Why is Hillary Clinton such a reviled figure in many precincts of the American populace? And not just the Right—I’m lookin’ at you, Bernie Sanders supporters. A Judicial Watch case being argued in federal court on Friday supplies some answers to that question.
Long before Benghazi, long before emails and clever Clinton Foundation shakedowns, there was Whitewater. The Clintons—abetted by the slack intellectual standards of American media—have succeeded in putting over the argument that Whitewater “was about nothing.” The Judicial Watch case proves otherwise.
For more than two years, Judicial Watch has been fighting to make public draft federal criminal indictments of Mrs. Clinton in the Whitewater affair. The allegations are well known to aficionados of financial crime: with Gov. Bill Clinton running Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton leveraged her work at the Rose Law Firm into a series of transactions on behalf of a corrupt financial institution, Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, run by a longtime Clinton crony, James McDougal. Among the transactions was a document drafted by Mrs. Clinton to conceal a series of fraudulent loans that were used to deceive federal bank examiners. Winning the White House, Mrs. Clinton and her allies engaged in a long-running cover-up.
Between 1996 and 1998, the Office of Independent Counsel drew up a series of draft indictments of Mrs. Clinton. In the end, overwhelmed by the Lewinsky perjury case and stymied by Clinton stonewalls, prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton. But the evidence against the First Lady was significant. And the case sheds light as well on the mystery of why Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure: Whitewater presents significant evidence that she was a crook, and got away with it.
Our Freedom of Information Act request for the draft indictments and our subsequent lawsuit was rejected. The court ruled that grand jury secrecy and Mrs. Clinton’s right to personal privacy barred disclosure of the draft indictments. We argue that given the enormous amount of grand jury and other information already made public, including in the vast “Final Report of the Independent Counsel” of January 2001, there is no secrecy or privacy left to protect.
A three-judge federal appeals panel will hear arguments Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 20 of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Follow him on Twitter @micah_morrison. Tips: email@example.com
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