Schweizer, Peter. “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends”, Harper, 2018.
Corruption and Misconduct: An Investigative Look at Politics
Peter Schweizer who wrote “Clinton Cash” and sparked an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation has now published “Secret Empires” his highly anticipated investigative follow-up. In it, he shows no favoritism for any politician and attacks them all.
The opening chapters set the background for what is to come and it is all quite shocking. The first bit of new information us about businesses set up by sons of Senators John Kerry and Joe Biden. It seems that Biden’s and Kerry’s sons might have more in common with Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr.
What we read here are allegations; no evidence in the form of newspaper stories or media reports are found here. Nonetheless, this is an important read as it makes us question what we have taken for granted for way too long.
The ownership of the Rosemont entities in the United States and Gemini Investments are connected to sons of the former vice president and secretary of state and they were negotiating to secure a deal with a company whose ties could be traced back to the Chinese navy. This would be the second largest and profitable deal that the son of the vice president and the stepson and friends of John Kerry would strike with Chinese government–connected companies as both statesmen were negotiating with Beijing and were engaged in sensitive, high-stakes negotiations with the Chinese government while their sons’ companies were cutting a deal with a company connected to the Chinese government.
Kerry was criticized for being soft on China even though the country was aggressively laying claim and expanding its presence in the South China Sea. There was great alarm over his unilateral expansion, but Kerry played it cool.
Critics stated that regarding Chinese territorial claims in Asia, Beijing wanted to have negotiations with countries in the region individually and exclude the United States and Japan. This would make it easier for China to intimidate smaller regional players who questioned their territorial claims. Kerry surprised and troubled many in the region when he effectively endorsed China’s strategy to isolate countries like the Philippines in these negotiations by refusing to have the United States take a side in the territorial dispute. Kerry publicly stated that he saw no need to “contain” China and this was in contrast to his predecessor Hillary Clinton’s posture. He was praised by Beijing for his low-key approach to relations with China.
Business negotiations between the Biden and Kerry families and Chinese entities continued. Publicly, Secretary of State Kerry engaged with the very same Chinese government in diplomatic negotiations. In November 2014, Kerry even hosted the Chinese foreign minister in Boston, where they dined together.
By December 2014, Gemini was negotiating and sealing deals with Rosemont on several fronts. That month, Gemini bought out the Rosemont Opportunities Fund II, an offshore investment vehicle run by Rosemont for $34 million and larger deals followed. In May 2015, Kerry went to Asia to meet with his Chinese counterparts to readdress the difficult issues between the United States and China. Kerry told his hosts that the U.S. wanted to work with them on a range of issues, including North Korea, Iran and Syria, and the two powers shouldn’t let the South China Sea issue get in the way of broader cooperation. The Chinese interpreted this as a signal that the U.S. was not ready to confront them.
By August, Rosemont Realty announced that Gemini Investments, still run from COSCO headquarters, was buying a 75 percent stake in the company and this was the second major deal Rosemont struck with China.
This is a must read for anyone who wants to know how elected politicians make millions while in office. Schweiser has done his research and shows us what politicians are doing behind our backs. I just wish that there was more evidence to prove this.
Schweizer is evenhanded and looks at politicians from both parties. The book reveals a kind of self-dealing and suggests Obama used regulations in the education and energy sectors to depress the prices of certain stocks at which time friends of his bought the stocks and then eased pressure, allowing the stocks to rebound and enriching anyone who invested at the stocks’ low points.
Schweizer’s targets include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Vice President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“Secret Empires” exposes vast corruption by top Washington figures who leverage their political power to enrich their family members and friends, often by making deals with foreign entities.