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New photographs obtained by a Washington, D.C.-based legal watchdog group indicate that Craig Livingstone — the former bar bouncer turned White House security expert — who has been accused of misappropriating some 900 FBI files on former Republican officials, was a better friend of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton than either has admitted.
The photos were obtained by Judicial Watch via court processes in the group’s $90 million lawsuit over the scandal known as “Filegate.”
Once the head of White House Security, Livingstone became a household word when he became the central figure in the administration’s 1996 “Filegate” scandal, in which about 900 confidential FBI files on Republicans were found to have been improperly handled by White House personnel.
Although the White House brushed off the scandal as a “bureaucratic snafu,” the news media briefly focused on Livingstone and his qualifications. How did his previous experience as a bouncer in a Washington-area bar qualify him for receiving the highest level of government security clearance, for instance.
In light of the scandal, the White House distanced itself from Livingstone and Hillary Clinton claimed little knowledge of him. Contradicting this, however, were Livingstone’s claims to have enjoyed a close relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and particularly his assertion that Mrs. Clinton had been personally involved in hiring him for the security job.
“The photos of Livingstone with Mrs. Clinton prove, contrary to her denials, that she knew and worked closely with him,” Judicial Watch said in a statement released with the photos. In fact, said the group, it has “testimony from five different sources that he was hired by and worked under Mrs. Clinton.”
In its lawsuit, Judicial Watch alleges that Livingstone, along with Anthony Marceca and William Kennedy, wrongfully obtained and then rifled though the FBI files of plaintiffs. The photos of Livingstone with both Clintons and Reno prove that Livingstone was no “ordinary White House hired hand,” Judicial Watch said.
Mrs. Clinton has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit and, perhaps ironically, the Justice Department – headed by Reno – is defending both Livingstone and Clinton in the suit.
In one photo, Livingstone is shown walking with Mrs. Clinton, and in others he is shown in attendance at functions with the first lady and Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. In another, Livingstone is posing with Reno; in others, with President Clinton.
Livingstone is even pictured posing with four unidentified people in the Oval Office, a privilege not afforded most people who don’t have special access or kinship with a president or a president’s family.
Here are some of the just-released photos:
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