Peter Schweizer, the author of a controversial book accusing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of having conflicts of interest, has warned President-elect Donald Trump from committing his own corruption scandals.
On Nov. 19, Schweizer expressed concerns that Trump’s administration would be vulnerable because of his numerous real estate assets. Instead of putting his business empire in a blind trust, Trump has shifted the control of his assets over to his eldest children, who are currently serving as his advisers and key members of his White House transition team.
Schweizer is the author of “Clinton Cash,” a controversial book that scrutinized the potential conflict of interests held by Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The veracity of the book’s research has been disputed, but it proved effective in casting a lasting shadow over Hillary since its release in the spring of 2015.
The book proved to be so influential that it prompted several members of the FBI to seek subpoenas to investigate the Clinton Foundation in August, according to The New York Times.
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After accusing the Clintons of using their political influence to enrich themselves, Schweizer now warns that Trump could be open to similar attacks given the unusual arrangement he has with his children.
During an interview with CNN, Schweizer said that handing the Trump Organization over to the Trump family could lead to numerous conflicts of interest. The author cited foreign actors using the Trump children as a channel to gain access to the White House as an example.
“The hope is that safeguards are being put in place, that the Trump Organization leadership is one guard for precisely this type of scenario,” Schweizer said. “Because I think, based on history, it’s only a question of time when these kind of offers are made. And if they take these offers, it’s hugely problematic.”
The author recommended that Trump distance himself from his business empire and that the Trump Organization refrains from seeking business contracts, which he added would offer “some assurance that they’re trying to create a bright line.”
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Schweizer is a former senior editor-at-large of Breitbart News. The conservative website was previously run by Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, who has been tapped to serve as Trump’s White House Chief Strategist.
Trump’s potential conflicts of interest have already drawn scathing criticism from his detractors.
“You know, his holdings are all over the world,” journalist Drew Harwell of The Washington Post told NPR. “He has an incredible amount of debts … All of these are potential real dangers.”
On Nov. 20, Vice President-elect Mike Pence dismissed concerns that the Trump administration could be ripe for corruption during an interview with Fox News.
After being asked if Trump’s potential conflicts of interest could undermine his presidential decisions, Pence said that “the president-elect summed up his view of his interest in his business life with two words. He said, ‘Who cares?’”
Pence added that Trump “is completely focused on the people’s business.”