Schweizer: China 'buying off' Washington, making swamp undrainable

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Steve Jordahl (

1 storm clouds over U.S. CapitolHow deep is the Washington swamp? According to a bestselling author, politicians on both sides of the aisle are neck deep.

It was President Trump's cornerstone campaign promise: "It's time to drain the swamp in Washington, DC." And more than a year in office, he seems to making progress.

But very few people knew just how deep the swamp is, according to Peter Schweizer, author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. In the book (released in March), he argues that China has worked to gain leverage over powerful American politicians by targeting their families with investment opportunities and business deals.

"The amounts of money we're talking about are huge – they're astronomical," he said, "and it's just going to continue to get worse until we deal with it."


Speaking Wednesday on American Family Radio, Schweizer explained that the Chinese strategy is very simple. "They believe that they can essentially buy off the American political class and get them to do things that will facilitate the rise of Chinese power in the world at the expense of the United States," he said.

And the corruption exists on both sides of the political aisle, he continued. From a billion-dollar sweetheart deal between the Chinese and then Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter (via Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment banking and private investing firm) – to current Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (via Foremost Group, a shipping company).

The author opined that if McConnell were to do something in the Senate to upset the Chinese, they could destroy the Chao family business tomorrow.

"They're in the shipping business," he explained. "Their ships are all built by the Chinese government, the construction of those ships is financed by the Chinese government, the crews on their ships are all Chinese nationals, and their contracts are heavily tilted towards Chinese government entities for which they ship goods."

Schweizer said McConnell has become "increasingly soft towards Beijing" over the course of his 30-year political career. "The Chinese government has made that family very, very wealthy – and the question becomes: Are there strings attached to that?"

Continuing, Schweizer also suggested the Trump White House is in the crosshairs of the Chinese. Officials in Beijing, he said, are saying that "their tactic to try to get Trump to weaken his position [on China] is they are going to offer sweetheart deals to his family."

And despite the fact that Trump represents "a fundamental challenge" to what they've been trying to do, he said the Chinese "are going to do every single thing they can do to get him to weaken his position – and one of those things is to offer sweetheart deals to family and friends to try to get him to soften his views."

The author was asked why there has been little to no media exposure about this corruption – and he offered several explanations:

"There are some good reporters at the national level; they don't have the resources or the time to focus on these stories because their editors have told them to chase the shiny object that everybody is chasing that day.

"You do have reporters who will tell you that they want to pursue these stories but their editors are telling them No, we don't want you to pursue them.

"And then I think you also have the issue that a lot of reporters who cover politics ... want and crave access – and what 'access' means is that at some level a powerful political figure trusts you or likes you. Well, if you start asking these questions and doing these stories, you're going to be isolated very quickly."

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