The past week can’t have been very pleasant for Peter Schweizer. On Sunday, the New York Times revealed that his forthcoming book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, was roiling the political world—“the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy,” as the Times put it.
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.
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 Wednesday. “We’ve found some interesting things.”
Schweizer says he and a team of researchers have been poring 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).
As he did with the Clinton book, Schweizer is hoping to partner with media organizations interested in reporting on and advancing his examination of Bush’s finances—an arrangement Schweizer feels has been mischaracterized in the media. “With the Clinton book, we didn’t just give it to reporters with the expectation that they would report on the book,” he says. “We shared it early on with investigative reporters at ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post because we wanted that additional scrutiny [of the book’s subjects]. And we want similar scrutiny for this project.”
Schweizer also wanted to rebut the implication that he may have been paid by news organizations for an early look at the book. “There was absolutely no money that changed hands,” he says. “It’s ridiculous to suggest so. “
On May 5, Clinton Cash will finally hit bookstore shelves and people will be able to form their own judgments. By then, Schweizer will no doubt be very busy, fending off attacks not just from Clintonites, but from Bushies, too.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the day the author spoke to Bloomberg. It was Wednesday.