The forthcoming investigative Washington blockbuster Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends written by Peter Schweizer to be published not until March 20 is already capturing a lot of attention owing to the book’s explosive contents.

According to publishing sources, “The book will expose vast corruption by top Washington figures who leverage their political power to enrich their family members and friends, often by helping grease deals with foreign entities.”

Schweizer is the same guy whose last New York Times bestseller, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, sparked off an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation after it revealed that Hillary Clinton’s State Department, along with other agencies, approved the transfer of 20 percent of U.S. uranium to Russia and that nine foreign investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The book also revealed a donation of $5 million by an Indian politician to Clinton Foundation that “changed her position on the 2008 nuclear agreement between the United States and India.” The chapter, titled “Indian Nukes: How to Win a Medal by Changing Hillary’s Mind,” details a series of donations and overtures from Indians who supported the nuclear deal to the Clintons, and points to one case of an Indian-American Clinton donor — who in April 2014 pleaded guilty in an illegal contribution scheme for Clinton’s 2008 run — receiving an award from the Indian government for his work in securing the agreement.

“In 1998 after the Indian government conducted nuclear tests, Bill Clinton imposed restrictions on the export of U.S. nuclear technology, because this violated the nonproliferation treaty — Hillary Clinton supported that position. In 2005, the Indian government wanted those restrictions lifted. Hillary Clinton at that time supported a killer amendment to stop that from happening. After 2005, a number of Indian interests, including an Indian politician that admits now that his donation to the Clinton Foundation wasn’t even his money, those donations flowed. In 2008, she reverses course and supports the export of U.S. nuclear technology.”

Implying that a group of influential Indians directed money and attention to the Clintons in order to get them to support the nuclear deal, the book details the activities of Sant Chatwal, the New York hotelier who in December was sentenced to three years probation for his campaign finance violations.

Chatwal allegedly helped arrange one of Bill Clinton’s most lucrative public speeches — a $450,000 affair in London — and once said, “Even my close friend Hillary Clinton was not in favor of the deal [in 2006] … But when I put the whole package together, she also came on board. … In politics nothing comes free. You have to write cheques in the American political system.”

Chatwal arranged a dinner for Clinton in 2007 featuring Indian billionaires who soon thereafter donated to the Clinton Foundation, and that Chatwal played a large role in steering other money toward the Clintons. The Indian government gave him one of the country’s highest civilian honors in 2010, largely thanks to his role in getting Clinton to support the deal.

From the graphic novel adaptation of the book Clinton Cash, written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Brett R. Smith and released by Regnery Publishing on August 8, 2016.
From the graphic novel adaptation of the book Clinton Cash, written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Brett R. Smith and released by Regnery Publishing on August 8, 2016.

The chapter also examines the case of Indian politician Amar Singh, who hosted what newspapers called “a mega bash for former U.S. President Bill Clinton” in Lucknow in September 2005 and had a two-hour dinner with Hillary Clinton before an important vote on the bill in September 2008. Singh drew attention when the Clinton Foundation revealed in 2008 that he had donated between $1 million and $5 million — between 20 and 100 percent of his entire net worth — and then he insisted the money was not his.

Meanwhile, another leading Indian-American restaurateur, Harendra Singh, has pleaded guilty in secret court proceedings to trying to bribe New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to court documents. Singh had admitted in a “sealed courtroom” before a Federal judge on Long Island in October 2016 to bribery and wire fraud in connection with campaign contributions made to de Blasio, the Times reported citing the court records.

The Times said that according to records “Singh was one of the earliest large donors when de Blasio began his mayoral campaign in 2010 and he, his family members and other associates ultimately raised a total of about $33,000 for the mayor”. Singh also pleaded guilty to six other charges in unrelated bribery schemes involving officials on Long Island and businesses he owned there, the New York Times said.

Clinton Cash brought to light the murky world of what is now known as “pay-to-play” in American political system and sparked of many investigations that are still going on. The book is regarded as somewhat of an event—one that has resulted in ethics probes, the passage of major anti-corruption legislation, members of Congress stepping down, and, in the case of the Clintons, an FBI investigation. Sources say the new book would start another major political firestorm.

SHARE
GGI News Staff
GGI News Analysis is a unique project initiated by GreatGameIndia to provide meaning and context to the randomly provided news day-in and day-out which often leaves the common populace wondering as to its real significance. We at GGI News would not only analyze daily news but also place it in the right perspective for our readers to understand it and thereby form their own independent opinion from the facts provided. Subscribe to our email newsletters or follow our page on Facebook and Twitter for more such analysis, debates and discussions related to geopolitics and international affairs from an Indian perspective. If you would like to contribute, please email your story suggestions to info@greatgameindia.com

Leave a Reply