Will Donation Bombshell Sink Hillary?

According to a new book due out in May, Hillary Clinton has a lot of explaining to do regarding donations made to the Clinton Foundation, speaking fees collected by her husband, and favors granted by the State Department when she was in charge. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich could be the bombshell that brings her fledgling candidacy to a quick and decisive end.

Written by Peter Schweizer, the book is a 186-page trip through a scandalous history of questionable events that, taken together, could add up to a mountain of trouble for the candidate whom Democrats have pinned all their hopes to. Setting aside allegations of inappropriate quid pro quo arrangements with foreign donors, the book demonstrates conclusively that Clinton was lying through her teeth when she claimed the couple was “broke” when she began her political career. Between 2001 and 2013, her husband earned more than $100 million from speaking engagements. Unless the definition of “broke” has changed, few Americans are going to understand how Clinton could describe herself that way.

But the matter of the Clintons’ wealth is but a side issue compared to the damning accusations that she used her position as secretary of state to do favors for Clinton Foundation donors. In a political atmosphere where the word “disqualified” is used a bit too often, Clinton could find herself up against a scandal she can’t bat away. According to Schweizer, the book documents a pattern of instances in which State Department policy was suddenly changed after donations were made to the charity. Changed, of course, to provide more favorable conditions for the countries in question.

The fact that this story is running on the front page of the New York Times and on the network news broadcasts proves that Clinton will not be able to brush it away with allegations of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Schweizer is Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large and the president of the conservative Government Accountability Institute. It would be trivial for the mainstream media to ignore this book just like they do with every other conservative story. That they aren’t says something about the integrity of Schweizer’s investigation.

Clinton is jumpstarting her campaign with populist arguments against CEO salaries and dirty money in politics, but these allegations show that she’s hardly the campaign-reform candidate needed to bring about a revolution. As disheartening as it may be to think about big business pulling the strings in Washington, it is simply bone-chilling to consider foreign governments gaining a foothold with political donations.

“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me,” Clinton said Monday in New Hampshire. “I don’t know what they’d talk about if I wasn’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues.”

She is a master of deflection, but this may be a barrage of questions too fierce to circumvent. There’s no sense moving to “the issues” if Americans don’t believe they can trust the woman running for the Democratic nomination. And at this point, how can they?

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