you describe what you first saw?
CW: The very
first thing I saw was something white through the trees. Investigating,
I saw that it was a body. So, very, very carefully, making sure
that I didn't disturb anything, I went over to see what it could
be. You know, I didn't have a clue who it was - I approached
the body straight from his head. He was feet down on a 45-degree
angle down the embankment.
he face up? Was he face down?
CW: Face straight
up. Hands on each side of his body straight away. Just like he
was - just laid down.
you tell immediately that he was dead?
CW: Oh, yes.
There was black dried blood on his lips and his nose. Just white
the eyes open?
CW: His eyes
were maybe one third of the way open.
you're standing there, you see this body. What do you think at
CW: Well, the
first thing I thought was that somebody knocked him in the head
because I couldn't see any sign of any blood on his shirt and
trousers. Just the blood around his mouth and his nose.
you thought he had been hit by someone?
CW: I thought
somebody hit him in the head.
killed him by hitting him in the head?
CW: That's what
I thought when I first saw it. ... I looked to see if he had
something in his hands that he could defend himself with - maybe
a rock or something like that.
did you find anything?
CW: No. And that's
why I was so adamant and so sure [that Foster had no gun]. Because
I clearly looked at both hands. And they were straight down by
his sides, fully extended, straight as can be, and both hands
were palm up.
hands were palm up?
CW: There was
zero doubt. None. Both hands were palm up. [Note: in the single
Foster death scene photo released by investigators, Foster's
hand is turned on its side, palm facing toward the ground, with
a gun clearly visible.]
you first saw the body, did you see any gun anywhere?
CW: None ...
CW: Several things
led me to believe he had been placed there.
was that? What made you believe that he had been placed there?
CW: The embankment
is very, very steep. [Fort Marcy Park] is a Civil War fort -
very densely overgrown. ... The leaves were at least four to
six inches deep in that area where he was lying. But the leaves
from just about his waist down to the bottom of the 45-degree
slope, for an area that was approximately four to five feet wide,
below his body and up to just about his waist, had all been tramped
down. It was as if somebody had walked back and forth at least
a dozen times . . .
said during a break that Robert Fiske sent FBI agents to interview
you four times. Can you walk us through those interviews and
tell us what happened?
CW: After a lengthy
debate they agreed to keep me confidential and I agreed to let
them interview me. They came to my home. That was agent [William]
Columbell and [Lawrence] Monroe. The first night was probably
two hours. They asked me, I would say in the neighborhood of
at least five or six times, "Are you sure there was no gun
in his hand?"
And, of course,
every time I told them exactly what I saw. There was no gun,
this man's palms were both palm up, laid neatly at his sides
with his arms extended full-length.
I didn't like
that, that they would repeatedly ask me that. So, when they scheduled
another meeting, I wanted someone there to confirm what was going
on. So I had a very good friend of mine be here. ... She was
here for the next three interviews and she can verify that they
repeatedly asked me about this handgun thing and I kept telling
them the same thing over and over.
QUESTION OF THE
How many dear friends
or family members of yours
need a presidential pardon?
ON THE LARRY KING SHOW: One of my friends that - and I'm really
not going to be mentioning too many names, specific names tonight,
but one of my good friends that I had requested -- I requested
four or five people for pardons that were dear friends of mine
and in our families - one of them called me up to tell me two
things: one, he didn't receive his, and he heard that I received
mine. I didn't know. I didn't wake up in the morning like it
was Christmas morning and say: "Oh, my gosh, did I get my
LEIGH COWAN, NY TIMES: In the last weeks of the Clinton presidency,
when Roger Clinton was visiting the White House for a few days,
a piece of mail arrived addressed to him from the family of a
convicted drug dealer looking for clemency. The president made
a note on the envelope to Meredith Cabe, a White House lawyer
who was handling hundreds of last-minute pardons. "Meredith,
looks like a case for commutation pls check out - BC," the
note reads, said a lawyer who has seen the document. It is not
clear what role Roger Clinton played in moving the application
of the convicted drug dealer, Steven Michael Griggs, to the head
of the line, and Mr. Griggs did not receive a presidential pardon.
But the document provides the first evidence that President Bill
Clinton lent his support to any of his half brother's efforts
to secure pardons for felons convicted of drug dealing, bank
fraud and tax evasion.
& MICHAEL WEISSKOPF, TIME: More than a year ago, sources
told TIME, the FBI learned of Clinton's efforts with the parole
board. Suspicious of his motives, agents wanted to set up a sting
operation. Members of the Clinton-appointed Parole Commission
are said to have asked Justice Department officials to nix the
FBI probe. The Department refused, but that investigation petered
out anyway . . . As the days of the Clinton presidency dwindled,
Roger Clinton was in great demand by pardon seekers. Lawyers
for two of them shipped documents to Roger Clinton at the White
House in care of the usher's office, sources said. Neither of
them received clemency. MORE
RICHARD A. SERRANO,
LA TIMES: Roger Clinton, already under investigation for allegedly
taking money to lobby for several presidential pardons, now is
being asked to explain whether he helped five additional men
try to secure executive clemencies from his half-brother, former
President Clinton. According to documents obtained Thursday by
The Times, the House Government Reform Committee wants to know
whether Roger Clinton was paid for using his White House connection
to help the men, who include a Kentucky horse breeder sent to
prison for fraud and a Texas marina operator convicted on tax
charges. "Our documents show that Roger Clinton sought to
help some of these people with pardons or that others asked Roger
Clinton to help them with an executive grant of clemency,"
said a committee investigator, who asked not to be identified
because of the widening investigation. MORE
COWAN, NY TIMES: In late January, in the final days of the Clinton
administration, the White House told the Justice Department that
it was considering a presidential pardon for Rosario Gambino,
a convicted heroin trafficker and reputed organized crime figure.
A law enforcement official said that a lawyer in the White House
counsel's office faxed a request to the Justice Department for
background information on Mr. Gambino, who is serving a 45-year
sentence. The department, which received dozens of similar requests
that month, sent back a copy of Mr. Gambino's criminal record.
President Bill Clinton granted no pardon. That exchange has taken
on new significance in recent days as Congressional investigators
have begun to examine a $50,000 payment from a company controlled
by the children of Rosario Gambino to Roger Clinton, the president's
half brother. A person close to Tommy Gambino, Rosario Gambino's
son, said that Roger Clinton had led the family to believe he
could help obtain a presidential pardon. "Whatever he said
to him made Tommy Gambino think it was a lock," this person
said in an interview. Roger Clinton's lawyer, Bart H. Williams,
acknowledged yesterday that his client had received money from
the Gambino family. "Tommy Gambino is a friend of Roger
Clinton's and has been for many years," Mr. Williams said
NEWSMAX: The one-time business partners of former
first brother Roger Clinton had inside information about President
Clinton's impeachment that seemed to bolster claims they had
influence with the White House, key Pardongate witness Garland
Lincecum said from his White Plains, New York jail cell. In a
taped interview told WABC radio hosts John Batchelor and Paul
Alexander that while he was negotiating payments for his pardon
with Clinton's business partners Dickey Morton and George Locke
in late 1998 and early 1999, the two men made detailed predictions
about Clinton's impeachment and subsequent Senate trial that
always seemed to come true . . . The uncanny ability of Roger
Clinton's business partners to foretell the course of President
Clinton's impeachment stunned Lincecum, and the convincing specifics
they offered led him to believe that Roger Clinton had access
to information about secret dealings at the highest levels of
the White House:
Morton is speaking, you presume, with Roger regularly.
Roger's boasting about his information at the White House, about
the president's state of mind, the president's tactics.
what the [impeachment] votes are going to be?
Right down to the -- they called it almost to the vote......
in January, the Senate trial, did they also tell you how the
Senate trial was going to go?
Yeah, right to the vote.
to the vote. So you're sitting there watching [the trial] and
these guys have direct access into the White House?
That's what it appeared to be.
after the president was found not guilty, that is he wasn't removed
from office by the Senate, what were their remarks?
Basically it was sort of like, "Well, I told you so."
adds credence to a report the Review received but has not previously
reported: that the White House had moles within the impeachment
committee itself and that there were few surprises along the
WASHINGTON POST: Hollywood producer Peter Paul, organizer of
a gala fundraising event for Hillary Rodham Clinton last summer,
said in a lawsuit filed last week that he made more than $2 million
in in-kind contributions to benefit Clinton's New York Senate
campaign that were never reported. Paul, who was convicted of
fraud and drug charges two decades ago, was indicted anew on
stock fraud charges in New York earlier this month. In an unsuccessful
effort to stave off those charges, he presented his allegations
about the Clinton campaign to four U.S. attorney's offices, all
of which declined to investigate. Paul is now in Brazil, and
prosecutors are seeking his return. MORE
WORLDNET DAILY: Bill Clinton's misuse of Arkansas state police
assigned to his security detail when he was governor didn't stop
at procuring mistresses, Worldnet Daily has learned. He also
allegedly had them keep track of his extramarital scoring. After
troopers picked him up from trysts with various Arkansas women,
Clinton allegedly would rate their performance in bed, giving
points for certain sex acts. He had troopers keep a record, say
informed sources. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, allegedly enlisted
the troopers to chauffeur her to secret meetings with the late
Vincent Foster, her law partner at the time, at a resort hotel
about 50 miles north of Little Rock, Ark., sources say. Records
of the trips, along with the sexual rating system, are contained
in several boxes recently returned to the state police by former
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office, say sources familiar
with the records. The documents were subpoenaed in 1995 as part
of the Whitewater investigation . . . The boxes of documents
stored by the former troopers are "embarrassing to both
Clinton and the state police," a source said. "They'll
be destroyed, now that they have them back, if they haven't been
BENITA Y. WILLIAMS,
KANSAS CITY STAR: A Smithville man on parole for rape in Arkansas
was questioned by police in connection with a Northland murder.
Kansas City police arrested Wayne E. Dumond, 51, at his residence
in the 400 block of East Main Street on a parole violation warrant
involving a homicide investigation. He was transferred to the
Clay County Jail and was being held without bond Monday. Missouri
Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest said the warrant
was issued because Kansas City police had "significant evidence"
linking Dumond to a homicide . . . Dumond was on parole for a
1985 rape conviction in Arkansas. His parole was transferred
to Missouri last year after he married a woman from the Smithville
area. Dumond had no parole violations in Missouri before last
week, Kniest said. Dumond's Arkansas conviction involved the
1984 rape of a 17-year-old high school cheerleader from Forrest
City who was a distant cousin of former President Bill Clinton.
While awaiting trial, Dumond said he was castrated by masked
men at his residence. No one was arrested, but Dumond received
a lawsuit settlement against then-Sheriff Coolidge Conlee of
St. Francis County, who kept Dumond's testicles in a jar on his
office desk. After being convicted of rape, Dumond was sentenced
to life in prison plus 20 years. In 1992, Gov. Jim Guy Tucker
commuted the sentence to 39 years and six months. In 1996, Gov.
Mike Huckabee said he had "serious questions" about
Dumond's guilt and started the process to free him.MORE
WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee held up the nomination
[of Ted Olson], following the placement in the Washington Post
of a classic piece of journalistic insinuation without actually
accusing Mr. Olson of anything real. Last week committee Democrats
walked out rather than vote on him. Senator Patrick Leahy, the
ranking Democrat on Judiciary, claims to be worried that Mr.
Olson wasn't forthright before the committee about his knowledge
of the "Arkansas Project." This was the informal name
that The American Spectator magazine gave to its own efforts
to investigate and report on the political and financial history
of Bill Clinton in his home state. Various Clinton acolytes from
Geraldo Rivera to Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal spun the effort
as something out of one of Robert Ludlum's paranoid political
In fact, that characterization, like what is now being done to
Ted Olson, is the demonization of perfectly innocent associations.
The "Arkansas Project" was an exercise of The American
Spectator's First Amendment rights, something much of the major
media seems to think applies only to itself. Note, incidentally,
that Sidney Blumenthal just called off a libel case he brought
against cyber-columnist Matt Drudge, paying Mr. Drudge $2,500.
The Blumenthal lawsuit was cut from the same cloth as the phony
Arkansas Project flap - an attempt to intimidate media critical
of the Clintons. Mr. Blumenthal subpoenaed numerous journalists
from his redoubt in the White House. Back then the Post would
report on a White House effort to undermine one of its own Whitewater
TPR: The Post
continues to prop up the discredited myth that Clinton was a
victim rather than a perp. In the third paragraph of its front-page
story, the Post wrote: "Democratic senators said either
the staff or the full committee should question others who worked
at the American Spectator during the 1990s, when the magazine
ran a $2.3 million investigation into the activities of Bill
Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton known as the 'Arkansas Project.'
Financed by foundations controlled by conservative billionaire
Richard Mellon Scaife, the project became a symbol for Clinton
loyalists of what they viewed as a concerted effort by the right
to undermine the Clintons." The last time we checked, pursuing
wrong-doing by public officials was a prime function of journalism
and not a violation of the federal code. Scaife and the Spectator
did nothing different in their Whitewater investigation than
the Katherine Graham and the Post did in their Watergate investigation.
The Post could have had the Whitewater story, but instead chose
to flack for Clinton . . . Meanwhile, far more serious Bush appointment
stories get ignored or short shrift from the archaic media, such
as those involving Richard Armitage, Otto Reich, and Asa Hutchinson,
the latter in line to be the new DEA chief. The Washington Times
did run a short piece on Hutchinson picked up from the Village
Voice which in turn used the Review's story on how Hutchinson
had failed to pursue serious allegations concerning drug trafficking
at Mena. For the DEA to be run by someone connected with the
seamy drug-infested politics of Arkansas - even if all he did
was look the other way - is a real front page story. Ironically,
one of the writers of the get-Olson article, Robert Kaiser, was
reportedly involved in killing a major story on Mena the Post
was almost ran at a critical point in the Clinton presidency.
DEBORAH ORIN, NY POST: Disgraced Clinton associate
Webster Hubbell - who was left out of the ex-president's pardon
party - is now painting Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton as selfish
and disloyal. Hubbell, once No. 3 at the Justice Department,
also belatedly admits he suspected Clinton was cheating on his
wife years before Monica Lewinsky. "Why everybody else but
me? If you are going to take political heat for [pardoning] everyone,
what is it about me that made you select me as the one who was
not pardoned?" Hubbell asks in a Vanity Fair interview.
"For many years, people would say the Clintons are disloyal
and I would say, 'You have to understand, they are required to
do this.' So when this all happened, it forced me to say, am
I in the same category?" . . . Asked about the report, Bill
Clinton's aide Karen Tramontano said: "As they have said
before, the Clintons understand that the last several years have
been very difficult for the Hubbells. They sincerely hope that
the years ahead will be good ones for Webb and his family."
The FBI Director's relationship with the Clinton White House
deteriorated so bad in its waning years that Director Louis Freeh
decided to wait for a new Administration to conclude the bureau's
investigation of Iranian government officials linked to a 1996
bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed nineteen Americans and injured
five hundred . . . According to publishing sources, reporter
Elsa Walsh [OF THE New Yorker] has developed a story slugged:
'Louis Freeh's Unfinished Business,' exploring the estrangement
between Freeh and Clinton . . . At one point, during a late-night
phone call between Freeh and deputies William Esposito and Robert
Bryant, about whether to brief Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
(and thus potentially Clinton) before a trip to China, Bryant
said, "Why should we brief him? He's a crook. He's no better
than a bank robber. Would we tell a bank robber about our investigation?"
Freeh is said to have replied that that was going a little too
RON BROWN DOCUMENTS
NEWSMAX: Intelligence Agency documents on Ron Brown's involvement
with the Chinese army are secret in the interests of "national
security," according to an April 30 CIA letter. The Clinton
commerce secretary died in 1996 in a plane crash while under
investigation for illegal financial ties to Beijing. In 1999,
the Commerce Department was forced by federal court to release
documents found inside the Commerce Department on COSTIND, the
Chinese Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National
Defense. Sixth District Court Judge Robert Payne ordered Commerce
lawyers to release all the COSTIND documents into his custody
for review. Commerce lawyers asserted that COSTIND was a civilian
Chinese agency and that the documents did not have to be released.
This reporter successfully argued to the court that COSTIND was
a well-known unit of the Chinese army . . . In 1994, COSTIND
commander Chinese army Gen. Ding Henggao successfully penetrated
the U.S. Defense Department and the Clinton White House. During
the Clinton years, Ding and COSTIND obtained a vast array of
American military technology including an air defense network,
supercomputers for nuclear weapons production, satellites and
advanced ballistic missile designs. In 1994, COSTIND Lt. Gen.
Madam Nie Li, Ding's wife, obtained a secure, high-speed, fiber-optic
communications system from AT&T. The system was shipped directly
to a COSTIND unit, where it was modified for Chinese army use
and is now being duplicated for export using American-made parts.
The communications system slipped past U.S. exports laws as a
joint U.S.-Chinese commercial venture called "Hua Mei."
The Chinese army part of the venture was run by a newly formed
company named "Galaxy New Technology." Stanford professor
John Lewis, a close friend and the paid personal consultant for
Clinton Secretary of Defense William Perry, was the key board
member of the project. Lewis located Adlai Stevenson III, the
former Democrat senator from Illinois, to lead the American side
of the joint venture.
PAUL SPERRY, WORLD NET DAILY: The e-mail records of
former Attorney General Janet Reno and her top aides were not
electronically archived until late last year, a high-level Justice
Department official says, and may be as spotty as those kept
by the Clinton White House. An incomplete archive will likely
make it harder for New York prosecutors to investigate the circumstances
surrounding former President Clinton's shady pardon of Marc Rich,
legal experts say. Reno's deputy consulted with lawyers for the
millionaire fugitive as early as February 2000. It would also
dim hopes that Congress -- or perhaps even Reno's successor,
Attorney General John Ashcroft -- can reconstruct the campaign-finance
task force's investigation to see if it has been as "thorough"
and "honest" as Reno has claimed.
VIVECA NOVAK, TIME MAGAZINE: Federal prosecutors have
been moving forward quietly and quickly in their investigation
of Bill Clinton's last-minute pardons. Time has learned that
U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White has dropped a subpoena on Clinton's
brother, Roger, for a grand jury appearance to discuss his role
in an alleged pardon swindle. Insiders say that White has all
but finished with most witnesses in the controversial clemency
granted to four New York Hasidic Jewish leaders. And, in a possibly
major development, one lawyer close to the investigation says
that White has struck an immunity deal with Democratic donor
Denise Rich, whose international financier ex-husband Marc was
pardoned by Clinton despite objections from White House lawyers.
NEWSMAX: Federal investigators probing allegations
that former first brother Roger Clinton may have sold presidential
pardons have discovered more than $30 million in bank accounts
controlled by a company he runs. "They found in the accounts
of this company, which has no assets and no real business to
speak of, were over $30 million," reported the Wall Street
Journal's John Fund, in an interview with Fox News Channel's
Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night. A Texas family has given prosecutors
cancelled checks in the amount of $200,000 which they say was
paid to an Arkansas company named CLM with the understanding
that Roger would obtain presidential clemency from his brother
for an incarcerated relative. CLM are the initials of the last
names of Clinton and his two business partners, George Locke
and Dickie Morton. On Thursday WABC radio's John Batchelor and
Paul Alexander told colleague Sean Hannity that the $30 million
revelation may have piqued the IRS's interest.
PHILIP DELVES BROUGHTON, LONDON TELEGRAPH: The wife of Marc Rich,
the billionaire fugitive controversially pardoned by President
Clinton, has disclosed how she and her husband were told of the
decision two hours before the Justice Department. Gisela Rich
said they were telephoned at their home in Switzerland by the
head of the Rich Foundation in Israel, Avnery Azulay. By hiring
lawyers who had worked closely with Mr. Clinton in the past,
Mr. Rich received special treatment from the White House, which
completely by-passed normal Justice Department procedures . .
. Despite Mr. Clinton's denials, many suspect that the pardon
was granted solely as a favor to Mr. Rich's ex-wife, Denise,
a friend of the Clintons and generous contributor to their various
causes. She has given millions of pounds to the Clintons' political
campaigns and to Mr. Clinton's Presidential library.
ASKED ABOUT HER
gifts of two coffee tables and two chairs to Bill and Hillary
Rodham Clinton, Denise Rich told Vanity Fair, "Everybody
gave furniture," Rich tells Vanity Fair. "There was
a list going around from the decorator." She also informed
VF that "there is definitely a black person inside [of me]
waiting to get out. I'm sure I was once black."
LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: A key witness in the Pardongate probe of former
first brother Roger Clinton suffered a heart attack last week
while in prison, his lawyer revealed. 67-year-old Garland Lincecum,
whose family says they paid a company controlled in part by the
Clinton brother over $200,000 in exchange for the promise of
presidential clemency, suffered cardiac arrest just 90 feet from
the infirmary at the Houston Unit of the federal correctional
facility at Bastrop, Texas. Lincecum was immediately rushed to
a hospital in Austin, Texas.In an interview with WABC' Radio's
John Batchelor and Paul Alexander, Lincecum's lawyer Ed Hayes
revealed the stunning development and sought to allay fears that
it could derail the Pardongate investigation . . . Lincecum's
brush with death comes just a little over three years after another
key witness against a Clinton family member suffered cardiac
arrest in jail and died. The March 8, 1998 death of former Clinton
business partner James McDougal at the federal prison medical
facility in Fort Worth, Texas derailed a planned indictment of
Hillary Clinton by prosecutors investigating the Whitewater scandal,
according to Washington Post reporter Sue Schmidt and Time Magazine's
Michael Weisskopf. "Why this is alarming to us is because
McDougal died of a heart attack in solitary confinement in jail
while the Whitewater prosecution was pending," Batchelor
reminded Hayes. "I think that any time you have older men
under a lot of stress in jail their health is an issue,"
Hayes told Batchelor and Alexander.
ELIZABETH WILNER, ABC: Bill Clinton still
owes millions of dollars in lawyers' fees, but three years after
it was formed, his legal defense fund is now dwindling. Contributions
to the Clinton Legal Expense Trust have slowed, solicitations
have ceased at least temporarily and one of the administrators
of the trust is heading to law school in August. At the fund's
seventh and final press briefing, Executive Director Anthony
Essaye announced that future reports on the fund's financial
status will be filed quietly and quarterly with the Senate, in
accordance with the body's ethics rules . . . Formed back in
February 1998 to raise money to help the Clintons pay off their
legal expenses in connection with the Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater
scandals, the fund has taken in a total $8.7 million. But the
Clintons' legal expenses now amount to $11.3 million . . . As
of today, between what resources the fund currently has on hand
and what it already has paid out, Essaye estimated it has covered
$7.4 million of total bills.
JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: Investigators from the
US Attorney's office have been poring through dusty records stashed
in a New York court storeroom, looking for clues as to whether
Marc Rich, the onetime fugitive financier, used his former wife,
the songwriter Denise Rich, to pass political contributions to
Bill and Hillary Clinton in exchange for a January pardon. All
sides deny any wrongdoing. At the heart of the investigators'
search is a 1993 New York lawsuit, filed by Denise Rich against
her ex-husband, whom she accused of defrauding her, as well as
the children's trusts. As confusing as the case is, it raises
the question of Denise's role in Marc's business: Does she still
have a financial stake in Marc's companies, the same ones that
were accused of tax evasion in the early '80s? Denise herself
admits in the court filings that in the early '90s she got lost
in the "dizzying corporate network" of her husband's
business dealings. Nonetheless, the picture that emerges from
the documents is that of an angry and feisty former wife who
had herself been a knowledgeable stockholder, beneficiary, and
player inside the Rich empire. It's hardly the cheery picture
of songwriter Denise-the pizza-loving girl next door who'd rather
hang out with Natalie Cole and write pop songs.
CHARLES THOMPSON II & TONY HAYS,
WORLD NET DAILY: In
his frenetic last day in office, Bill Clinton issued 177 pardons
and commutations. More than 30 of these didn't go through the
rigorous screening process that typically takes 18 to 24 months
and is designed to weed out people who continued to break the
law. And more than six weeks after Clinton departed the White
House, Justice Department officials are still at a loss as to
who many of these people are or how they received presidential
pardons and commutations. Justice officials recently informed
several reporters that they were "highly suspicious"
about the pardon of James Timothy Maness. All they knew about
Maness was that he received a three-year suspended sentence in
1985 in the US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
(Memphis) for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
. . . With a medium amount of difficulty, World Net Daily tracked
Maness down. . . . According to the two arresting officers, they
had received a tip that Maness was trafficking in large quantities
of prescription and illegal drugs. Through an intermediary, they
arranged to meet Maness in the Hickory Hills section of Memphis
where the two undercover officers, L.O. Phelps and Rick Jewel,
were waiting. A surveillance team made a video tape as Phelps
and Jewel bought 12 pounds of alleged Quaaludes from Maness .
. . "There were so many that we just weighed them instead
of counting them," said Phelps. "This was no street-level
dealer. This guy was further up the food chain than that. We're
talking about $200,000 at 1985 prices."
I feel sometimes
defending President Clinton is like being in the Mafia - you
just can't get out. You know, I'm like Michael Corleone. How
do I get out of this business?" - James Carville during
a debate with Bill O'Reilly
STEWART TENDLER, TIMES, LONDON: Customs officers have
seized nearly $2 million in cash after it was flown into Britain
on behalf of Marc Rich, the fugitive billionaire pardoned by
Bill Clinton. Mr Rich, whose presidential pardon is under investigation
by the FBI, now has to prove that the cash was honestly acquired,
or he could lose it. Investigators are holding the cash under
powers aimed at preventing drug traffickers moving their profits
from country to country. The cash was found by customs officers
this month when a courier for a British security company flew
into Gatwick Airport from Europe. The company and courier were
hired to transport a high-security package in a case and were
un-aware it contained cash . . .
BLOMQUIST, NY POST: Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman
admitted he sought a presidential pardon for Marc Rich a month
after his group accepted a $100,000 donation from the billionaire
financier. Foxman, leader of one of the nation's largest Jewish
groups, wrote a letter to then-President Bill Clinton on Dec.
7, urging a pardon for Rich . . . Foxman said last Monday that
he regretted writing to Clinton, saying he had a change of heart
after learning the feds had offered to let Rich return to the
United States on bail to face his legal troubles . . . The ADL
acknowledged that Foxman and Rich's Israeli representative, former
Mossad agent Avner Azulay, met in Paris last February to discuss
ways to resolve Rich's legal problems. Foxman recommended to
Azulay that Rich seek a pardon by using his ex-wife Denise Rich
- a major contributor to the Clintons' campaigns and to Bill
Clinton's library - as an intermediary.
DR. HENRY LEE,
one of three consultants hired by Kenneth Starr to look into
Vincent Foster's death has told the Globe weekly that he would
like the case reopened. Lee has worked on a number of high profile
cases inculding that involving O.J. Simpson. Said Lee, ""As
a scientist I can only give a recommendation. But I would like
to see the case reopened, but I don't think it will happen."
NEWSMAX: The US intelligence review that resulted
in the Russian spy purge began well before the arrest of FBI
turncoat Robert Hanssen, reports the New York Post, and was,
in fact, prompted by other concerns. US spy catchers were particularly
worried about "indications that the Russians were aware
of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky well before the
scandal broke," the paper said. Not only did Putin's predecessor,
Boris Yeltsin, claim in his memoirs that he knew before Ken Starr
about Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky, but US intelligence
experts now suspect "the Russian SVR spy agency, successor
to the KGB, may have intercepted Clinton's phone-sex conversations
with her." Undoubtedly those intercepts, if they occurred,
were recorded - raising the ominous possibility that Russian
leaders had potent evidence to blackmail Clinton starting at
the beginning of his second term.
LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: Because his lawyer was concerned for his physical
safety, a key witness in the federal probe into allegations that
former first brother Roger Clinton promised presidential clemency
in exchange for cash has been moved from his jail cell at the
federal penitentiary at El Reno, Okla. Sixty-seven-year-old Garland
Lincecum, whose family alleges they paid a company representing
Roger over $200,000 to win his freedom, had been thrown into
solitary confinement after a prison fight instigated by another
inmate. "He was in a suicidal state," reported WABC
radio's John Batchelor late Wednesday. "We were concerned
that we were looking at another McDougal situation." In
March 1998 key Whitewater witness James McDougal died of cardiac
arrest in the federal prison medical facility at Fort Worth,
Texas, after being thrown into solitary confinement without his
heart medication. Batchelor and his radio partner Paul Alexander
broke the news of the Lincecum family's charges on Feb. 27, which
resulted in a full-blown investigation by the office of US Attorney
for New York's Southern District Mary Jo White.
JON DOUGHERTY, WORLD NET DAILY: The Democratic National
Committee has yet to return illegal campaign contributions made
by members of the Indonesian Riady family and the Riady-owned
Lippo Group, contrary to assurances by DNC officials that the
money had been returned. According to a statement released Wednesday
by Judicial Watch, ~ Justice Department lawyers told a federal
court that "contrary to public statements, the DNC has never
refunded or disgorged the illegal foreign contributions"
received from James Riady . . . Riady pleaded guilty Monday to
campaign finance violations. The court sentenced him to 400 hours
of community service, two years of probation, and fined him $8.6
million -- the largest fine ever imposed for a campaign finance
violation. The Lippo executive voluntarily agreed to return to
the US from Indonesia and face a court in exchange for the plea
agreement. Had a trial ensued, if found guilty Riady could have
faced a fine in excess of $17 million. He was facing 87 counts.
BRIAN BLOMQUIST, NY POST: Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton's brother Hugh still hasn't paid back $100,000 of the
$400,000 he took for pushing pardons for two felons - because
"he spent some of it," his lawyer said. Lawyer Nancy
Luque said Hugh Rodham has no idea when he'll be able to return
the money. "His former clients are not pressing him,"
said Luque, who incorrectly told reporters when the story first
broke three weeks ago that Rodham had already repaid the money
. . . She added that the senator was going on bad information
when she said three weeks ago that her brother had already repaid
convicted snake-oil salesman Glenn Braswell and cocaine trafficker
RICHARD A. SERRANO & STEPHEN BRAUN,
The Justice Department has designated a special team of prosecutors
to investigate all the last-minute clemencies granted by outgoing
President Clinton, including the commutation for convicted Los
Angeles drug dealer Carlos Vignali, officials said. The decision
by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, described by Justice Department
officials as unprecedented in its scope, empowers US Atty. Mary
Jo White of New York to vastly broaden her office's review of
three controversial cases to encompass all 177 pardons and commutations
granted by Clinton on his last day in the White House.
RICHARD SALE, UPI: Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin
knew about President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky as
early as 1996, according to former US intelligence officials
who said that they believe that the Russians obtained the knowledge
by compromising secure White House communications. The Clinton-Lewinsky
scandal did not become public until 1998 and in 1996 was known
only "to a mere handful" of the White House inner circle,
these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. These
officials do not rule out that compromising information given
the Russians by accused FBI spy Robert Hanssen could have played
a role in helping Yeltsin obtain the information. In the book
``Midnight Diaries'' published last October, Yeltsin said that
in November 1996 he had received an encrypted telegram that reported
that Republican Party activists intended to plant an attractive
young woman in the Clinton White House to embarrass its most
senior occupant. In the book, Yeltsin did not name Lewinsky but
when asked by an interviewer for the London Times if he knew
the woman's name was Lewinsky, he replied: "I knew."
LA TIMES: Lawyers for two men who sought presidential
clemency said that their clients were solicited to pay large
sums of money in return for Roger Clinton's help in their cases.
In one case, a Texas man paid $200,000 in two installments to
an Arkansas firm to secure clemency for his brother, who was
imprisoned for fraud, said New York attorney Ed Hayes. The convict
was not released. In the second, Arkansas lawyer Gene O'Daniel
said his client, a North Little Rock caterer, was approached
to pay $30,000 in return for Clinton's help in winning a pardon
for a 10-year-old felony conviction. "I told him it was
crazy," O'Daniel said in an interview. "I had to talk
him out of it." The caterer ultimately received a pardon
without paying Clinton, O'Daniel said.
NEIL A. LEWIS, NY TIMES: Federal prosecutors
are investigating complaints from several people who say they
were swindled by two Arkansas businessman who claimed they were
partners with Roger Clinton, the former president's half- brother,
and could deliver pardons and business deals, law enforcement
officials and lawyers said today. One Texas man, Guy H. Lincecum,
said he and his mother paid $235,000 to the Arkansas businessmen,
Dickey Morton and George Locke, for a pardon for his brother
but never received one. The checks from Mr. Lincecum and his
mother, Alberta, were deposited in the Arkansas account of a
company called C.L.M. Mr. Lincecum said he was told by Mr. Locke
and Mr. Morton that the company's initials stood for Clinton,
Locke and Morton. Roger Clinton said through a spokeswoman today
that though he knew Mr. Locke and Mr. Morton, he never heard
of C.L.M. and had never authorized either man to use his name
in any way. In fact, all those who said they dealt with Mr. Morton
and Mr. Locke said that while they believed their assertions
that Mr. Clinton was their partner, they never saw nor spoke
to Mr. Clinton.
MORRIS, GLOBE & MAIL, CANADA: There is an emblematic moment at the
start of Bill Clinton's political life. It is January, 1974,
and the 27-year-old future president, only months out of Yale
Law School, is back in Arkansas eager to run for Congress. A
relative unknown, he faces an imposing field of rivals in the
Democratic primary, and beyond, in the general election, a powerful
Republican incumbent. Yet as soon as he enters the race, Mr.
Clinton enjoys a decisive seven-to-one advantage in campaign
funds over the nearest Democratic competitor, and will spend
twice as much as his well-supported GOP opponent. It begins with
a quiet meeting at his mother's house in Hot Springs. Around
the kitchen table, as Virginia Clinton will describe the scene,
avid young Billy meets with two of his most crucial early backers
-- uncle Raymond G. Clinton, a prosperous local Buick dealer,
and family friend and wealthy businessman Gabe Crawford. As they
talk, Mr. Crawford offers the candidate unlimited use of his
private plane, and uncle Raymond not only provides several houses
around the district to serve as campaign headquarters, but will
secure a $10,000 loan to Bill from the First National Bank of
Hot Springs -- an amount then equal to the yearly income of many
Arkansas families. Together, the money and aircraft and other
gifts, including thousands more in secret donations, will launch
Mr. Clinton in the most richly financed race in the annals of
Arkansas -- and ultimately onto the most richly financed political
career in American history. Though he loses narrowly in 1974,
his showing is so impressive, especially in his capacity to attract
such money and favors, that he rises rapidly to become state
attorney-general, then governor, and eventually, with much the
same backing and advantage, president of the United States .
. . No mere businessman with a spare plane, Gabe Crawford presided
over a back room bookie operation that was one of Hot Springs'
most lucrative criminal enterprises. And just as Marc Rich, with
his sordid international trafficking from Manhattan to Tripoli,
was no ordinary investor, the inimitable uncle Raymond - who
had also played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in keeping young
Bill out of the Vietnam draft - was far more than an auto dealer.
In the nationally prominent fount of vice and corruption that
was Hot Springs from the 1920s to the 1980s (its barely concealed
casinos generated more income than Las Vegas well into the 1960s),
the uncle's Buick agency and other businesses and real estate
were widely thought to be facades for illegal gambling, drug
money laundering and other ventures, in which Raymond was a partner.
He was a minion of the organized crime overlord who controlled
the American Middle South for decades, New Orleans boss Carlos
Marcello or "Mafia Kingfish" as his biographer John
Davis called him.
FROM TIME TO
TIME, readers lambaste us for not "moving on" from
the Clinton story. Some of this reaction, we suspect, reflects
a realistic understanding that much of the media feels it has
the right to exercise plenary power over the news.
the other hand, sees itself as readers' surrogate eyes and ears,
surveying the world on their behalf. It is easily distracted
by the bawdy, the salacious, the corrupt, and the obscurely profound,
but on its best days it will judge news with the help of questions
such as these:
Will this story
help readers survive their time on this orb? Such inquiry leads
to much of the ecological news.
Will this help
readers do their work as democratic citizens? Learning things
about politicians others don't want you to know would be an example.
When was the
last time something like this happened? A query that has led
to many of the Clinton stories. Much of what Clinton has done
has not only been impeachable, corrupt and/or criminal, but unprecedented
Did your cynical,
hard-hitting, seen-it-all editor say, "You gotta be kidding"
or something similar upon first learning of the story? That's
one of the best journalistic tests.
In classic journalism,
which should be covered by the Endangered Species Act, such questions
are supreme. This doesn't mean that ideological or philosophical
influences are absent, merely that they are easily trumped. The
good journalist must, for any good story, be willing to betray
his political or social class at a moment's notice. The decline
of American journalism accelerated dramatically when reporters
agreed instead to be both loyal and predictable. This decline,
incidentally, was almost perfectly matched by the rise in journalists'
There is also
the question of what one might move on towards. Another eight
years of drug traffickers, other racketeers, and corporate con
persons having easy access to the White House? Another president
immune from the moral and legal sanctions of the public, media,
courts and Congress? Another doubling of the prison population
and expansion of the war on drugs with utter silence from the
liberal wing of the Democratic Party? More liberal acquiescence
to the destruction of democracy and the social welfare programs
their forbears so painfully constructed? More dramatic erosion
of the electoral position of the party? All these phenomena reflect
at least in part the cost of Democrats' denial of events that
have gone on about them.
There is finally the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton remain
the leading icons of the Democratic Party, they control its infrastructure,
and they control much of the flow of its funding. This is no
journalist's fault but it sure is news. If Democrats want a different
sort of news, there's a fairly simple solution: create a reform
movement - as has occurred many times in the past - to rid the
party of the influences that are causing it so much harm. Create
some new leaders. Come up with an idea or two. The choice of
moving on is in the hands of the Democrats and not the press.
Until then, the Clintons remain -- much as with Kissinger in
Chile and Bush in Iraq - part of the unfinished business of America.
ROGER FRIEDMAN, FOX NEWS: Despite his former
status as one of the country's most wanted white-collar fugitives,
Marc Rich controlled a company with a New York-area head office
and at least 17 branch offices that has done millions of dollars
of business with the federal government. The company continues
to operate today. Novarco Ltd. - which has been registered since
1996 with the US Department of Agriculture - handles the export
of commodities like aluminum and oil, among other things, to
nations around the world. The company's international headquarters
is listed as Zug, Switzerland, Rich's home since he fled the
United States in 1983 . . . The US executives named in Novarco's
incorporation papers include W. David Long, Mike Hopkovitz, Mary
Ellen Yacura and Clyde Meltzer. The latter is the same Rich lieutenant
who was indicted in 1983 along with Rich for participating in
illegal oil sales and creating "daisy chains" - endless
corporate shells which kept changing names in order to conduct
illegal commodity trading and sales of oil and metal . . . Novarco
is not Rich's first US company to flourish since he renounced
his citizenship and fled the country in 1982. For many years
in the 1980s he operated under the guise of Clarendon Ltd., which
dealt mostly in aluminum trading and oil refining. Clarendon
was placed on the Defense Logistics Agency's debarment list for
three years from 1984-87, after Rich began his exile. Clarendon,
however, was removed from the debarment list in January 1988
and six months later it submitted a low bid on solicitation by
the US Mint. Clarendon subsequently won 19 other contracts for
copper, zinc and nickel. During 1988-92, Clarendon made $45 million
from doing business with the U.S. government by selling copper,
zinc, and nickel to the U.S. Mint for making nickels. That was
until then-Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va. - now governor of West Virginia
- got wise and helped put a stop to the practice.
WASHINGTON TIMES: "Efforts that piggyback off the
current pardon controversy to see if former President Clinton
favored contributors while Arkansas governor have dead-ended
- where else? - at a Little Rock mini-storage," Paul Bedard
writes in US News & World Report. "Briefly: Clinton's
official papers and correspondence from his 12 years in office
are protected as 'private property' from Freedom of Information
Act snoops. Unlike past governors, Clinton didn't turn most over
to state schools, leaving a big gap in state history documentation
. . . "John Ferguson, director of the Arkansas History Commission,
says the University of Arkansas had Clinton's papers from his
first term, 1978-1980, but they disappeared before the ex-guv's
1992 presidential bid. He also says no Clinton contributor lists
exist. 'Sometimes a politician literally disposes of the records.'
Ask about the papers and the mystery grows. Correspondent Suzi
Parker says requests are rebuffed with, 'Don't ask about the
& JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, NEW YORK PRESS: The vultures are picking
his bones. Bob Herbert, Salon, Joe Biden, Barney Frank, Lanny
Davis . . . They've all finally thrown Bill over the side . .
. Salon stuck with Clinton through thick and thin, never conceding
the jaunty corruption that has been Bill's preeminent characteristic
since the day he entered the gubernatorial mansion in Little
Rock, but insisting all the while on his honesty and innocence
on all charges . . . Salon could take the welfare bill, the Effective
Death Penalty Act, the telecommunications reform bill, Waco,
the war on drugs, the doubling of the prison population, the
sale of the Lincoln bedroom as testimonies to a successful presidency.
Clinton spoiled everything by issuing a pardon urged on him by
people normally held in the highest respect by liberal Democrats,
among them outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Shimon
Peres, Abe Foxman of the ADL and Elie Wiesel . . . Yes, this
is the Bob Herbert who only four months ago managed to avert
his gaze from the mountain of evidence about the ethics and vulgarity
of the Clintons, and who lashed Ralph Nader for presuming to
raise the standard of honesty and dignity in government. There's
nothing more distasteful than listening to a bunch of dupes suddenly
announcing eight years after the evidence was in that they'd
been duped. Bill has a legitimate gripe.
REUTERS: New York state officials said they
were suing pardoned billionaire financier Marc Rich for income
tax evasion and were seeking $137 million owed on money he made
in the 1980s while in control of two companies that admitted
fraud involving illegal oil trading . . . "Mr. Rich has
avoided his tax payments in New York for nearly two decades while
he was under federal indictment," New York State Commissioner
of Taxation and Finance Arthur Roth said in a statement. "It
is now time for him to pay the piper," said Roth, who added
that the department had not previously filed civil litigation
against Rich in order not to jeopardize the federal investigation
against him that led to criminal charges.
BEHIND THE PARDONS
THE PARDON SCANDAL
has brought to some media and political circles the first glimmer
of comprehension of the deep and corrosive connections between
WJ Clinton and the criminal underworld. These connections have
been apparent from the start to those who bothered to look behind
the patina of the Clinton myth. Clinton was raised by mob-connected
relatives and backed in his campaigns by members of the Dixie
Mafia - including major drug traffickers. He used their cocaine,
appointed them, covered for them, looked the other way for them,
partied with them, cut deals with them, and now has pardoned
some of them.
The Marc Rich
pardon opens one window on this little covered, sordid side of
the Clinton saga, as does the commutation of Carlos Vignali's
sentence. Vignali was sent to jail in 1994 for conspiring to
sell 800 pounds of cocaine. He has said that the word was out
in prisons that the White House was open for pardon business.
Now the word is out elsewhere that the war on drugs means little
if you have a line to the White House.
But the pardon
that perhaps offers the best insight into the real Bill Clinton
is that of his half-brother Roger. Roger is being falsely presented
as a small time user who got caught. In fact, when his case was
coming to trial, the US attorney, Asa Hutchinson, described him
as one of the "tentacles of the drug distribution system"
Roger early developed
a four-gram, 16 times a day cocaine habit, getting his stuff
from New York and Medellin suppliers, based (as one middleman
would later testify) on "who his brother was." According
to federal drug probe testimony, Sharlene Wilson, one of his
dealers, began selling cocaine to Roger as early as 1979. A therapist
would testify later that Roger had been getting close to a "lethal
Clinton boys' mother was hanging out at the race track with mobsters
and other local figures, including Dan Lasater who bred race
horses in Kentucky and Florida and had a box at the track next
to hers. Mrs. Clinton introduced Lasater to Roger Clinton. Lasater
gave Roger work and later loaned him $8,000 to help pay off a
$20,000 drug debt. Lasater was a colorful character who made
his early money with his Ponderosa steak house operation. His
later sources of income would become far less clear, but he had
plenty of money to throw around. According to FBI reports cited
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, he lost a Lear jet in Colombia in
1977 after authorities there seized it on suspicion of narcotics
trafficking. Among the passengers on the jet was Jamiel "Jimmy"
Chagra, a major American mob boss. Evans-Pritchard reports that
the DEA opened a file on Lasater in 1983. Lasater was tipped
off at once by one of his friendly sources in law enforcement.
On another occasion he bailed out the governor of Kentucky, John
Y. Brown, delivering $300,000 in cash in a paper bag to Brown
at the Lexington airport. He also offered New Mexico governor
Tony Anaya a job at the end of his term. The governor declined,
but built - with taxpayer's funds - a 8,900 foot runway at Lasater's
Angel Fire Ski Resort. Later, a US Customs investigative report
would note that the resort was being used for drug operations
and money laundering. The state attorney general investigated
Lasaster for suspected "narcotics trafficking via aircraft
with possible organized crime ties." Lasater also bought
a ranch in Belize that was reportedly used for drug trafficking.
One drug pilot described to Evans-Pritchard the trip from Belize
to Arkansas, including having once been met by his pickup - an
Arkansas trooper in a marked car. Said the pilot, "Arkansas
was a very good place to load and unload."
partied with both the Clinton boys. She told the London Telegraph's
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in 1995 that she sold two grams of cocaine
to Bill Clinton at the Little Rock nightclub Le Bistro: "I
watched Bill Clinton lean up against a brick wall. He was so
messed up that night, he slid down the wall into a garbage can
and just sat there like a complete idiot." Wilson also described
gatherings at Little Rock's Coachman's Inn between 1979 and 1981,
where she saw Clinton using cocaine "quite avidly"
with friends. State drug prosecutor Jean Duffey said that she
had no doubt that Wilson was telling the truth.
The stories were
confirmed by others. Two Arkansas state troopers swore under
oath that they had seen Clinton "under the influence"
of drugs when he was governor. Historian Roger Morris, in his
book "Partners in Power," quoted several law enforcement
officials who claimed to have seen and knew of Clinton's drug
use. One-time apartment manager Jane Parks said that in 1984
she would listen through the wall as Bill and Roger Clinton,
in a room adjoining hers, discussed the quality of the drugs
they were taking as they partied with numerous women noisily
enough that neighbors complained. The same year, Hot Springs
police recorded Roger Clinton during a cocaine transaction in
which he is heard saying, "Got to get some for my brother.
He's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner."
some witnesses, Lasater had a back door pass to the governor's
mansion, and one state trooper reported taking Clinton to Lasater's
office regularly and waiting forty-five minutes or an hour for
him to come out. Although similar stories about Washington mayor
Marion Barry were widely circulated, the Clinton cocaine connection
was kept under wraps by the Washington press.
In 1984, a Clinton
bodyguard, state trooper L.D. Brown, applied for a CIA opening.
Clinton gave him help on his application essay including making
it more Reaganesque on the topic of Nicaragua. According to Brown,
he met a CIA recruiter in Dallas whom he later identified as
former member of Vice President Bush's staff. On the recruiter's
instruction, he also met with notorious drug dealer Barry Seal
in a Little Rock restaurant, later joining Seal in flight to
Honduras with a purported shipment of M16s and a return load
of duffel bags. Brown got $2,500 in small bills for the flight.
Concerned about the mission, Brown consulted with Clinton who
said, "Oh, you can handle it, don't sweat it." On second
flight, Brown found cocaine in a duffel bag and again he sought
Clinton's counsel. Clinton allegedly said to the politically
conservative Brown, "Your buddy Bush knows about it"
and of the cocaine, "that's Lasater's deal."
Morris, the then 27-year-old Roger Clinton's name began to appear
in federal and local narcotics files in early 1984. He already
had a string of other offenses, including speeding and drunk
driving, none of which prevented his brother from appointing
him to the state crime commission's juvenile advisory board.
He was soon removed for nonattendance.
actions were caught both on videotape and by wired informers,
one of whom recorded him negotiating a $10,000 coke deal. A video
caught him discussing payoffs to arrange state approval of sewer
lines in a development. Roger said, "I need $10,000 for
my brother to take care of EPA regs and other environmental oversight
problems." And between 1983 and 1985, state troopers at
the governor's mansion logged Roger in at least 36 times with
"females," "girl," or "a friend."
But the big time
drug operative began running into big time trouble. Someone slashed
his convertible's roof and stole $8,000 worth of cocaine. His
New York and Medillin dealers were on his case and, according
to his own and Lasater's later statements to police and FBI,
they even threatened his mother and Bill. It was the last thing
Bill needed and he got Lasater to provide a haven for Roger at
his 1000-acre horse ranch in Ocala FL, where the drug parties
and lifestyle continued with more safety. Roger Morris quotes
a senior employee at the ranch as saying, "I was told we
were stashing him for some politician Mr. Lasater was working."
In 1985, Clinton
established the Arkansas Development Finance Authority that would
become, in the words of one well-connected Arkansan "his
own political piggy bank." Though millions of dollars were
funneled to Clinton allies, records of repayments would be hazy
or non-existent. Dan Lasater was a major underwriter and got
a $30 million bond deal for state police radios even as Roger
Clinton was making a bargain with the US attorney to testify
against Lasater in a drug case. Later, an investigator found
evidence of an electronic transfer of $50 million from the Arkansas
Development Financial Authority to a bank in the Cayman Islands.
Grand Cayman had a population of 18,000, 570 commercial banks,
one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law. It has been a favorite
destination spot for laundered drug money.
was a struggle between those trying to quash the growing case
against Roger Clinton and Dan Lasater and those trying to make
sure it went ahead. In the end, the case was pursued but simultaneously
it was ensured that the investigation would go no further. In
1986 Lasater pled guilty to cocaine distribution charges after
the younger Clinton copped a plea and agreed to testify against
Lasater and Roger's friend, Sam Anderson Jr. One law enforcement
official described the investigation into Lasater's operations
as "either a high dive or extremely unprofessional. Take
your pick." It seems clear to some that the US prosecutor
on the case, George Proctor, found it best not to dig too deep.
While Lasater was in prison, his affairs were run by Patsy Thomasson,
who later would become a White House aide, responsible, among
other things, for drug testing. George Proctor would become a
high Justice Department official, heading an office that handled,
among other things, narcotics and the BCCI case.
writes, "Law enforcement officials were dismayed and angry
at the stunted probe of Lasater. Whatever the limits or extent
of Lasater's cocaine trafficking or the nature of his other dealings,
most believe that beyond him the larger corruption in Little
Rock and elsewhere pointed unmistakably to organized crime, not
to mention the vast crimes of Mena - none of which would be pursued."
In 1989 Terry
Reed filed a civil action against Buddy Young, chief of the Clinton
security detail and later a top FEMA official. Reed asrgued that
he had been framed after trying to pull away from his involvement
in the Iran-Contra machinations. His suit threatened to expose
not only Clinton misdeeds but details of the Contra guns-for-drugs
scheme. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports in "The Secret Life
of Bill Clinton" that one witness, trooper Patterson, had
testified that there were "large quantities of drugs being
flown into Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities
of guns." One estimate was that ten million dollars were
passing through Mena every week. Patterson said the matter was
repeatedly discussed in front of Clinton by his bodyguards. Patterson
said the governor had "very little comment to make; he was
just listening to what was being said." Reed's case unraveled
when the state judge ruled that no evidence regarding Mena, the
CIA, Dan Lasater, the Arkansas Development Finance Agency, or
the Clintons would be permitted.
In 1990 Dan Lasater
was pardoned by Governor Clinton after serving just six months
in jail and four in a halfway house on minor charges. The pardon,
which was of dubious value given that Lasater had been charged
under federal law, was purportedly issued so that Lasater could
get a hunting license. Lasater returned to his 7,400 acre ranch
in Saline County.
Four years later
Gandy Baugh, an attorney who had represented Lasater, jumped
to his death. Baugh's law partner committed suicide a month after
Baugh. That same year, according to Greg Hitt of Dow Jones News
Service, minutes of a high level Resolution Trust Corporation
meeting included this note: "Dan Lasater may have been establishing
depository accounts at Madison and other financial institutions
and laundering drug money through them via brokered deposits
and bond issues."
In 1996, Lasater
testified before Congress. In his trial and in testimony before
the Senate Whitewater committee, Lasater admitted to being free
with coke, including ashtrays full of it on his corporate jet.
He also admitted to having given coke to employees and to minors.
But he took umbrage at being called a drug dealer since he claimed
he didn't charge for the stuff.
The New York
Times, among many other mainstream media, did not bother to cover
the story despite Lasater's closeness to the Clintons. In fact,
that year, Clinton scandals rated all of one hour and twelve
minutes on major evening TV news programs.
The other day,
the three major networks spent 33 minutes in just one evening
on Clinton scandals. That's a form of progress. Maybe some day
they and the rest of the corporate media will take a few minutes
and explain to us how and why it was that for nearly a decade
they gave a preemptive pardon to a national politician as mobbed
up as any this country has ever seen.
WASHINGTON POST: Two friends of Roger Clinton convicted of drug
offenses in the 1980s said today the half-brother of former president
Bill Clinton talked to them about obtaining presidential pardons
. . . Lasater was not among those pardoned by Clinton, which
dismayed both him and the president's sibling, who said he had
promised six longtime friends they would get pardons. When they
were not pardoned but he was, Roger Clinton told the Los Angeles
Times today, "it caused a rift" with his brother .
. . A second friend of Roger Clinton, Sam Anderson of Hot Springs,
Ark., said in an interview that he too discussed a pardon with
the president's brother. In exchange for a reduced sentence on
a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge, Roger Clinton testified
against Anderson during Anderson's drug trial in 1985 and against
Lasater during grand jury proceedings . . . "Maybe my name
was on a list, but it was not something I sought or went for,"
he said. "Roger tends to tell people what they want to hear."
House Pardongate prober Dan Burton is getting death threats as
he moves forward with his investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton's
role in the pardons-for-cash scandal . . . Burton is the latest
in a long line of investigators and witnesses who were subject
to death threats and various other forms of intimidation after
speaking out against the Clintons. Others who had to take extra
security precautions include former independent counsel Kenneth
Starr, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright, Whitewater
witness David Hale, and Sexgate witnesses Monica Lewinsky, Linda
Tripp, Kathleen Willey and Gennifer Flowers NEWSMAX:
VILLAGE VOICE: The mystery man in the Hugh Rodham pardon scandal
may turn out to be Kendall Coffey, another Florida lawyer. The
current coverage is focusing on Rodham, Senator Hillary Clinton's
brother, and the $400,000 he was paid after President Clinton
pardoned and commuted the sentences of two men, convicted herbalist
swindler A. Glenn Braswell and drug smuggler Carlos Vignali.
. . . But the man who actually prepared the testimonials and
applications was Kendall Coffey, a former US attorney appointed
by Clinton and lead attorney for the White House in the Elián
González case . . . Coffey lost his US attorney job for
biting a stripper. He is remembered for having lost a key drug
case against two smugglers who had been accused of importing
75 tons of cocaine, said to be worth $2 billion. It was the biggest
drug-smuggling case ever lost by federal prosecutors. On a February
1996 evening Coffey was at Lipstik, a Miami nude bar, where he
had a private session in which stripper Tamara "Tiffany"
Gutierrez danced naked for him. Inexplicably, Coffey lunged for
her breast and missed, biting her on the arm. He was escorted
out of the establishment. Coffey had put his tab on a credit
card. When exposed, Coffey resigned. Most recently, Coffey was
in the news as one of the attorneys working on the recount for
the Gore campaign in Florida. VILLAGE
brother-in-law and central Pardongate figure Hugh Rodham was
"barricaded" inside the White House residence during
President Clinton's final days in office, rebuffing attempts
to get him to leave. That's one of the reports currently making
the rounds behind the scenes in DC, according to NBC Washington
Bureau chief Tim Russert. "The stories about Hugh Rodham
moving into the White House -- I mean, you know, he was barricaded
on the third floor," Russert told radioman Don Imus. "There's
all kinds of reports that he wouldn't leave, they couldn't get
him out," Russert added. "Episodes about eating whole
chickens -- I can't begin to tell you what's going on down here."