More Clin­ton lies

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

The his­tor­i­cally in­ac­cu­rate, demon­stra­bly false tales re­cently told by Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton about dodg­ing sniper fire in 1996 when then-first lady vis­ited Bos­nia rep­re­sent the latest in­stall­ment in Mrs. Clin­ton’s long his­tory of con­vey­ing self-serv­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic.

Jerry Seper, the chief in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter for The Wash­ing­ton Times, has re­cently re­vealed de­tails in 30 once-se­cret doc­u­ments that chron­i­cled the in­ter­nal de­lib­er­a­tions of fed­eral prose­cu­tors as they re­viewed hun­dreds of pages of ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that Mrs. Clin­ton had con­cealed in­for­ma­tion and mis­led a fed­eral grand jury about her work for Madi­son Guar­anty Sav­ings and Loan As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­sol­vent thrift whose own­ers were part­ners with the Clin­tons in the in­fa­mous White­wa­ter landdevelopment scheme. The hereto­fore se­cret doc­u­ments and records to­tal more than 1,100 pages. Shed­ding light on the in­ter­nal de­bate about whether Mrs. Clin­ton should have faced crim­i­nal charges while first lady, the doc­u­ments were do­nated to the Li­brary of Congress by the es­tate of Sam Dash, the life­long Demo­crat who served as the ethics ad­viser to White­wa­ter In­de­pen­dent Coun­sel Ken­neth Starr.

When de­tails of the White­wa­ter scan­dal first emerged in March 1992 dur­ing the heat of the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion fight, Mr. and Mrs. Clin­ton de­nied that she had ever “earned a penny” rep­re­sent­ing Madi­son and its owner, Jim McDou­gal. Ac­cord­ing to a June 1998 draft in­dict­ment of Web­ster Hubbell, a for­mer part­ner with Mrs. Clin­ton in the Rose Law Firm who be­came as­so­ci­ate at­tor­ney gen­eral, Mrs. Clin­ton did le­gal work for Madi­son “con­tin­u­ously” from April 1985 to July 1986. At the time, reg­u­la­tors were con­sid­er­ing clos­ing Madi­son, which was judged to have been in­sol­vent fol­low­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion by the Fed­eral Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) in Jan­uary 1984. That was more than five years be­fore the fed­eral gov­ern­ment fi­nally closed Madi­son in 1989 at a cost to tax­pay­ers of $60 mil­lion.

The tim­ing of Mrs. Clin­ton’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Madi­son is cru­cial to the even­tual cost of Madi­son’s fail­ure to tax­pay­ers. In May 1985, with Mrs. Clin­ton, the wife of the gov­er­nor, rep­re­sent­ing Madi­son be­fore a reg­u­la­tor ap­pointed by the gov­er­nor, Madi­son re­ceived ap­proval of its unique plan to is­sue $3 mil­lion in pre­ferred stock to sat­isfy cap­i­tal re­quire­ments de­manded by the FHLBB. But that plan was never im­ple­mented. How­ever, dur­ing the sec­ond half of 1985, Madi­son’s mort­gage loans in­creased from $47.6 mil­lion to $79.6 mil­lion. A 1986 FHLBB ex­am­i­na­tion charged that Madi­son’s “man­age­ment bla­tantly dis­re­garded nu­mer­ous reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing the growth reg­u­la­tion,” and con­cluded that Madi­son was once again “in­sol­vent.” In 1986 fed­eral of­fi­cials re­moved Mr. McDou­gal, the Clin­tons’ White­wa­ter part­ner and sugar daddy, as head of Madi­son.

The doc­u­ments do­nated to the Li­brary of Congress by Mr. Dash’s es­tate and re­viewed by Mr. Seper and The Wash­ing­ton Times also re­vealed that Rose Law Firm billing records in­volv­ing Madi­son, which mys­te­ri­ously resur­faced in the White House in Jan­uary 1996, dis­ap­peared af­ter the first lady was warned in late 1993 that the firm’s billing prob­lems were “very se­ri­ous” and that the then-on­go­ing White­wa­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tion could re­sult in crim­i­nal charges.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors for the Res­o­lu­tion Trust Corp. (RTC) first sought the billing records in Fe­bru­ary 1994. A Feb. 28, 1994, memo by White House As­so­ci­ate Coun­sel W. Neil Eg­gle­ston de­scribed Mr. Hubbell’s ex­ten­sive role in rep­re­sent­ing Madi­son, con­tra­dict­ing his sworn tes­ti­mony to the RTC. Then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff Harold Ickes Jr., who is not a high-level of­fi­cial in Mrs. Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, for­warded Mr. Eg­gle­ston’s memo to the first lady the next day. A few months ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments re­viewed by Mr. Seper, Mrs. Clin­ton had been ad­vised by Allen Bird, an­other Rose part­ner, that the “billing prob­lems were very se­ri­ous.”

Nev­er­the­less, af­ter Mr. Hubbell re­signed as the third-high­est of­fi­cial in the Jus­tice De­part­ment on March 14, 1994, Mrs. Clin­ton told the pub­lic that his dilemma in­volved an “in­ter­nal billing dis­pute” with his Rose part­ners that “likely would be re­solved.” (Mr. Hubbell was later con­victed of nu­mer­ous felonies.) It was not the first time — nor the last — that Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton told an in­ac­cu­rate tale that proved to be as demon­stra­bly false as it was dis­in­for­ma­tional and self-serv­ing.

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