Peter Schweizer

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Peter Schweizer
Schweizer in 2015
Schweizer in 2015
BornPeter Franz Schweizer
(1964-11-24) November 24, 1964 (age 56)
OccupationAuthor, political advisor
EducationGeorge Washington University (BA)
Oxford University (MPhil)
Notable worksDo as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy
Clinton Cash
SpouseRochelle Schweizer (divorced)
Rhonda Schweizer (m. 2013)

Peter Franz Schweizer (born November 24, 1964) is an American writer and political consultant. He is the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), senior editor-at-large media organization Breitbart News,[1] and a former fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.[2]

Schweizer wrote Clinton Cash, a 2015 book discussing donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities and Bill and Hillary Clinton's income after they left the White House in 2001.

Early life and career[edit]

While in high school, Schweizer attended the National Conservative Students Conference at George Washington University and was a member of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). He was a YAF alumnus speaker at the thirty-fourth annual National Conservative Student Conference. Schweizer attended George Washington University and graduate school on YAF scholarships. He was on YAF staff starting 1993 and edited its magazine.[3]

Investigative projects[edit]

Schweizer's early work at Senator Jeremiah Denton's National Forum Foundation (NFF) focused on the Cold War. He co-authored a National Review article with Denton's son, James (often cited as Jim), "Murdering SDI", about the suspicious deaths of several European officials who supported the Strategic Defense Initiative.[4] While at the NFF, Schweizer also published a report titled "The Meaning and Destiny of the Sandinista Revolution".[5]

In 2012, journalist Steve Kroft used Schweizer's work as the basis for a report on CBS's 60 Minutes about Congressional insider trading. Titled "Insiders: The road to the STOCK act", Kroft relied heavily on Schweizer's reporting in his 2011 book Throw Them All Out, which CBS independently verified, to demonstrate how members of Congress trade stocks unethically.[6] The book demonstrates how politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Spencer Bachus have inoculated themselves against criminal charges for insider trading.[7] The following year, Kroft revisited Schweizer's work to create another 60 Minutes report on how members of Congress use the funds of their political action committees for private inurement.[8]

A year later, Schweizer authored another GAI report about the Obama administration, which said that Obama failed to meet often enough with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).[9] He publicized the report with a story for Politico titled "When Barry Met Kathy: Almost never, it turns out."[10] Schweizer's report relied on publicly available information about Obama's schedule. Three months later, after making FOIA requests of non-public documents, The Hill found evidence of multiple meetings which both scheduled to attend, including seven specifically about the ACA. They were scheduled but it is not known if any were attended to by both Sebelius or Obama.[11]

Books and films[edit]

He worked with Steve Bannon on the 2004 documentary about former Hollywood movie star and president Ronald Reagan In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Words and Deed which is based on Schweizer's book Reagan's War (2003);[12] Schweizer is credited as Executive Producer.[13]

In addition to his nonfiction writing, Schweizer has co-authored two novels with former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Schweizer contributed to Glenn Beck's book Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure.[14]

Schweizer also is credited as a writer and producer in The Creepy Line, a documentary which included the likes of Robert Epstein and Jordan Peterson.[15]

Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union[edit]

In 1994, The Atlantic Monthly Press published Schweizer's book Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union. The book argued that President Ronald Reagan brought an end to the Cold War through a policy of massive defense spending which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Historian Stephen E. Ambrose criticized the book, writing that "there is a great deal more to the Soviet collapse than Schweizer recognizes, and in any case, it is difficult to take seriously a book as badly written as this one... The book is consistently redundant and badly out of balance." [16] The book later enjoyed renewed popularity with foreign policy officials during the Administration of President Donald Trump, with one White House official telling reporters "it was 'no secret' that the book has had some influence on policy." [17]

Clinton Cash[edit]

In 2015, Harper Collins published Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, a 256-page book discussing the donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities.[18] Several media outlets received advance copies, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News, all of whom agreed to pursue stories found in the book.[18] Time wrote that "allegations are presented as questions rather than proof" but that "the book's dark suggestions reflect the growing problem Clinton faces in her run for the White House in 2016 as more and more details of the foundation's fundraising activities present the appearance of impropriety and lack of transparency during her time as Secretary of State."[19] The book was found to contain several factual errors, including that then-Secretary of State Clinton had veto power to stop the sale of Uranium One to a Russian state-owned company.[20][21] Several journalists have criticized the book as containing "leaps of logic,"[22]"draws some conclusions that go beyond the available evidence,"[23] "[p]arts of Schweitzer's reporting fell apart under scrutiny,"[24] and "Schweizer is trafficking in speculation."[25]

Several weeks after the book's initial publication, Harper Collins and the author made several corrections to the Kindle edition of the book. Schweizer corrected "seven or eight" passages that were revealed to be inaccurate after the book was released.[26]

In the wake of the book's publication, the Clinton Foundation admitted that it made mistakes in disclosing some of its contributions and that it implemented new rules increasing financial reporting and limiting foreign donations.[27]

The book was funded by the Mercer Family Foundation with a $1.7 million contribution in 2015 to the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) whose researchers Schweizer used.[28][29][30]

Secret Empires[edit]

In 2018, Harper Collins published Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.[31] Secret Empires provided details about the overseas business conducted by Hunter Biden, particularly in his employment with entities such as Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.[32] The book also describes ties between Elaine Chao's family business Foremost Group and China, although these claims were denied by Chao husband Mitch McConnell's spokesman David Popp.[33]

The Daily Beast reported that the book contained fourteen examples of plagiarism, including from Wikipedia. The passages in question contained similar wording to those of several Wikipedia articles, particularly the articles on Patrick R. Daley, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Tom Steyer, and Jared Kushner. In addition to the Wikipedia articles, other passages, while citing news articles properly, contained similar wording to the cited sources. [34]


During 2008 and 2009, Schweizer served as a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the White House.[35] In March 2009, Schweizer and fellow White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen opened Oval Office Writers LLC, which specializes in preparation for congressional testimony as well as pitching opinion editorials and book proposals.[36] Schweizer's notable clients have included Sarah Palin, and he advised her on foreign policy.[37] Schweizer is a member of the Research Advisory Council of the James Madison Institute, a free-market think tank headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida.[38]

Criticisms and errors[edit]

Schweizer has been criticized for incorrect reporting and conclusions not supported by facts, including in his second book Friendly Spies. Two Sunday Times reporters trying to follow-up on his reporting discovered that meetings described by Schweizer did not check out, that named sources did not exist or could not be found, and that there was no Paris Sheraton Hotel during the time period when the meetings allegedly took place.[39][40][41] Schweizer admitted he overreached in attacking Hillary Clinton's purported role in approving a Russian uranium deal and falsely claimed that then-Secretary of State Clinton "had veto power" to stop the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency (Rosatom) from purchasing Uranium One. During a May 5, 2015, Politico podcast interview, Schweizer admitted that "veto is probably not the best word" and "what I meant by veto power was as we explain the process, you know, if somebody objects it kicks in the special investigation."[42] In a 2015 NBC interview, Schweizer said that Hillary Clinton did not support a nuclear deal with India in 2006 and that she voted for it in 2008, after donations to the Clinton Foundation. PolitiFact rated Schweizer's claims false.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Schweizer lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife, Rhonda, and step-children.[44][45] He and his first wife, Rochelle Schweizer, co-authored books about Disney and the Bush family. They met when she was working with the National Forum Foundation (NFF), which in 1997 merged with Freedom House. Schweizer graduated from Kentridge High School in Kent, Washington in 1983.



  1. ^ Collins, Eliza (March 27, 2017). "Breitbart staff list reveals additional ties to Bannon and Mercer". USA Today. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  2. ^ "Peter Schweizer Expertise: International Relations National Security U.S. Presidency Peter Schweizer". Hoover Institution. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "YAF Alumnus Peter Schweizer Tops New York Times Bestseller List". YAF. YAF. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  4. ^ Hey, Nigel. The Star Wars Enigma: Behind the Scenes of the Cold War Race for Missile Defense, Potomac Books, 2006.
  5. ^ Schweizer, Peter. "The Meaning and Destiny of the Sandinista Revolution", National Forum Foundation, 1987.
  6. ^ Kroft, Steve. "Insiders: The road to the STOCK act. 60 Minutes, June 17, 2012. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Boyer, Peter J. "Peter Schweizer's New Book Blasts Congressional Corruption. Newsweek, November 13, 2011. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Kroft, Steve. "Washington's open secret: Profitable PACs. 60 Minutes, October 21, 2013. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Schweizer, Peter. "GAI Report: "Presidential Meetings With Cabinet Secretaries", Government Accountability Institute, December 10, 2013. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  10. ^ Schweizer, Peter."When Barry Met Kathy: Almost never, it turns out", Politico. December 5, 2013. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Bogardus, Kevin, and Jonathan Easley. "Before O-Care debacle, Sebelius made many trips to White House", The Hill, February 13, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Gilly-13 (October 1, 2004). "In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and Deed (Video 2004)". IMDb.
  13. ^ "The Film Makers". Reagan's War in Word and Deed. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure". Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "Peter Schweizer: 'Google and Facebook Brought' AG Anti-Trust Meeting 'on Themselves'". PJ Media. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  16. ^ "Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union By Peter Schweizer Reviewed By Stephen E. Ambrose". July–August 1994.
  17. ^ "Trump's New Iran Strategy, Inspired By The Cold War, Calls For "Maximum Pressure" By Mike Giglio". September 25, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "New Book, 'Clinton Cash,' Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation". April 20, 2015.
  19. ^ Frizell, Sam, and Zeke J. Miller, Massimo Calabresi. "Clinton Allies Knock Down Donor Allegations, New Questions Pop Up," Time, April 22, 2015. Accessed, April 24, 2015.
  20. ^ "'Clinton Cash' publisher corrects '7 or 8' inaccurate passages". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Barbash, Fred (November 15, 2017). "Fox News's Shepard Smith debunks his network's favorite Hillary Clinton 'scandal,' infuriates viewers". Retrieved March 30, 2018 – via
  22. ^ "Trump Accuses Clinton of Corruption". Time. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  23. ^ Bierman, Noah. "Donald Trump delivers broadside against Hillary Clinton: 'She gets rich making you poor'". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Trump Tries to Reset Race With Clinton Onslaught". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "No 'Veto Power' for Clinton on Uranium Deal -". April 28, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  26. ^ Karnie, Annie. "'Clinton Cash' publisher corrects '7 or 8' inaccurate passages, Politico, May 14, 2015. Accessed: May 14, 2015.
  27. ^ Pilkington, Ed (May 5, 2015). "Clinton Cash: errors dog Bill and Hillary exposé – but is there any 'there' there?". The Guardian. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  28. ^ Mider, Zachary (January 18, 2017). "'Clinton Cash' Book Got Most of Its Funding From One Hedge Fund Star". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  29. ^ Hoffman, Andy (January 19, 2017). "Trump Donor Robert Mercer Funded Book on Clinton Cash Dealings". Investopedia. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  30. ^ Mayer, Jane (March 27, 2017). "'The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  31. ^ "Author Alleges China Used Business Deals to Influence Families of Mitch McConnell, Joe Biden". The Wall Street Journal. March 15, 2019.
  32. ^ "Biden sidesteps questions about his son's foreign business dealings but promises ethics pledge". ABC News. June 20, 2019.
  33. ^ "Author Alleges China Used Business Deals to Influence Families of Mitch McConnell, Joe Biden". The Wall Street Journal. March 15, 2019.
  34. ^ Markay, Lachlan. "Book Alleging Biden Corruption in Ukraine Lifted Passages From Wikipedia". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019. The Daily Beast found more than a dozen instances in which Secret Empires, the bestselling book by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, copied nearly complete sentences or sizable portions of them verbatim or near-verbatim from other sources. In a number of instances, those sources were uncited Wikipedia pages created before the book’s publication in early 2018.
  35. ^ The Federalist Society, "Peter Schweizer. Accessed: April 24, 2015.
  36. ^ Alexovich, Ariel; Klingebiel, Jacqueline (March 25, 2009). "Suite Talk March 25, 2009: Speechwriters Open New Outlet". Politico.
  37. ^ Pitcher, Whitney. "SarahPAC Hires a New Foreign Policy Adviser?; Updated: SarahPAC Confirms",, May 3, 2011. Accessed: May 3, 2015.
  38. ^ "Research Advisory Council". James Madison Institute. Archived from the original on June 12, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  39. ^ Watts, David; Rufford, Nick (April 11, 1993). "The Spy Who Wasn't There". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  40. ^ Hananokil, Eric (April 20, 2015). "'Clinton Cash' Author Peter Schweizer's Long History of Errors, Retractions, And Questionable Sourcing". MediaMatters. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  41. ^ The Editors, National Review (September 5, 2006). "Franken Writes Back". MediaMatters. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  42. ^ Glenn Thrush (May 5, 2015). "Clinton Cash author: I like Marco Rubio". Politico (Podcast).
  43. ^ Carroll, Lauren (May 6, 2015). "'Clinton Cash' author: Hillary Clinton changed positions on India nuclear deal". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  44. ^ Boyer, Peter (November 13, 2011). "Peter Schweizer's New Book Blasts Congressional Corruption". Newsweek. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  45. ^ "Biography".

External links[edit]