Is Peter Schweizer serious about his next project, or is he just a marketing genius? As excerpts of Schweizer’s upcoming book Clinton Cash keep dripping out through media partnerships that Schweizer set up, the Left has rushed to the ramparts to defend Hillary Clinton. For the moment, that defense has mainly consisted of attacks on Schweizer’s character and presumed partisanship, but that presumption may not stand up well in the near future:
That hasn’t quieted the left-wing clamor that Schweizer is simply out to get Hillary Clinton. But maybe this will: Schweizer is working on a similar investigation of Jeb Bush’s finances that he expects to publish this summer.
“What we’re doing is a drill-down investigation of Jeb’s finances similar to what we did with the Clintons in terms of looking at financial dealings, cronyism, who he’s been involved with,” Schweizer told me on Thursday. “We’ve found some interesting things.”
Bloomberg’s Joshua Green says that the Left has been barking up the wrong tree with its attacks on Schweizer’s work. Not only has the Hoover Institution scholar dug into targets across the partisan divide, he’s actually working on issues that Green himself has scrutinized:
That landed Schweizer squarely in the crosshairs of the Clinton team and allied liberal groups, which have launched a campaign to discredit Schweizer as “disreputable” and blinded by partisan animosity. Anyone familiar with Schweizer’s work knows better: he wrote a well-regarded book about the Bush dynasty and another, detailing insider trading in Congress, that led to a new law, the bipartisan STOCK Act of 2012, which aims to curb these abuses. …
Schweizer says he and a team of researchers have been pouring over Bush’s financial life for about four months. Among other things, they’re scrutinizing various Florida land deals, an airport deal while Bush was governor that involved state funds, and Chinese investors in Bush’s private equity funds (something I wrote about for Bloomberg last year).
Even the media strategy for Clinton Cash served a particular purpose, Schweizer told Bloomberg. Rather than just partner with the usual suspects on the Right (although he also did that with News Corp), Schweizer wanted to have partners like the New York Times and ABC News in order to provide another level of scrutiny — and another level of credibility. It’s given Schweizer an added defense against charges of partisanship that authors like Ed Klein don’t get.
A book on Jeb Bush in the same vein as Clinton Cash would further disarm the demagogues attacking Schweizer on his present book. They would want to jump all over any dirt Schweizer digs up on Jeb, under the assumption that Bush is the frontrunner for the nomination. Doing so, though, provides vindication for Schweizer’s investigative reporting on Hillary Clinton, who really is the only viable option at the moment for Democrats. Plus, there may be almost as many Republicans looking forward to a deep dive on Jeb’s finances as there were for the one on the Clintons, thanks to the realities of competitive primaries and dynasty fatigue.
If nothing else, the announcement of a book on Jeb freezes Schweizer’s critics momentarily, and reminds people of his past work along the same lines. It’s a pretty good marketing strategy in the short term, but producing the book itself would make Schweizer one of the most important investigative journalists in the early part of this presidential cycle.