy News Service reported that, since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates -- governments that have been maligned for their dismal human rights records and for ties to terror funding throughout the Middle East -- gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In March, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the Clinton Foundation had accepted as much as $68 million from elite donors with close ties to foreign governments and state-run companies while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The conflict-of-interest allegations were denied by the Clintons, who said the donations were part and parcel of building coalitions to tackle the world's most pressing issues.

Amid mounting criticism, the Clinton Foundation announced last week that it would revise its policy of accepting donations from Germany, Britain, Canada, and other nations, while curbing money from Middle Eastern countries.