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My debate with a Clintonista hack

Posted By Joseph Farah On 05/09/1997 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

On Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” show Thursday night I debated long-time Democratic Party political consultant Frank Mankiewicz on Whitewater and Hillary’s contention that notes of two meetings under subpoena are protected by attorney-client privilege. Maybe you saw the show. It’s difficult to say much of anything meaningful in the context of these shouting heads programs. So here are some of the points I tried to make in between insults and ad hominem attacks from the Clintonista hack.

The problem with the Clinton scandals is that they are so involved — there are so many documents, so many issues to consider. I believe this is the reason the scandals have not resonated with the vast majority of
the American people in terms of an outpouring of anger and righteous
indignation. It’s a very tangled web — and I don’t mean Hubbell.

The same was true at a comparable period of time during Watergate.
The day Richard Nixon resigned from office, he still had a majority of
Americans behind him, believing in him. So President Clinton shouldn’t take great comfort in the polls. Nor should thinking Americans concerned about justice, abuse of power and equal protection under the law simply dismiss Whitewater and related scandals because they haven’t yet
registered on pollsters’ Richter scales.

Yet, we’re at the point now where no reasonable person, who can detach himself from his political loyalties long enough to be fair and objective, can look at the mounting evidence against Bill and Hillary Clinton and come to any conclusion but one: This administration is guilty of massive coverup, systematic deception, obstruction of justice
and abuse of power on a grand and, perhaps, unprecedented scale in American history.

Contrary to what this White House would have you believe, this is not
just a fuss about a minor real estate scam in Arkansas years ago. It’s
not just about a shady Savings & Loan deal — although, let’s keep in
mind, people are going to jail for those crimes today. But, more importantly, what we’re talking about is the political abuse by the president of our sacrosanct government institutions — the Justice Department, FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal Revenue Service and God knows how many other powerful federal agencies. We’re talking about the most massive and systematic campaign
finance violations this country has ever seen. We’re talking about the selling out of our national interests for illegal foreign campaign contributions from a hostile power. We’re talking about a prima facie case of obstruction of justice in securing hush money for Webster Hubbell and then lying about it. We’re talking about changing stories given in sworn testimony. I could go on and on. At this point, the only
reason anyone could have for defending Bill and Hillary Clinton is political partisanship — pure and simple.

As the U.S. Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit made clear in its ruling, there is no attorney-client privilege in this case for Hillary Rodham
Clinton. Why? Because when third parties are involved in discussions
between attorneys and clients, that privilege is broken. In this
instance, the very people taking the notes on the meetings were
counselors to the White House. They don’t represent Hillary Clinton but
he people of the United States. Now that’s not a technicality, that’s
the law. And there’s a very important reason for following the law in
this case. If having a lawyer present for every discussion of business
qualifies the president or first lady for privilege, then they would be
effectively shielded from any scrutiny or accountability and would
simply have a lawyer around them at all times.

Let’s just look at the latest controversy — the issue of the Rose
Law firm billing records that mysteriously turned up in the White House
living quarters two years after they had been subpoenaed. They indicate
that Hillary was an active participant in a bank fraud scheme. Now
either Hillary’s billing records are wrong, which means she should be
indicted for falsifying billing records like her pal and law partner
Webb Hubbell, or she’s perjuring herself when she testifies that she
wasn’t involved in the deal. Either way she’s a crook. It’s really just
a question of which crime she should be indicted for.

But who’s going to do it? Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr? He’s a
political animal, not a prosecutor, and I don’t believe he has the guts
to take on the president or the first lady unless he detects a national
political will for such a move. The Republican leadership in both the
House and Senate lack the courage, conviction and the moral certitude to
make the case for impeachment. Instead, as we learned in WorldNetDaily
yesterday, they’re even delaying hearings on the campaign finance
scandal until at least the fall.

The American people deserve better. This country needs to cleanse
itself of this corruption at the very highest levels of government or
we’re heading for national disaster.

I’m afraid if the institutions responsible for keeping the president accountable — the press, the Congress and the justice system — don’t start doing their jobs aggressively, we may not recognize this country
n the year 2000.


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