David Bossie, the aide let go in the Webster Hubbell transcript flap, was either extremely incompetent or was intentionally trying to sabotage investigations in the House fund-raising inquiry, according to sources close to the committee who did not wish to be identified.
Bossie, the top investigator for Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana, chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, resigned under pressure from House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Sources close to the situation were not surprised, and were wondering why it had taken so long and why Burton had to be ordered to do it. Burton allowed Bossie to resign, rather than actually firing him.
The turmoil was brought about when Bossie released selectively edited transcripts of taped prison conversations between Webster Hubbell and his wife regarding Whitewater. Burton claims he thought the transcripts were complete, rather than the edited versions Bossie apparently released instead. Burton has accepted responsibility, and Democrats are criticizing him and calling for his resignation. Sources claim there were warning signs that Bossie was headed for trouble prior to the incident.
Bossie was described as everything from a “fool,” to a “complete jerk” who had it coming long ago. “If you only knew the half of it,” explained a staff member who did not wish to be identified. During a later conversation, the same person claimed that Burton had been warned that Bossie would cause trouble and could not be trusted, but those warnings were ignored.
David Bossie has maneuvered his way around a number of political circles. He first made himself known in Sen. Robert Dole’s 1988 presidential campaign as his national youth director. By 1992 he had become the executive director of Floyd Brown’s Presidential Victory Committee, which produced an ad and a toll-free number with recordings of Gennifer Flowers alleged conversations with Bill Clinton. His biggest claim to fame has been that he had a hand in the production of the famous Willie Horton commercial that helped to sink the Dukakis for President Campaign.
In 1994, Bossie became Director of Government Relations and Communications for the organization known as Citizens United, a conservative organization which sends Whitewater oriented tips, sound bites, documents, and story ideas to members of the press.
He quickly developed a reputation among the press as someone who was a Whitewater evidence bounty hunter. Bossie spent a great deal of time in Arkansas gathering documents and evidence that he could then sell to the media, according to one Arkansas source.
Several instances of suspicious behavior on the part of Bossie were reported to Republican congressional staffers. The concern was that Bossie was either extremely incompetent, or he was purposely trying to sabotage investigations.
Back in 1991, Whitewater information had been leaked to Ira Silverman, NBC senior news producer, regarding Beverly Bassett Schaffer, Clinton appointee to head the Security and Exchange Commission. The evidence apparently indicated Schaffer had given preferential treatment to Bill Clinton and Jim McDougal for a Whitewater loan.
Silverman showed up in Arkansas with a film crew, only to have his efforts to get a story thwarted by Bossie who physically prevented Silverman’s crew from interviewing Schaffer.
On January 15, 1992, the Fayetteville Morning News reported that Beverly Bassett Schaffer claimed to have been “ambushed” and then “stalked” all around Fayetteville by Bossie. The incident was also reported in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a few days later. Silverman was made to look foolish by Bossie, and he packed up his crew and left.
Former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson (retired) sent Bossie packing when he “caught him red-handed” trying to steal documents related to various Clinton scandals. Johnson had arranged a meeting in his home between Bossie and Larry Nichols to discuss selling documents Nichols had obtained. Bossie offered to pay for use of the documents in a book he claimed to be preparing with Floyd Brown.
When Nichols and Johnson stepped out of the room, Bossie quickly slipped the documents into his brief case, but Johnson returned in time to catch him in the act. He sent Bossie on his way, much to the surprise of Nichols.
In a separate incident Nichols met with Bossie and Brown in a hotel room to make a deal for the evidence he had. This time Nichols claims he discovered Bossie was making calls to “Clinton people” from the hotel room. Nichols, who has dedicated himself to exposing what he calls the “crimes of Bill Clinton,” abandoned Bossie without making a deal.
Before long Bossie was working for Sen. Al D’Amato. He was considered “a real go-getter,” by a source that had been on the staff of Rep. Bob Livingston at that time. It is thought by some that misinformation had been given to that investigation, leading to a failure to get complete evidence and witnesses critical to the investigation.
“I didn’t trust him, but Quinn Hillier wouldn’t listen,” explained Nichols regarding his efforts to warn investigators about his suspicions.
Although Nichols provided significant documentary evidence to many different investigations, his personal credibility was tainted by his own colorful past. Investigators have been cautious of Nichols. His warnings fell on deaf ears.
As for intentionally trying to deceive and distort, Bossie denies doing anything wrong in the release of the Hubbell tapes.
“I want to emphasize that no one on the staff ever intentionally left anything out,” stated Bossie in his letter of resignation. Not only did he not accept blame, Bossie strongly criticized Democrats for attacking Burton.